Worry always connects to the future.
It is always related to unknown future outcomes.
It’s easily identified because it always focuses on the negative responses to this question:
“What WILL I DO if…?”
The thing that makes worry so unproductive is that whenever we’re worried, our worry doesn’t change anything about the outcome of the future scenario (Jesus said something similar over in Matthew 6:27).
Here’s a quick tip:
Whenever you’re tempted to worry, no matter what it is about, simply swapping out the question that you ask yourself makes all of the difference.
Instead of the “what will I” question above, focus instead on your answers to this question:
“What CAN I DO given…?”
What makes the “What CAN I DO” question much more positive is that it’s in the now…it’s in the present…and the good news is that we can control what we choose to do in the present!
Here’s an example of what I mean…
Instead of focusing on thoughts like “What WILL I DO if I don’t have enough income to retire as I get older?” (WORRY), ask yourself a better question: “What CAN I DO given my present circumstances and my future hopes and dreams?” (ACTIONABLE PLAN)
Your answer to the first question is unproductive…you’re no better off after having focused on it.
Your answers to the second question (ex: begin saving towards retirement, hire a financial coach, create a budget and reduce expenses, etc.) can be very productive and position you to win in the future.
In life you’re either (1) worrying or (2) taking present action.
So which question are YOU asking???
Just something to think about…