Dale Carnegie tells us right off the bat in Part 2 Chapter 4 of, “How To Stop Worrying And Start Living,” that we need to have an effective strategy for dealing with the vast array of worry problems that can arise. Mr. Carnegie says that in order to properly analyze worry problems we need to perform three steps.
Step one; Gather together all the facts. Without having the proper information about a problem one is basically going to make their life hell in worrying about it. This is because they are not even certain that what they are worried about is based in reality.
One has no hope of effectively dealing with any problem without facts about it. They would more than likely have more success avoiding an accident if they drove their car blindfolded than they would if they went about attempting to put their worry problems to bed without the facts.
By the way; you don’t drive with blinders on do you? What? You do? Where do you live so I can avoid the area? It’s nothing personal! Honest! I just don’t have a death wish yet!
In all seriousness though, if you stop to think about it, is it really worth worrying yourself over something you know nothing about? Isn’t losing sleep over something you have little knowledge of kind of like creating a self-induced nightmare?
Mr. Carnegie points out in this chapter of his book, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,” that the facts aren’t what we want them to be or desire them to be. He says that this is where so many folks run into trouble because they are trying to solve their problems based more on what they think they know rather than what they really do know. “This plan never works people!” You do know that, “Right?”
Dale does recognize that it’s very difficult to accurately obtain information about a problem that is worrying us because our emotions are running just a touch bit high. So he suggests two things that might help us when we are in this predicament.
Firstly; He suggests that we pretend that we are gathering facts about a problem for someone else, rather than ourselves. He says that if we view things in this fashion it will help us to alleviate some of the tension brought on by our emotions over the situation. This way we can deal with the problem and collect facts about it from a more objective perspective.
Of course, you will want to write the facts down after you’ve gathered them all in an objective, impartial manner, too. If you try to do it all in your head you’re going to miss things when you are ready to proceed with the next two steps in this process. After all, if you have a clear picture as to what the problem is in a format you can plainly see, isn’t the problem half solved already?
Secondly; Dale suggests that we then start building a defense against ourselves by looking at the situation that is worrying us from the view point of the other parties involved. It’s kind of like pretending that we are going to court against ourselves. Mr. Carnegie’s idea here is that if we go about gathering facts in this manner we can then begin to pull together all the facts that would otherwise displease us to personally face.
Step two; examine the facts. Dale points out to us that at this stage of the game we need to start thinking about the consequences of each action we can possibly take, too, should we decide to move on one or more of them. And, “Yes,” you will want to right this entire part out as well, in order to help you clarify your thinking.
Step three; Make a decision about how we are going to proceed in solving our worry problem, based on the facts we have and our analysis of them. Then, finally and most importantly, act on that decision!
If we don’t make a decision then the problem will usually continue to exist. The other possibility is that because we didn’t make a decision on how to effectively deal with our worry problem someone else will do it for us. So, all in all, it’s really in our best interests to make a decision, based in concrete facts, on how we are going to handle the thing that is worrying us. Then, once we know what we’ve got to do to put the thing to rest, “We need to simply put our plan into action!”
After following through on steps to solving a problem it’s kind of hard to continue to worry about it. Once a plan of action is in place and has begun to be carried out, bringing a situation to a close, things tend to ease in the mind. Yup! Things, “Like sleep,” come more quickly to some folks. Once a stressful problem is dealt with; some of us will even tend to want to run to the coffee pot a little bit less before moving on to writing the next page or mini chapter of our day.