It all started the first day I took Kailyn to the babysitter. The thought of leaving her at all, let alone with a woman I barely knew, was enough to kill me. I walked up to the babysitter’s house knocked on the door and handed over Kailyn, still in her car seat, plus the diaper bag stuffed full of tons of extra diapers, wipes, and bottles.
I hopped back in my car and quickly backed out. I couldn’t fight the well of tears that were pooling in my eyes. I cried the whole entire day at work. My boss told me to go home, but I didn’t. I knew this was something I had to get used to.
I worried. And worried, and worried. This went on for weeks until I talked to my Dad about what was going on.
While he did sympathize with the fact that I really just wanted to stay at home with my baby, he also offered me a piece of important information.
[Tweet “Worrying is like a rocking chair – it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere.”]
Now you might be thinking that I did have control of this situation. I could’ve just been a stay at home mom and avoided all the worry. But believe me, I tried.
My then husband didn’t seem to think that me not working was a good idea. He wouldn’t budge on his decision and I felt stuck.
Everything seemed to be out of my control and it made me miserable. I needed a solution.
Focus on What You Can Control
In my situation one thing seemed to be out of my control: I had to go to work and Kailyn couldn’t go with me.
What was in my control though, was choosing the babysitter that I left Kailyn with and making the most out of my non-working hours.
Luckily, I got the babysitter choice perfect the first time around. My girls have stayed with the same woman their entire lives. She and her family are like our family and I completely trust her. Which brings me peace of mind.
By focusing on the things I could control I (very slowly) started to eliminate the worrying and guilt.
The same choices apply to all parts of life. Some things are just out of your control and trying to change them is a waste of your time and energy. You have to focus on what you can control.
Apply it to Your Money
If you’re just starting to turn your financial life around the changes you need to make can seem overwhelming.
If you’re buried in debt you worry about the mess you’ve created. If you’re underemployed you worry about how you’ll pay the bills. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck you worry that you’ll never pull your head above water.
So what do you do?
You look at the things you can control like your spending, and to a certain degree how much money you make and you take action.
You can’t go back in time and erase all of your debt. You can’t go back in time and get your degree. What you can do is cut your budget back and start paying down your debt or go back to college and get your degree now.
Apply it to Your Life
There are plenty of things that are in your control. By taking charge of those of those things and not dwelling on what’s outside of your influence you can improve whatever situation you’re in and will be one step closer to creating a life that you love.
Try applying this to your life this week. Take a look at what’s in your control in whatever situation has you worried or stress. Start taking action on what you can and stop worrying about what you can’t control.
P.S. I’m doing this with Ava’s temper tantrums right now. She’s going through a stage and while I can’t control her throwing fits about everything, I can control the way I react. It’s made a tremendous difference in my stress levels and her attitude in just one week!