It’s ironic that I blog for Dale Carnegie franchisees because I frequently find myself unable to take my own advice.  For example, I often discuss his Human Relations principles specifically, those about worry.  For examples, see:

Reduce Worry by Living in ‘Day-tight Compartments’ and Turn Your Small Business Dream into a Reality

Truth be told; I worry so much it is literally making me sick because I cannot sleep.  Usually I cannot go back to bed after my son wakes up which is what happened at 3 am this morning.

Dale Carnegie once said, “If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep,” so I follow that advice by getting out of bed and doing whatever needs to be done.  This morning, that meant wrapping gifts, going through mail, planning September and reviewing the schedule for Luke’s birthday party preparations to ensure I don’t miss anything. 

Yesterday at my non-fiction book-club, I met a sweet, ambitious mom who shared her struggles of giving up her full-time job to raise her son.  She completed an MBA in record time before her baby was born to, “…get it out of the way.”  19 months later, she missed working and longed to feel that sense of fulfillment one has when holding a professional role.

I sensed some worry there and confidently told her, “Our generation is SO FORTUNATE.  We can raise our children and work flexible schedules as long as we define what we want in terms of hours spent working vs. at-home with our children and stick to it.  It’s so important to set boundaries!”  …and then I think about my inability to set boundaries both professionally and personally, and I worry about that because quite frankly, it’s practically killing me…and it’s a poor model to show Luke.  I don’t want him to marry someone so wrapped up in worry, she can’t enjoy the few fun moments she has, or sleep.

This morning’s worries included:

  1. I bought Luke a tricycle for his birthday and now worry he may get hurt because we live in a subdivision without sidewalks.  Should I return it?
  2. There are 11 women in Virginia whose original 31 order was lost, and while their replacement order did arrive two weeks ago, I have yet to offer them gift certificates because I haven’t had time to create personal messages and enter the accounting aspects in my back-office.  I worry their first 31 experience was poor and my response rate is awful.
  3. I worry that my husband and I had one chance to go to Hawaii to see my sister when Luke was 19 months, but chose to stay home so we could celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday, and now I don’t when we’ll ever get there with baby #2 due in three months…let alone take a vacation.
  4. It may rain during Luke’s party and I really don’t have anywhere to put guests because we don’t have a basement or formal dining room.
  5. I won’t have enough time to bake all of the vegetarian black bean quesadillas from scratch in time to stay warm for the party, so I’ll have to make them Friday night after I scrapbook May, June and July, and then warm them in the oven before his birthday party.
  6. When I don’t receive a thank you card for gifts I’ve sent, which happened recently, I worry the person or parent did not like it.
  7. A former colleague asked me for input about planning a trip to Spain and France two weeks ago, and I haven’t had time to respond because I’m working seven days per week other than gym, church, family outings and household errands.  I worry she will be annoyed with me.
  8. My in-laws asked me to reschedule my son’s birthday party and I declined because our August schedule was so packed; now I worry I should have revamped the schedule so that they could share his two-year milestone with him.
  9. They will be out-of-town for my husband’s birthday too and I worry that we won’t have time to celebrate because I have a ton of 31 parties booked on Sept. and Oct, which should be a good thing, by the way…but oh no, just another source of worry.
  10. Last night, I attended our annual moms club dinner which was a joy given that I rarely get out for non-work related events.  I had to hold back tears during the slide show of all of the club’s children because there was not one single picture of Luke.  Although I try to take him to at least one event per month in addition to our family’s own zoo, museum, park and other visits, I worry I am not exposing him to enough children…or fun.
  11. When my sis-in-law doesn’t respond to my texts or emails, I worry that she is upset with me.  I would think that we have a strong relationship and she could tell me if something was bothering her, but who knows for certain, so I worry.

Dale Carnegie said, “First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen?  Then prepare to accept it.  Then proceed to improve on the worst.”  Instead of worrying about not applying this principle, I am going to start practicing it.  TODAY.

Photo credit: ivison11