I have a lot of talents. Well, that’s not true. I have a lot of things I consider talents, like drinking liquids incredibly quickly and remembering the lyrics to almost every song I’ve ever heard. I also have the talent of worrying. Yes, I am an expert. You name something, I’ve worried about it. Just last week, I was worrying about how I’m going to work my baby weight off…and I’m not pregnant. I am a grade-A worrier.
Are you jealous of my worrying power? Would you like to worry about everything and feel certain about nothing? It might not be marketable on a resume, but I can teach you how to become stressed and unsure of yourself in just a few simple steps!
1. Always assume everyone is doing the thing you want to do. This is a simple one for beginners. Whenever you begin to comfort yourself by thinking that other people don’t have 4.0 GPAs, think again. Tell yourself that EVERYONE in the world is succeeding, but you. Everyone else can get into Harvard. Everyone else looks great in a bikini. This simple change in thought will immediately send you into questioning everything about yourself, because if everyone else can do it, what the heck is wrong with you?
2. Become distressed about things you didn’t do and never wanted to do. This one is key. There are so many people out there in the world doing things better and faster than you. Some of these things you probably had never thought to do. Once you hear about them, that makes them prime material for worrying and disappointment. An 11-year-old climbed Mount Everest? There’s a great place to start! Immediately become distressed about the fact you never ventured to do it. Do you hate rock climbing? Stew about it anyway! Find sadness in the fact that you never even thought to design a microchip at the age of 10, and someone else did. It’s that simple!
3. If you’re not catastrophizing, you’re doing it wrong. Always assume the worst-case scenario. Link every minor potential mishap to the end result of you living in an old cardboard box down by the river, and you’ll find yourself overreacting to even the smallest misfortunes with ease.
4. Set unrealistic and unachievable goals. One of the things we worry about most naturally are our goals. Am I going to make as much money as I’d hoped to in 10 years? Am I going to get the grades I wanted? These thoughts can easily be transformed into worry material, by setting unrealistic goals. The starting salary for your profession, for example, might be $60K. You should shoot for making two million by your second year out of college. Or you’re naturally a size 10, and everyone in your family is curvy. You should definitely shoot for being a size zero by spring break, even though it’s likely that that’s physically impossible. These unrealistic goals will have you worrying about how you’re going to achieve them in no time!
5. Compare yourself to EVERYONE. I’ve touched on this before, but one of the best ways to throw yourself into a fit of worrying is to stop focusing on yourself and start focusing on everyone else. What is she wearing that you don’t have? What is he doing that you haven’t? How much money are they making? Is it more than you? Questions like these will help you to lose your sense of uniqueness and feel like an average Joe with no real talents before you know it.
If you follow these simple steps, I guarantee that in just five minutes, you’ll be less relaxed, more stressed, and even less prepared to take on the world.
How do you turn yourself into a big ball of worry? Are your tendencies to worry as unrealistic and silly as mine?