Admittedly, I’m one of those people who worry and agonize over things that I’m doing or planning to do. That’s especially true if the task that I’m worrying about is something that I signed up to do for others or for an organization. How many of you can identify with that?
Sometimes it involves things like organizing an event on behalf of an organization or maybe it’s a personal commitment to someone, like taking them somewhere or watching their houseplant while they are away. Whatever it is; if you are like me, you may have a tendency to overthink it, over analyze it and over become overly critical of yourself, if things go awry. You may also become overly critical of your performance of the task after the fact.
Earlier this year, I was one of the two people who organized and presented the annual Fourth of July parade in our little Village. There are lots of tasks and decisions needed to organize and pull off a parade and lots of places where one can look back and think that they might have done a better job. After what was by all measures a successful parade, I was following my natural tendency to be critical of myself for what we accomplished and what we could have done differently. My cohort in the effort listened to my laments for a while; but, finally, he just looked at me and asked, “Did anybody die?”
As I stopped to think about answering that question, it finally became clear to me that I was agonizing over things, most of which couldn’t be changed and which weren’t life threatening or even all that important in the grand scheme of things. Just taking the time to think about that question changed how I looked at the situation and that has served to keep things in my life in better perspective. I’m reminded of a little quote in a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog –
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” (Wayne Dyer)
So, if you. too, let the day-to-day things in life that you face become worries or concerns, maybe asking yourself, “Did anybody die or will anybody die?” because of this decision or your action. You may quickly find that the decisions that you’ve been agonizing over, while important to you and others at the time, are not life threatening. Your life and theirs will go on. Given that revelation, you can then focus on doing the best that you can in the situation. Instead of beating yourself up over not doing something or not making a different decision, be happy that you did your best.
No one died! Get on with your life.