This is a label I’ve worn with shame most of my life. Picture a worrier and you’ll no doubt see some sort of hand-wringing neurotic constantly checking the sky like Chicken Little.
Then a few years ago I heard a radio interview with an astronaut that changed my perspective entirely.
The man in question was Chris Hadfield, who, after flying two space shuttle missions and serving as commander on the International Space Station wrote an excellent biography detailing his experiences. https://chrishadfield.ca/books/
Here’s what he said, “Anticipating problems and figuring out how to solve them is actually the opposite of worrying: it’s productive.”
In his interview he went on to describe how NASA positively encourages, not just its astronauts, but also their family members to share their worries pre-mission. They get them all out on the table and then they assess them and plan accordingly.
In just a few seconds my shameful worriers cloak had become a superhero cape. I wasn’t a mousey worrier, I was the Jason Bourne of scenario planning. A strategist, a planner and, most importantly of all, a survivor.
This post first appeared on the author’s It’s all about being blog in April 2020.
Almost a year after I wrote this, having acquired 101 new things to worry about after jumping head first into self-publishing, I stumbled upon Sarah Painter’s wonderful podcast ‘The Worried Writer.‘ I love Sarah’s books anyway, but finding this was like finding my tribe! Do give it a listen if you can. Love, acceptance and big sigh of relief guaranteed.