For many of us worry, anxiety, and fear stand in the way of being effective, achieving balance and allowing our strengths and talents to come to the surface. Worry and anxiety are all part of the human condition. On one hand they reveal things that require our attention, but on the other hand, when we allow worry and fear to dominate our mind, we can become ineffective and stuck.

The Greek word for worry is merimnao which is a compound word comprised of two Greek words from the verb merizo (divide) and nous (mind). Worry and fear causes division in our mind, splitting thoughts between today and what may happen in the future.

When we worry, we have a divided mind. Anxiety splits our energy between the priorities of the day and what we anticipate may be tomorrow’s problems.

The best way to deal with future issues is to do as much as possible today to complete a task and reduce the potential for future problems or say no to the request. Too often we end up trying to please everyone and please no one. We only frustrate and disappoint ourselves, sometimes adding to low self- esteem, anxiety or even depression.

So, what do we do? Recognize that worry is an indicator of an issue that needs addressing and then set the objective of addressing the problem. Start by identifying what resources are required and then set a goal and a timeline for completion. Resist the tendency to procrastinate. If needed, make yourself accountable to someone. Ask others for assistance. Move beyond – ready, aim, aim, aim… and act. Stop pondering and reflecting – do something! A small step in the right direction is better than remaining stuck and feeling trapped.

Where are you at as you read this? What’s on your “To Do” List? What has been there for days, weeks, months, or even years. The task or issue has become commonplace, and is like a fixture you’re used to seeing but not doing anything to eliminate.

I encourage you to take one item that you keep worrying about and act. Take a step that moves you forward. Alternatively, is it time to simply drop it? Are you allowing anxiety and fear to remain active in your mind just because you’re not saying no?

I’ve found the best strategy sometimes is to decline the invitation, not volunteer to help, or simply say no.

Remember, “no” is a complete sentence.