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karen allen

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20 Things to Stop Worrying About

Updated: Oct 23, 2023



If I asked you to sit down right now and list out all of the worries that are weighing heavy on your mind, how long would that list be?


A page?


Two pages?


If you’re thinking to yourself, “I wish. I could fill an entire notebook,” that’s okay too.


Here’s the harder question, though—how many of those worries are actually worth ruminating on?


No, really.


If we’re going to let certain thoughts and emotions take up so much of our energy, shouldn’t there be some kind of payoff?


How many of those worries are actually within your control? How many of those problems do you actually own, and how many are worries on behalf of other people? And how many of those challenges will be solved by you worrying about them?


How many are really worth the mental, physical, emotional, spiritual investment that thought cycle eats up?


I’ll be straight with you—sometimes that’s hard to recognize when it comes to our own stress points. It’s hard to see clearly which of those worries are just keeping us feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and stuck and which ones are really worth the attention we’re paying to them.


I came across an article recently from Marc Chernoff over at Marc & Angel Hack Life, the authors behind the wildly successful Getting Back to Happy, and the title immediately got my attention:


I knew right away that I wanted to share it with our 100% Human Community.


At first I thought about how I could sum up this a-maz-ing post or paraphrase it. But then I realized—“Why? His personal experience with his wise and loving 90-year-old grandmother is already straight gold. He’s already said it perfectly!"


To me, these 20 things are so spot on. They’re relatable. And they’re all things that I’ve tried to shift away from thinking or doing in my own life, things I’ve seen the benefit of eliminating from my own list of worries and internal narratives.


So I’m sharing Marc’s entire post below. But I also want you to go check out Marc & Angel’s blog (this post is especially fire in my book), their podcast, and their books because these two are dropping life-changing knowledge and insights.


Are you ready for this incredible insight? Let’s go!


 

Some people wait all day for 5pm, all week for Friday, all year for the holidays, all their lives for happiness. Don’t be one of them. Don’t wait until your life is almost over to realize how good it has been. The secret to happiness and peace on the average day is letting this moment be what it is, instead of what you think it should be, and then making the very best of it.


Go ahead and sing out loud in the car with the windows down, and dance in your living room, and stay up late laughing, and paint your walls any color you want, and enjoy some sweet wine and chocolate cake. Yes, and go ahead and sleep in on clean white sheets, and throw parties, and paint, and write poetry, and read books so good they make you lose track of time. And just keep living and making God glad that he gave life to someone who loves and cherishes the gift…


Think deeply.

Speak gently.

Love lots.

Laugh often.

Work hard.

Give back.

Expect less.

Be present.

Be kind.

Be honest.

Be true to yourself…

And whatever you do, don’t let the wrong things worry you for too long!


Read that bolded line above again. It’s one of the core lessons my grandma shared with me and reminded me of frequently in the final few years before she died in 2008. She did so because she loved me, and because, at 90-years-old, she had lived long enough to know that most of us let the little frustrations, drama, and distractions of each day blind us to the beauty in front of us.


We get caught up in our own heads, and literally don’t know our lives to be any better than the few things that aren’t going our way. Other times we talk a big talk about a lot of stuff that really doesn’t matter that much. We scrutinize and dramatize the insignificant until we’re blue in the face, and then we sit back and scratch our heads in bewilderment of how unfulfilling life feels.


But the older we grow, the quieter we become and the less pointless drama and chaos we engage in. Life humbles us gradually as we age. We realize how much nonsense we’ve wasted time on.

Truth be told, the afternoon always understands what the morning never even suspected.

Here are some things I learned from my grandma’s wisdom, that I have also gradually validated for myself over the past couple decades — things we all tend to focus on and worry about when we’re younger, that we eventually realize matter a lot less than we originally thought:


1. The inevitable frustrations of an average day.

99% of what’s stressing you out today won’t matter a month from now. Sooner or later you will know this for certain. So just do your best to let go of the nonsense, stay positive, and move forward with your life.


2. The little failures you often feel self-conscious about.

When you set goals and take calculated risks in life, you eventually learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important in the long run. We learn the way on the way.


3. How “perfect” everything could be, or should be.

Understanding the difference between reasonable striving and perfectionism is critical to letting go of fantasies and picking up your life. Perfectionism not only causes you unnecessary stress and anxiety from the superficial need to always “get it right,” it actually prevents you from getting anything worthwhile done at all.


4. Having complete confidence before taking the first step.

Confidence is that inner inertia that propels us to bypass our empty fears and self-doubts. On the road of life, we come to realize that we rarely have confidence when we begin anew, but as we move forward and tap into our inner and outer resources, our confidence gradually builds. A common mistake many young people make is wanting to feel confident before they start something, whether it’s a new job, a new relationship, living in a new city, etc. But it doesn’t happen like that. You have to step out of your comfort zone, and risk your pride, to earn the reward of finding your confidence.


5. The intricacies of what’s in it for you.

Time teaches us that we keep almost nothing in this life until we first give it away. This is true of knowledge, forgiveness, service, love, tolerance, acceptance, and so forth. Most of the time you have to give to receive. Such a simple point, and yet it’s so easy to forget that the giving of ourselves, without a price tag, has to come FIRST! It’s the giving that opens us up to grace and progress.


6. Being an online-only activist for good causes.

The internet was a lot younger when my grandma caught me debating people in an online bulletin board. And she reminded me right then that while online is fine, if you truly want to make a difference you have to walk the talk too. So don’t just rant online for a better world today. Love your family. Be a good neighbor. Practice kindness. Build bridges. Embody what you preach.


7. The pressures of making a big difference (all at once).

When we’re young it seems like faster is better, but in time we witness the power of “slow and steady” at work. We come to learn that no act of love, kindness or generosity, no matter how small, is ever wasted. The fact that you can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, is proof that YOU can make a big difference in life and business, even it can’t be done all at once.


8. Quick fixes.

The older your eyes grow, the more clearly they can see through the smoke and mirrors of every quick fix or short cut. Honestly, I used to believe that making wishes and saying prayers alone changed things, but now I know that wishes and prayers change us, and WE change things. It’s our daily dedication that paves the road of progress. All details aside, when it comes to making a substantial change in your life — building a business, earning a degree, fostering a new relationship, starting a family, becoming more mindful, or any other personal journey that takes time and commitment — one thing you have to ask yourself is: “Am I willing to spend a little time every day like many people won’t, so I can spend the better part of my life like many people can’t?” Think about that for a moment. We ultimately become what we repeatedly do. The acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing — growing happens when what you know changes how you live on a daily basis.


9. Having a calendar jam-packed with plans.

Don’t jam your life with plans. Leave space. Over time you will learn that many great things happen unplanned, and some big regrets happen by not reaching exactly what was planned. So keep your life ordered and your schedule under-booked. Create a foundation with a soft place to land, a wide margin of error, and room to think and breathe every step of the way.


10. Being in constant control of everything.

The older we get the more we realize how little we actually control. And there’s no good reason to hold yourself down with things you can’t control. Learn to trust the journey, even when you do not understand it. Oftentimes what you never wanted or expected turns out to be what you need.


11. Blaming others.

Have you ever met a happy person who regularly evades responsibility, blames and points fingers and makes excuses for their unsatisfying life? Me neither. On the average day happy people accept responsibility for how their lives unfold. They believe their own happiness is a byproduct of their own thinking, beliefs, attitudes, character and behavior. And although it takes time to fully grasp this, it’s a lesson worth learning.


12. Obsessing yourself with the numbers.

They’ll try to measure your worth based on what you have, instead of who you are. But you know better than that — shiny objects and flashy figures don’t matter that much. Don’t just chase the money. Don’t just chase the numbers. Catch up to the ideas and activities that make you come alive. Go for the things of greater value — the things money can’t buy. What matters is having strength of character, an honest heart, and a sense of self-worth.


13. The idea of saving certain people from themselves.

Some people will never understand, and it’s not your job to teach or change them. Prioritize your peace today. Seriously, you simply can’t save some people from themselves, so don’t get sucked too deep into their drama. Those who make perpetual chaos of their lives won’t appreciate you interfering with the commotion they’ve created anyway. They want your “poor baby” sympathy, but they don’t want to change, at least not yet — they aren’t ready. And again, it’s not your job to rush them.


14. The selfish and disparaging things others say and do.

If you take everything personally, you will inevitably be offended for the rest of your life, and that just isn’t worth it. At some point, it becomes crystal clear that how people treat you is their problem, and how you react is yours. Start taking full advantage of the amazing freedom that comes to you when you detach from other people’s opinions and antics.


15. Winning arguments.

Don’t define your intelligence or self-worth by the number of arguments you have won, but by the number of times you have confidently told yourself, “This nonsense is just not worth it!” Exit swiftly when you must, because not much is worth fighting about for long. And try not to regret the kindness and respect you have shown to the wrong people — your behavior says everything about you, and their behavior says more than enough about them. Carry on, with grace.


16. Judging others for their shortcomings.

We all have days when we’re not our best. And the older we grow, the more we realize how important it is to give others the break we hope the world will give us on our own bad days. Truly, you never know what someone has been through in their life, or what they’re going through today. Just be kind, generous and respectful… and then be on your way.


17. Society’s obsession with outer beauty.

As you grow older, what you look like on the outside becomes less and less of an issue, and who you are on the inside becomes the primary point of interest. You eventually realize that true beauty has almost nothing to do with looks — it’s who you are as a person, how you make others feel about themselves, and most importantly, how you feel about yourself.


18. Fancy and glamorous physical possessions.

Your personal wish list for big-ticket physical possessions tends to get smaller and smaller as you age into your sunset years, because the things you really want and need are the little things that can’t be bought.


19. Shallow relationships that just keep you busy.

It’s nice to have acquaintances, and it’s great to be friendly. But don’t get carried away and spread yourself too thin. Leave plenty of time for those who matter most. Your time is extremely limited, and sooner or later you just want to be around the few people who make you smile for all the right reasons.


20. Distant future possibilities.

As time passes, you naturally have more of it behind you and less of it in front of you. The distant future, then, gradually has less value to you personally. But that doesn’t really matter, because the good life always begins right now, when you stop waiting for a better one. Remember, some people wait all day for 5pm, all week for Friday, all year for the holidays, all their lives for happiness, and you don’t be one of them. Right now if LIFE! Don’t miss it.


Here’s the most beautiful part, my friend…


You don’t have to wait another 40, 50, 60 years to tap into that kind of wisdom.


It’s already inside of you.


So really, write that list. Take stock of those worries swirling in your mind. It’s okay if it takes a full notebook.


As you’re working on building your Stop muscle, this is a game-changing practice! Once those thoughts are out of your head and onto a piece of paper, your brain can process them from a more detached, analytical perspective, which is what will open the space for you to decide what’s worth your attention.


Once you’ve got it all on paper, ask yourself, “What would the 90-year-old version of me think about this worry?”


Because you know what most elders say they regret most? The time and energy they devoted to worrying.


So imagine that version of you—with all of the grace, wisdom, and confidence that experience brings—reading over your shoulder. Give them the chance to weigh in. Let them decide whether this worry is moving you any closer to your goals.


And if not, choose to let it go.


Will it disappear forever? Maybe not. (Trust me, I wish it were that easy! Haha!)


But each time you exercise that power of choice, each time you listen to that version of yourself, each time you choose to shift your attention, you align yourself with the best version of you.


May we all reach a point in our lives where we have the kind of perspective Marc’s grandmother had. And may we each have a chance to pass that wisdom on to others.


And don’t forget to go check out all of the incredible tools and knowledge Marc and Angel are sharing every day over in their space!


big love always ✨💕

Karen



 

When you're ready, here are 3 ways I can help…

  1. Stop & Shift: This book will teach you a simple yet powerful technique to help you build your mental strength and rise above life's turbulence.

  2. The Visualization Masterclass: Go beyond just daydreaming about your goals and learn how to connect visualization with tangible results.

  3. Leading With A Growth Mindset: Join over 119,000 other learners inside Leading With A Growth Mindset. This comprehensive course will teach you how to strengthen your greatest asset: your mindset, and create a thriving workplace.

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If you still love a good read, welcome to my blog. My hope is that every article will give you at least one tid-bit to help you shape your life in the most beautiful way possible. 😊 WELCOME!

Hi, I'm Karen! 

Hi, I'm Karen.

I've made it my life's work to teach as many people as possible about synergistic trifecta of human potential and transformation: mindfulness, positive psychology, and neuroplasticity.

 

This fusion creates a holistic approach to personal growth, well-being, and resilience, empowering you to thrive, navigate life's complexities with grace, and tap into your fullest potential.


​​I've worked with companies such as Nissan, Golf Channel, Google, Universal Orlando Parks & Resorts, LG and many more. 

Whether I'm teaching from stage, in a conference room, or via Zoom, my #1 mission is to help as many people as possible tap into the power of their mindset and start living more fully. Because when you become better, you make the people around you better, and that's how you make the world a little better, too. 🌱 #BetterTogether

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