I was stunned by my failure. It was almost as if someone had struck me a blow on the head. My stomach, my insides, began to twist and turn. For a while I was so worried I could not sleep…
Finally common sense reminded me that worry wasn’t getting me anywhere; so I figured out a way to handle my problem without worrying. It worked superbly. I have been using this same anti-worry technique for more than thirty years. It is simple.
- Ask yourself “what is the worst that can possibly happen?”
- Prepare yourself to accept it if you have to.
- Then calmly proceed to improve on the worst.
I probably would never have been able to do this [reduce my business loss of $20,000] if I had kept on worrying, because one of the worst features about worrying is that it destroys our ability to concentrate. When we worry, our minds jump here and there and everywhere, and we lose all power of decision. However, when we force ourselves to face the worst and accept it mentally, we then eliminate all those vague imaginings and put ourselves in a position in which we are able to concentrate on our problem.
Carnegie, Dale. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. Suffolk: The Chaucer Press, 1948.