Things aren't always within our control, but what we can control is whether or not we waste our time worrying. As an active entrepreneur, your energy is too valuable to spend fixating on the little things. That's why it's important to make a conscious effort to let go of your worries and prevent them from affecting your day-to-day work.
Allow yourself to let go of what you can't control.
It may sound simple, but one of the most effective ways to stop worrying about things beyond your control is to give yourself permission to stop. Blair Thomas, co-founder of First American Merchant, a business loan and payment processing company, places great value on this mindful tactic.
"Some of the best advice I've ever received was from a loss manager at a large retail chain who told me very simply to 'control your controllables.' This is the practice of learning to control the things that are within my power to do so, and not get hung up on those that aren't," he says. "It's an old adage, and an effective one, as it gives us permission to shed unnecessary responsibility."
Write down the worst thing that could happen.
Worries can often spiral out of control until you suddenly find yourself imagining the worst-case scenario. Christopher Kelly, co-founder and president of service and design company Convene, advises confronting your worst-case fears head on.
"Ask yourself, 'What's the worst thing that can happen?' and write it down, in detail," he says. "The large majority of things that you worry about are probably not as critical to your future as your mind makes them out to be. Most times, the worst case is staying exactly where you are right now -- that's not that bad."
Talk it out with fellow business owners.
The support of other entrepreneurs (who are oftentimes experiencing the same pitfalls) can help big worries feel more manageable. Robert De Los Santos, CEO of inflatable party rentals company Sky High Party Rentals, appreciates the feedback and encouragement he receives from his peers.
"I recently joined a monthly forum with other business owners to talk openly and honestly about my business problems. What's most important is that I'm not sugarcoating anything, which leads to more valuable feedback," says De Los Santos. While he joined a monthly forum, you can similarly seek advice in both formal and informal settings.
Outlining the value that fellow business owners offer, he says: "Other business owners are going through the same scenarios, and sometimes far worse than my own. I find solace in knowing that I'm not alone, and I now feel like I can take on anything."
Treat your thoughts and energy like money.
"Worrying is an unproductive activity, so be rigorous about using your thoughts and energy wisely," says Roger Lee, CEO of 401(k) provider Captain401. He advises thinking of your energy as money that is wasted when you spend too much of it on worrying.
"Ask yourself: Is worrying today going to change the outcome of this problem? What's the worst possible outcome if I just leave this problem alone? What else could I be doing?" Lee says. "Manage your own expectations and remind yourself that, like money, you don't have an infinite amount of time and energy."
Keep a gratitude journal.
Nicole Munoz, the founder and CEO of StartRankingNow, an SEO and marketing company, focuses on the positives through the use of a gratitude journal, which keeps those worries at bay. She says, "When you concentrate on the good things in your business and personal life, it takes some of the power out of those things you can't control."
"You don't need to keep a physical journal, but keep those positive thoughts front and center in your mind, and you'll find that the other concerns fall to the side," Munoz explains. "You might not be able to control the situation, but you can control how you think about it."