These are the results of the “Worry Poll” I ran on LinkedIn last week. I am deeply saddened to see that 59% of respondents said they spend 2-4 hours each day worrying.
When I poll participants during my well-being trainings, 55-57% of lawyers and law firm professionals have consistently reported that they spend 2-4 hours each day worrying.
What is triggering all this worry and anxiety?
What I hear when I speak to professionals across the country is that living in uncertain times has skyrocketed worrying. We have all experienced a great deal of uncertainty over the past 3 years. First, COVID lockdown, which lasted a lot longer than we could have imagined. Then a number of false starts at returning to “normal.” Now, trying to adapt to a new work environment in an economy that’s very uncertain. There’s so much we don’t have control over, and that’s cause for worry, right?
What if we trained our minds to focus on all we do have control over?
During my well-being trainings, I urge participants to focus on managing their mindset. Every day there are external things that we can’t control, but if we train ourselves to focus on the things we do have control over, we are likely to feel less worry.
Is this hard to do? YES! It’s really hard and sometimes I fail, like last week when the one year anniversary of the Ukraine War had me deeply worried.
But imagine if we used the 2-4 hours we spend worrying each day on challenging our fear thoughts and giving them less power over us. What if every time a worry popped into our mind we said, “I’m not interested!” and instead chose to think about what is going well today?
Uncertainty in our external environment will always be here, but learning to manage our mindset and train ourselves to create internal certainty is something we do have control over—not every day, but more often than we think.