“It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there’s nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.” – Wayne Dyer
We all have worries in our lives that cause us to lose focus on what we’re trying to do. We worry that people will love us, we worry that those around us will look favorably on us and we worry that we will be accepted in so many different ways.
In the animal rescue world, there’s a lot of worry that further exacerbates the problems that already exist. The problems that we face while trying to save animals, end up seeming being overwhelming or seemingly impossible to solve, and we wallow in them, unable to see past them. Whether our worry is how the next animal will be pulled from a bad situation in time, or whether we are worried whether a transport leg will fill, there are plenty of opportunities and situations where we can become engrossed in worry and paralyzed with inaction.
Science has shown over and over again that humans are really not capable of multi-tasking, rather they are capable of quickly shifting their attention from one task to the next. [Don’t believe me? http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95256794] What happens then, while you are stuck in worry mode on a particular problem, unable to multi-task with solutions at the same time? Your emotional self takes over, and clouds your ability to see past the worry and focus on the solution.
Worrying is an even more troublesome issue because it’s an emotion and something we cannot easily control. And we all know how much emotion there is in animal rescue already! But remember that as your attention is focused on worrying about the issue at hand, your attention is not focused on seeing alternatives to the problem, or proactively planning to not encounter this situation again. The worry becomes the problem and things compound from there.
I know I’ve used this quote before but it’s one of my favorites:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs