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ParentingPanicButton » Parenting Tips–If you’re going to worry…

Parenting Tips–If you’re going to worry…

“If you are going to worry, you might as well pray”—

“Probability trumps possibility”

“Waiting for the other foot to drop…”


by Rick Concoff, M.A.


Hi, I’m Rick and I am a worry-holic!  I am a catostrophizer.  I am a creative “worst case scenario person.”  I have certain things I worry about and certain things that I don’t.  The other night, I had a vision of myself on my death bed and wondered if my last words would be “Wow, the other shoe never dropped!”


I worry about:

My granddaughter

My children


Heart attacks, cancer

Serious illness

Death, Life after death

Doing something wrong

People being upset with me

My car getting broken into

War in the world


Missing an appointment or forgetting to do something

Losing my job

Becoming destitute

Being incarcerated for no reason

Getting an angry email or phone message

That I am not worrying enough… that I am worrying too much!


used to worry about:
Blood pressure

My kids

Getting older


I don’t worry about:

Natural disasters


Getting mugged


My Parents

My car



Wow!  Try this exercise, making these two lists: “worries”, and “not worries”.  I come up with many more worries than not-worries.  The reality is that most of us worry to some degree.  Worry doesn’t feel good, it isn’t healthy, and it uses a lot of time and energy.  Most often, things come out okay.   Worry makes us and those around us anxious and uneasy. Worry irritates your friends, causes others to worry, and can go in circles, eventually replicating “obsessive compulsive disorder”.


Then why do we worry?



We think it will prevent something from happening

We think it will motivate us to do a task

We think it will keep us honest

We think if we expect the worse, we can predict the future

We think if we worry that we did not get the “A”, we will get it.

We think it gives us energy.


However, common sense tells us that worry is a human activity that is either neutral or negative.  The next time you feel yourself worry, remember these things:


1.  Either do it right now, put it on a long-term or short-term to-do list.  Decide to do it later or forget about it.  Know that if it is important, it will come back.


2.  Remind yourself what my dear friend, Larry, may his soul be for remembering, said about worrying, “Probability trumps possibility!”   This means that if your doctor orders a test just to make sure you don’t have some terminal condition or disease, think of the statistics and realize that the probability is 1 in 10,000 or 1 in 100,000!   Your odds may be better at winning the lottery than for getting that terminal disease.


3.  Walk, jog, bike, dance or do sit-ups


4.  Compartmentalize your worry, put it in your calendar ….ie. Today from 1-1:30  I will worry about getting audited.   And then, I am done.


5.  Remember that worry has no magical power.  It necessitates a great deal of faith and conviction to participate.   We treat it as if it powerful and enabling.  We often think of faith as following or believing in something without proof.  Yet, I think it is truly the opposite.  Faith has power and is enabling, worry has no magical power.


So, remind yourself…


“Faith is believing in what you know.”


“Probability trumps possibility.”


“If you are going to worry, you might as well pray.  Prayer is the positive flipside of worry.”


“Today I wasn’t perfect.  When I woke up I was pretty sure I was going to do 80% of my day right and 20% less than right.  “Hey, that’s not bad.  80% is a B!”  So when I had hard moments, instead of beating myself up, I say quietly, “80/20.”


It turns out that you can’t be grateful and worry at the same time – Try it!

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