I am a worrier.  I worry a lot and I always have. I know I’m not alone. The world in the past three years has gotten scary and everyone’s anxiety has skyrocketed. As creative people, it is easy to let our imaginations run wild creating the worst possible outcome.  I call this running out into the cornfield (named after the Twilight Zone episode about the evil little boy wishing people into the cornfield.)  Here are four ways to tame your worry and stay out of the cornfield.

Imagine the worst case scenario

Ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen? Follow it to the absolute worst outcome.  Then think about what you would do.   When I practice this technique, often I realize that even if the worst thing happened, I could handle it. I could learn from it, and I would be okay.  

Plan for the worst and expect the best

Set yourself up for success by having a contingency plan if things go south.  This plan will give you more confidence and assuage anxiety.  At the same time, expecting the best will also keep you calm. 

Practice Surrender

Whether we like it or not, most things are not in our control.  Do your best with what you can control and surrender the rest.   Don’t worry about things you cannot control.  That is easier said than done, but once you start to practice surrender, you will notice your anxiety lessen significantly.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Embrace failure by cultivating curiosity

Fear of failure often stops us from trying new things and taking risks. As creative people, fear of failure is especially acute because when we share our creations, we are sharing parts of ourselves. If things don’t go your way,  try adopting a curious attitude . Curiosity reframes failure as a learning opportunity. Ask yourself questions. What worked here? What didn’t? What could I have done differently? What will I do differently next time?

Success is not final. Failure is not fatal.  It is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill

I hope these practices help you with your anxiety. If you have other tips to curb worrying, please comment below.  I am always on the lookout for new ideas.

Don’t let fear steal your funk. 

Marshall to Ted in How I Met Your Mother

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