All My Worrying Paid Off

My business partner and I once experienced a “win” we weren’t sure would ever come. We had complete buy-in from our potential client, wrote a slam dunk proposal, and heard nothing but great feedback from his team. In fact, we had a pending schedule for the whole roll-out.

Then, we heard nothing. Then, we heard that our champion’s boss had left, and that the whole thing was up in the air until further notice.

So we moved on…sort of.

I say sort of because I don’t move on. I worry.

I worry about what I didn’t do:

Maybe I should have…bid less money, bid more money, followed up more, followed up less, checked the proposal for split infinitives, eaten protein instead of a popover for breakfast, not lied as a 4-year-old when I told my mom that my friend Aisha had pushed me in the sticker bush when really I had crawled there myself because it looked like too good a hiding place to resist.

I worry about what to do next:

Maybe I should…follow up more, follow up less, forget about it, offer to fly directly to the client and do a jig (no, I definitely shouldn’t do that), go running, quit my job and take up something less risky like knitting.

The amazing thing about worriers is that we can find any reason why things might fail.

My partner is not a worrier. He is a pray-er. When he can’t control something, he gives it to God, and he goes for a walk. Some might call this letting it go to the universe.

Then seemingly out of the blue, we got a call stating that the client wanted to move forward with our proposal. All my worrying paid off. Or was it all his praying? The truth is, I’ll never know. But I do know that while I worried, I expended energy, but didn’t deliver anything new to myself or the client. An efficiency expert would say that is a rather inefficient use of energy. In fact, it’s a bit like flailing around under a sticker bush.

So, as a result, I’ve concluded this:

  • Worry is useful only when it drives us to take action. Once it becomes obsessive, it’s only useful as kindling for prayer.

What are you worrying about today? Can you pray about it instead–or let it go to a higher power or purpose?

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