You’re walking down the street, and you’re worried about being late for meeting someone.
You’re anxious about what they might think of you. You pass some people and worry a bit about what they think of you, without realizing you’re doing it.
You’re worried about some things at work, and all the things you have to do in your personal life (taxes, errands, bills). You have this feeling you should be doing more, doing something else. All the time.
You worry about how you look, about how you’re perceived, about how you’ll do, about whether you’ll fail, about how much you have to do, about what you don’t have, about what you’re missing out on, about how you compare to others.
Don’t worry, you are not alone. We all worry about these things.
Here’s the thing: in all of these cases, you’ll be OK. Life will turn out just fine.
We’re always worried about what might go wrong, about the bad things people think about us, and so on. We’re focused on the bad outcomes only.
Those bad outcomes are just a few possibilities out of many, and they’re unlikely to come true.
And even if they do (let’s say someone thinks badly of you), the bad outcomes rarely ever mean anything disastrous for our lives.
Even if the bad things come true, you’ll be OK.
Picture the things you’ve worried about in the last few years: little things mostly. And in all of those cases, you turned out fine. Life didn’t collapse.
If you start to build confidence that you’ll be OK, you can let go of the worries (when you notice them). You can feel good, rather than being consumed by worry and anxiety all the time.
You walk down the street, relaxed, with a smile on your face.
Inputs from zen habits