Thursday, March 24, 2016

One Powerful Statement

Happy Thursday everyone!  As usual, I'm going to be joining in the Thinking Out Loud linkup today.  Instead of having a structured post like I usually do, I wanted to share my thoughts about a podcast that I recently listened to- a specific episode of the Lively Show with Brooke Castillo.

The entire episode was really powerful to me and I took down a ton of notes while I listened.  Then, about halfway through the episode, Jess shared a quote by Joyce Meyer that made me drop everything and rewind to hear the words again.

Worry is a down payment on a problem you may never have.


I've always been a pretty anxious person.  It seemed like there was always something for me to obsess over, and worry about the worst possible outcome-  

What if I give my speech in class and completely forget every word and everyone laughs at me?
What if I get lost on my way to my new classes and I end up being late and get in trouble?
What if...?

This would translate into staying up all night, tossing and turning while I imagined all of these insane and unrealistic situations.  It didn't matter what was going on in my life, there was always something to worry about and have anxiety over.

Malmo, Sweden

My anxiety came to a head when I left the country for the first time.  As you can imagine, that was the most terrifying experience of my life. So many more "what ifs" crossed my mind in the weeks leading up to the trip- my passport could evaporate before I made it to customs or I could lose my boarding pass and be stuck in the airport!

Murren, Switzerland

All of these situations kept popping around in my head as we flew from Pittsburgh to Madrid.  I miraculously made it to another country in one piece, not losing anything or getting kicked off the flight.  Once we landed and made our way around the city, I noticed how different everyone acted.  People were outside in the middle of the day, not rushing around or looking stressed, but were enjoying a glass of tinto de verano or a plate of tapas looking happy and relaxed, and generally peaceful.  I came to realize that being stressed and worrying about all of those "what if's" was stopping me from being happy and enjoying the present moment.

Barcelona, Spain

On that trip, I stopped worrying about what could happen and started to enjoy what was happening.  In Barcelona, one of my travel buddies got pick pocketed.  In my mind- that was one of the worst case scenarios of what could happen.  And you know what?  We made it through and still had an amazing trip.  That showed me that you can't prepare for every bad thing to happen and it's a waste of time and energy to worry.  

Rome, Italy

note-

I've been planning this post for a few weeks now, and had it written earlier this week.  After the terrible tragedy in Brussels a few days ago, I feel like this message is even more important for me.  Any time that I go on an overseas trip, my family and friends are always nervous and ask if I'm worried about something happening on the flight or on my trip.  The answer is always no.  Bad things happen all the time, but I've learned now that no one can predict tragedy, and no one can predict something going wrong.  I'm happy now to live in the moment, hope for the best, and not worry about the worst.  My thoughts are with all of the victims and their families- and hope that these awful events inspire you to take advantage of your life and live every day to the fullest.



I would love to hear your thoughts!  
Are you a worrier?  How have you overcome that?

53 comments:

  1. I am not a worrier until I am, if that makes sense. I make gut decision with a great degree of confidence, and then I second guess myself. My MIL is the opposite: she just worries about everything. She might be the most prepared person ever, but I don't know if she really enjoys it! I love that quote!

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    1. I can completely understand what you mean. I feel like I'm learning to trust my skills and my gut more and trying not to second guess.

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  2. I am not a worrier or someone who stresses often but with the terrorism stuff, I do get nervous being in the city or really anywhere sometimes. I just try really hard to realize we need to live our lives, including last night when we were on the train to Brooklyn. so much more security than ever and seeing police with large guns is something I guess we are just going to have to get used to. thanks for sharing this today.

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    1. So sad that we have to worry about going places now. Such a shame :(

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  3. I am so glad that you lerned to live in the moment and put aside worry. dr. Phil always plays the and then what would happen game with worriers. He says if it happened then what? And he showed his guests that they were capable of handling what they worried about most. Things can happen but you are strong and can figure things out. When we went to France we thougt two nights were booked at a b and b but instead it was only one. But it all worked out so well because we got to go to an outstanding b and b in the country that tourists could never find. I look at things that go wrong as opportunities to do something different. Sure there are bad things and they might happen to you but worrying about them isnt going to prevent them.

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    1. I haven't heard of that but I'll start saying that to myself if I find myself getting anxious. And yes- everything works out for the best in the end :)

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  4. "Worry is a down payment on a problem you may never have" that is brilliant. I never thought of it that way. I try not to worry about things too much but you know how that goes!

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  5. I think everyone has episodes of extensive worry that paralyzes us. It's so hard to get rid of but when you put things into perspective, worry is just a fear about something that will probably never happen. Thank you for sharing :)

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  6. I am a worrier and I know I get it from my mom because she is too. But, I love that podcast quote you shared because it is so, so true. I have to remind myself that worrying is not going to change what may happen and instead of worrying about what could happen, I need to focus on living in the present. I definitely think this is true with travelling and trying to focus on where I am and what I am doing rather than worrying about "what could happen."

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  7. Love that quote and could not agree more. I worry too much! Great post!

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  9. Thanks for posting this Gretchen! I've dealed with anxiety for so much of my life and learning to deal with it in healthy ways is still a challenge.

    That quote really sticks with me too, I'll definitely be keeping that in mind in the future!

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    1. I'm so glad this helped a bit, and I hope you continue to deal with your anxiety in a healthy way!

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  10. I love this. Thank you for writing this post. I have pretty bad anxiety as well & I am ALWAYS worried about the what ifs & what could happen.. it takes practice to REALLY enjoy the present moments as they are happening but I am learning every day.

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  11. I love this quote and your message. One of my goals for this year has been to worry less and manage my anxiety better. It's still a challenge, but I just try to live in the moment instead of always asking myself what if this what if that.

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  12. LOVE that quote so much! I will not forget that now that I have read it. This was a really great post, Gretchen!

    A lot of this resonated with me, as I too am a worrier by nature. The weird thing for me is that in really bad or crisis-like situations I am strangely calm, but I worry about stupid little things that are not significant at all. Go figure. I've gotten a lot better, and there really was no magic bullet for me - just years of gradually training my brain to put things in perspective and look at the bigger picture. I still have my moments, but am always getting better, and maybe that's really all I can ask for. One thing in particular I will say has helped, with a lot of things actually, is to get out of my own head for a while. Go outside, go volunteer, hang out with friends - anything to remind myself that there is a whole world out there. Suddenly my problems seem so small and I feel silly for being stressed that I skipped a run or whatever.

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    1. Thank you so much for this comment Hanna! I'm really glad you liked this post. I can agree with you that learning to not worry and just trust yourself is something you have to work on.

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  13. I can be a bit of a worrier, and when I studied and traveled abroad in Europe there were a bunch of terrorist threats that really scared me, but giving into that fear is exactly what terrorists want. Worry would let them win and steal away invaluable life experience, so I still traveled and enjoyed the places I was visiting.
    When I was super worried about my career after grad school and deciding not to get my PhD, I was talking with a priest who made an excellent point: worry can be selfish because it's looking inward, not at others. Like Hanna said above, engaging drives away worry and anxiety and puts things into perspective.

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    1. That's a great way to put it Laura! Thanks for your insight :)

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  14. These words are so great, Gretchen thank you so much for sharing! I crave those peaceful days without a to-do list or a care in the world. Traveling seems to really bring that out in us, but I also really want to find it at least once a week wherever I am. Making life decisions out of fear is not how we're called to live and this reminder is so great and encouraging! Thank you for this :)

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    1. I'm sure you can relate to this a lot right now Margaret :) Praying for you and all the decisions you're making!

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  15. AMEN. Be anxious for nothing. <333 Perfect love casts out all fear. Worry is never worth it. :)

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  16. I love this quote, because while travel isn't something that worries me as much in the way it worries you, I get more stressed in daily life about whether things will go according to plan, and I really have to focus on the fact that sometimes when it doesn't, it's actually better. My BF likes to say that life is what happens when you're making other plans, and I have realized that is totally true.

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    1. Such a great quote! I try to remind myself of all that. Just stop worrying and start enjoying!

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  17. You KNOW I'm an anxious person. Whenever I worry about something, I talk it out. Sometimes saying it out loud is all it takes to detonate the worry. Andrew and I are going to the Canada vs Mexico world cup soccer playoff game tomorrow night in Vancouver and I'm trying really hard not to stress about a bomb going off there. The place is sold out with over 55,000 people. Obviously security is high right now, so we'll pretty much get cavity searched before we're let in there. Ha.

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    1. I'm awful about talking about things..I would rather just keep it in. Drives Dan crazy so I need to work on that! Teach me your ways :)

      Glad that you made it through the game safely!!

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  18. I used to be a super anxious person, but I feel like I've mellowed out a lot as I've gotten older and realized that there are just so many things that I have no control over. I went from constantly asking "what if?!" to just doing my best to making the most of whatever comes my way. And it really helped to remember that no matter what happened, I'd find a way to be okay.

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  19. I'm not a worrier. But sometimes it seems like it might behoove me to worry a bit more. I sign myself up for these crazy adventures & tend to be a big picture thinker, not letting the little details or what ifs bog me down. It's never totally backfired, but my mother warns me it will one day.

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  20. Have you read/heard of Daring Greatly? I'd recommend it!!

    http://www.amazon.com/Daring-Greatly-Courage-Vulnerable-Transforms-ebook/dp/B007P7HRS4

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  21. Such a powerful quote. I tend to worry a lot at times, but since college I feel at peace with where I am in every aspect of life which is a huge blessing that I don't think about enough. When I was in Spain several years ago my friend's purse got stolen in Madrid too and she was such a trooper and handled the entire situation so smoothly. I

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    1. Glad to hear you've changed for the better! Always a good thing :)

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  22. I love that quote! SO powerful and so true. I used to worry a lot, but I decided to turn my worries to prayers and trust in the Lord (I'm a follower of Jesus). So glad that you changed your perspective from worrying about what could happen to enjoying the present! Sounds like a lovely trip!
    xoxo Cailee!

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    1. Prayer definitely helps me a lot as well! Thanks for stopping by Cailee :)

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  23. Ahhh, this is SO so true! I definitely used to be a worrier about everything, however, I somehow managed to change my mindset and now it's Jesse that I have to stop overthinking/worrying as he likes to analyse every little thing and know exactly what is going to happen before it happens.

    When we spend all our time worrying, we forget to pay attention to what's happening right now and our whole view on things is changed!

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  24. I'm a lifelong worrier, so this post really resonates. I'm always working on changing my mindset, and I'm glad that you are as well!

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  25. i don't worry when i travel or let it keep me from traveling, which is interesting since i have such extreme anxiety.

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    1. I'm glad that you don't let your anxiety stop you from seeing the world!

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  26. Beautiful photos! I'm a worrier too. My husband always asks me, "what can you do about it?" If the answer is nothing, then stop worrying (easier said than done, but good advice!)

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    1. That's a great question to ask! Thanks for sharing that :)

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  27. beautiful post girl. totally agree with what you said at the end.. bad things happen all the time, and worrying about them won't stop them from happening, but it will stop you from living your life to the fullest.

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