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Letting Go of Fears and Worries About Getting Things Done

“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” ~Unknown

As the days have continued on past the beginning of the New Year, my discontent has been growing as I’ve been thinking (or worrying) about how unmotivated I feel.

The holidays have come to a close, the New Year began, we made wonderful goals for ourselves, and yet, I’ve begun nothing. I wanted to write another article, keep up with my blog(s), organize my house, work on my finances and my fitness, and start new projects.

The holidays were rough to get through this year, but they are over now, and though I know it’s early in the year so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, I still feel a sense of urgency and disappointment that I’m having trouble getting started.

This created more discontent and frustration. What could I possibly share with anyone with my head in this state? So, I did the only thing I thought I could—I let it go.

Sometimes realizations hit you like a ton of bricks, and this one did. Once I let that urgency go, I was able to approach the situation more calmly.

I was then able to realize that I was forgetting one of the most important lessons I’ve learned on my journey to better living: everything is happening as it should be.

This does not mean to live life with complete inaction.

You can’t, for example, bring in your mail, toss the bills on the table, and “let it go.”

The universe isn’t going to pay your bills for you. But letting the fear that you “don’t have enough” to pay your bills keep you from opening them, so as to avoid the scary situation inside, will only help you dig a deeper hole for yourself.

The “letting go” that I am referring to here pertains to the fear and worry.

No matter what the situation is, try to let go of the fear of what’s going to happen. Know that you really do have the power to take care of it. There is always a solution. You are not powerless.

What do I know about it? Plenty. I’ve been in this very situation, three years ago when my husband lost his job. It was so overwhelming that I went into avoidance mode with everything, even as the creditors hounded us.

I fell into a depression, and I caused myself a lot of unnecessary harm by handing myself over to my worries and becoming a victim of my fears.

I could not face the bills, the calls, and the responsibilities.

Once I learned to let go of the fear of what was to come and trust in myself, I was able to see that those big scary problems weren’t so scary after all. And if I had faced them earlier, instead of letting my fear paralyze me, I would have been fine, and not in the 100% worse situation I found myself in.

Inside those envelopes that I was afraid to open there were actually reasonable settlement offers. If I had just stayed calm and faced the problem head-on, it would have been much easier on my credit and my mental health.

I now know that worrying about the future is unnecessary torture. Most of our fear comes from worrying about how much work it will take. Work on ourselves to become better people, work on our finances or to get more organized, work to get that better job, work to build better relationships.

And it does take work. But the more relaxed I became, the more faith I was able to build in myself and the smoother the flow of action became. The fear dropped off, little by little, as I realized I could do it, I could accomplish my goals; the problems I was facing were not going to destroy me. I was capable.

It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. You can start small:

  • Today I will sort the mail (or be grateful for one thing).
  • Tomorrow, I will look at the bills (or take a few moments to center myself in the now).
  • On Thursday, I will look at my finances (or start a gratitude journal or meditate for 10 minutes).
  • On Friday, I will file my receipts (or be more kind to myself and others).
  • This weekend, I will practice it all together and begin my new start.

Break it up; you don’t have to be trapped by an “all or nothing” point of view. Doing one thing each day is better than doing nothing at all.

When each task is completed you will feel accomplished, and your confidence will grow and show you that tomorrow, you will be able to tackle whatever that may bring.

Just remember to be mindful of today; keep this moment, this day’s task in your awareness. Don’t put too much effort into tomorrow and you won’t get yourself too overwhelmed. All you ever really have is this moment.

It took me quite a long time to finally realize that all of my “problems” did not define me—and that even if things are tough, I will be okay.

When you remember that you will always be okay, no matter what, and let go of obsessive worrying, all of your problems start to seem far less overwhelming.

So, as I struggled with my writing, for example, I realized I was blocked because I was striving too hard to force it out of me; I was doing too much.

We all do that at times. We are always striving to get someplace else when what we really need is to just be and trust that answers will come.

I am still astonished whenever I realize this. The universe is perfectly in sync with us if we just trust in it and allow ourselves to be.

So, when you are overwhelming yourself with need and urgency, stop. Breathe, close your eyes, decide what is most important in that moment, and focus on only that. Picture the rest just falling away, like a dandelion shedding its seeds.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go follow some of my own advice.

Photo by AlicePopkorn

Avatar of Nanette Stein

About Nanette Stein

Nanette Stein is a wife and mother of one 17-year-old son. She started her first blog www.confessionsofathinkaholic-ns.blogspot.com a year ago to have a place to share her thoughts and musings. She is amazed by the world that has opened up around her when she finally decided to let it in.

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  • http://lonerwolf.com/ Luna

    I have a huge problem with just letting go. I tend to let so many things pile up, and I’m so mentally bound to them that they hang as a weight around my neck, so that sometimes I feel physically ill trying to labor through my 5 mile high list of things to accomplish. It’s amazing how weighed down with the little things in life we can get! This article is a good reminder to take it one step at a time (and for a futuristic dreamer, that’s immensely hard to do!) Thanks Nanette :)

  • Razwana

    Nanette – you clearly enjoy the sense of achievement – so many of us do, which leads to the disappointed feeling when the achievement euphoria just isn’t there. I can relate for sure.

    Letting go, however – it’s such a conscious decision. I do think it’s gets easier with practice though.

    Great post.

    - Razwana

  • ViridianGirl

    That was an AWESOME post. You have made me smile today. Thank you.

  • Laura

    Thank you for the amazing post; the metaphor of the dandelion is very helpful for me.

  • rayb0rn

    Great post. Letters in my opinion could be opened after breakfast is complete and standing up so as not to interfere with mindful experience of food. Many personal development programs and gurus once taught a sense of urgency. Its natural in this day and age to have many things going on but unnatural to try and focus on all at once. Stepping back and focusing on one thing allows greater “concentration” of thought and time to frame the task as a challenge whilst remembering to give yourself permission to be free.

  • CTAngels

    Thank you.

  • http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/ Vishnu

    hi Nanettte – yes, letting go about future worry and focusing on each day is not only a way to get rid of fear but live life to its fullest. We can’t do anything about tomorrow or what just happened. All we have is the now. And no better way to be mindful of than focusing on the small and big tasks in front of every day.

    I’ve also started trusting the answers the universe provides without forcing it to give me any answers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amanda.decker.773 Amanda Decker

    Thank you for this wonderful post. I myself have feeling overwhelmed and disappointed in myself at the start of this new year. This blog post has helped me put things into perspective. I will be coming back to this for guidance should i need a reminder. Thank you!

  • Nanette Stein

    You are so welcome, Luna! I, too, have felt that weight around my neck. Fortunately, I came across great books and articles that introduced me to the philosophy that we only have the now and worry about the future is futile (though it IS very hard to let go when wondering, “if I don’t worry about it, how does anything get done?”). Surprisingly, I’ve managed, and I’m still here to be able to tell all of you about it. One day at a time, patience and trust that it will work out is all you can do.
    So glad I could help in any way.
    From one dreamer to another…
    Nanette

  • Justme

    I am grateful to have come across you. I am in the motions of practicing trust and confidence in myself and the universe. It’s funny; I was in a perfect place for 4 months a while ago and know all this wisdom but lately; as a 40 year old, i’m the most lost person in the world! I’m just being honest about how I feel…. really I’m pretty level headed! What I most desire to do, is…….
    I DON’T KNOW. I am a mother, artist, healer, caregiver, wife and really good friend. My husband has taken care of the rent and bills and been really wonderful. I haven’t had to work for a year while I figure out the next venture. The idea was to make my own business doing what I’m good at…..still trying to make it more tangiable and I feel a bit guilty that my husband takes care of it all while I take my time being slow about it! I don’t know. I probably need to go back to meditation. Thank you for being here!

  • Nanette Stein

    It certainly does. And it was a difficult post for me, as I was not wanting readers to feel like I have in so many situations along my journey to finding my way through achieving my ‘calm’ in life, “that’s easy for you to say…” It does take practice, it does feel like work. But it was so worth it once I put my ego aside and realized I was worth it!
    Thanks for reading and sharing, Razwana!
    Nanette

  • Nanette Stein

    Vishnu,
    Exactly! I so appreciate hearing from you. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and to comment. It really means alot to connect with you.
    Nanette

  • Nanette Stein

    CTAngels,
    You are most welcome. And I thank you for reading. I really do appreciate it.
    Nanette

  • Nanette Stein

    rayb0rn,
    Very nice. I appreciate this insight. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share with us today.
    Nanette

  • Nanette Stein

    Laura,
    It makes me happy only to know that it helped you in some way. So thankful that you took the time to read it and to post here. It makes my day.
    Nanette

  • Nanette Stein

    ViridianGirl,
    Thank you so much! I am SO glad of that, and now I am smiling. It fills my heart that all of you have such nice encouraging words and that we can contribute to each others happiness!
    Nanette

  • Nanette Stein

    Amanda,
    I am so grateful that this helped you. It’s all I ever want, to open myself and share my experiences so that people know they are not alone in their ‘problems’. Thank you so much for reading and sharing back with me. It means so much, thus continuing a cycle of helping each other!
    Nanette

  • Nanette Stein

    Justme,
    Wow! That was almost like looking in a mirror! I, too, had known all of ‘this’ and sort of let it slide and fell back into that same old rut that I had lived for a long time. I came back to it slowly and then it took my mother’s death and then my mother-in-laws tragic death to really jump start my Shift. (I wrote an article for Tiny Buddha about this, as well, and wrote alot about my journey on my blog). I am also sort of in a crossroads with what to do…I do work, but, while I know I’m doing my best at it, and I know I touch people everyday, I just…DON’T KNOW. But I feel that I’m getting closer to my answer. And I really do trust that everything is happening as it should. I really do. So I have a calm/peace about it. “One day at a time” is my cliche saying! I’m so grateful you read this post and that you took the time to connect with me today. Writing these posts are for me as a reminder, as much as they are for you. We all need them, there is no shame in that.
    Nanette

  • Kelly

    This is a great post and exactly what I needed to hear right now. Thank you so much for it! I will definitely be re-reading it often to remind myself to stay calm, focus on the now, and trust in the universe for the future. Thank you again.

  • Sharon

    This was right on time & an excellent reminder to ‘let go’. I have trouble doing so & find myself being stressed. I’m constantly trying, but many times I find myself spiraling into the abyss of stress & worry. I love the advice ‘Breathe, close your eyes, decide what is most important in that moment, and focus on only that. Picture the rest just falling away, like a dandelion shedding its seeds.” I have printed it and have a copy at my desk & in my car. Thank you for the message!

  • skinnamoncoast

    Going through worst time of my life. I’m not ill thank God, but I am broke and have been fighting to find a job and keep my apartment. I have not managed either. I have 2 weeks from today to be out. I have very little money to afford to move and have been worrying about how I’m going to get it all done. I may have to go back to live with my parents. Not looking forward to it but grateful I have somewhere to go. I feel completely overwhelmed and powerless in my situation. I had an interview, but won’t know for weeks. I don’t have weeks to find out. I’ve been gripped with panic and depression after 2 years of hustling and this last month of INTENSE crisis management. It’s been one thing after another. Even my computer burned out and a new and dear friend loaned me hers. So the Universe does provide. I’m grateful for the outpouring of support I have received as I face my worst fear of having to depend on others and not be able to take care of myself. But I’m grateful for the help I have gotten and people have been kind. Only yesterday did I realize that I need to let go. Let go of “needing” to be here and let go of the struggle this apartment represents for me. Thank you for this post and affirming what I need to do on a spiritual level to take care of myself and my situation.

  • Nanette Stein

    skinnamoncoast,

    I understand your fear and worry. When I read your comment here, I really can understand why you would have such feelings of panic and despair. What stood out the most to me, though, was the many things to be grateful for, as you stated here. I know that when someone is putting a positive spin on someone elses situation it can cause a little anger, as if they “just don’t understand”. I hope I do not come across that way here. It took me a long time in my own situations to get rid of my attachment to my ‘things’ and accept that when one door closed, another one opens. It is hard to ask for help, when we’ve always been conditioned to listen to our ego, but it is such a weight off of our shoulders when we do allow others to help us and we realize the outpouring of love and assistance, as you have, it seems. Maybe going to your parents house won’t be the worst thing, but a great opportunity to reflect on what you want for yourself and to save some money and concentrate on that job you desire. Sometimes we fight to hang on to something that WE think is best for us while the Universe is urging us in a different direction. We often stand in our own way, and it takes a huge push to get us to wake up and realize what it is trying to tell us. I’m reading a great book right now by Wayne Dyer called “Wishes Fulfilled” that is really helping me to focus on what I want with my life. I recommend it, if you are so inclined.
    I am so grateful that I could have helped you in any way with this post. I wish you peace and happiness, and for you to know that you shall have it; you deserve it and it is yours for the taking.
    Nanette

  • Nanette Stein

    Sharon,
    I am so grateful that I could have helped you in any way with this post. What a special gift you have given me by letting me know you have found solace enough in those couple of lines to have printed it out. It means so much to me.
    It takes time, but it is easier to accomplish when we share with each other our own struggles and triumphs.
    Don’t give up; know that you are worth greatness and you are able to achieve it.
    Nanette

  • Nanette Stein

    You are so welcome, Kelly! I am so glad I could share it with you, and so grateful to have been able to connect with you!
    Nanette

  • skinnamoncoast

    Thank you so much! I have only today “accepted” my situation and with that I sent out an email to friends asking for help. Several have offered to help me clear out. I was very selective in who I reached out to, knowing that everyone is not capable of jumping into someone’s sinking boat. But I am very lucky. My mom and I don’t have a great relationship which is another thing that scares me. But again, at least I have somewhere to go. I am still hoping for a miracle while I pack. If anything, this is temporary and I could use a break from all the stress. I did actually apply for a job I think I’d like, so I am doing my best to be optimistic. Thank you for your well written post that so succinctly expressed my (and many others’) exact emotions. And yes, I love Wayne Dyer, and am familiar with Wishes Fulfilled. I will probably be doing a lot of reading to keep my mind/spirit aligned. Believing I am worthy of all the support I have been receiving is a journey as well, but one I’m happy to take. Thank you again!

  • http://twitter.com/JohnLThornton John Thornton

    Thanks for this excellent post. I’d write more about my appreciation but I’m off to tackle the big pile of laundry I’ve been putting off for ages! Your sharing helped.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AdiaEng Amy Eng

    You are right, Nanette! The universe works in mysterious ways. I needed this post today!

  • Mel

    Thank you so much, just what i needed, from another thinkaholic :D

  • Nanette Stein

    Mel,
    It’s my pleasure to have connected with you!
    Keep thinking; keep dreaming!
    Nanette

  • Nanette Stein

    I’m so glad to have been a part of that, Amy. Thank you so much for reading my post and taking the time to let me know what you think, It means the world…you just don’t know!
    Nanette

  • Nanette Stein

    John,
    That made me smile, for sure! I am so glad you liked it and that I could have helped you in any way…
    Doing laundry right now, myself!
    Nanette

  • Sandra Louise walsh

    Awesome! Thank you! Just what I needed. I’m feeling overwhelmed by a massive change that I’m undertaking and also keep saying to myself that things will work out ok if I just let go and trust that the universe is doing its job – it’ll happen when it’s meant to and there’s no use getting stressed because things aren’t happening as fast as I’d like them to!

  • Nanette Stein

    Sandra,
    It’s true! But it’s also true that it is so very difficult for us to let go, especially if we’ve been conditioned our whole lives by either our families or society that we must hold on tight to what we’ve got or it might go away. We identify too much with “stuff”, be it titles or reputations or material things, and don’t want to let them go. We don’t know what would happen to us, then. It’s scary to let go and trust in something you can’t see and not know how things will turn out. But our feelings…when we learn to feel the love of the Universe…that changes everything.
    I wish you much, much luck with all of your endeavors.
    Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to respond here today!
    Warm regards,
    Nanette

  • m)O(e

    Letting go has always been very hard for me and it’s probably contributed to my depression over the years, with unexpected deaths, expected ones and other hurdles along the way. Tiny Buddha always has something positive to say to help me see things in a different perspective. Thanks! m)O(e

  • Nanette Stein

    M)O(e,
    You never know what someone else may be going through that can compare to your own sadnesses until you open yourself up and share with someone. That is what makes this forum such a great and inspiring place. Because we open up and share our experiences, we connect with each other in a most supportive and beautiful way. I am so glad to have helped in any way and I am so glad you shared with me, as well.
    I don’t believe anyone meets by accident. My other two post here at tiny buddha are about just what you are speaking of. Unexpected loss, depression/anger. It is my hope that we all can continue to heal by realizing we are all connected and by remaining judgement free.
    Namaste,
    Nanette

  • http://www.facebook.com/chloe.m.smith Chloe May Smith

    Hello Nanette. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this advice. I was lead to this post from a string of links, and I think the the universe wanted me to read it. It is exactly what I needed. I am due to move apartments in the next few months and am in a constant state of worry about time and money. Before Christmas I had gotten myself to a lovely happy place and I seem to have lost it again. Your post reminded me that if I have faith and confidence everything will be just perfect.
    Have a wonderful day Nanette. You have made mine much happier :-)

  • Nanette Stein

    Chloe,

    I am so very touched by your words. You, and everyone else here, may never know what it means to me that you have reached out to me to let me know that I have helped you. It is my own life goal to use my experiences to help others to know that change and happiness is possible, no matter the situation. When you reach out to me like you have, it further proves that the Universe is synchronicity in action! I am so very grateful for you. Wishing you all the best on your journey.

    With much sincerity,

    Nanette

  • http://relationship-consciousness.webs.com/ Claude Lagang

    This really helps me to get things done yet not in stressful situation. Thank you so much for sharing your thought with us.

    Stay blessed :)

  • Nanette Stein

    You are so welcome, Claude, glad I could help!
    Warmest regards,
    Nanette

  • Antony

    The last paragraph made me chuckle. So true and great advice, thanks for sharing