Friday, 9 October 2015

From A Nervous Worrier To A Confident Warrior

I was a worrier but now I am a warrior. I am almost 100% sure many people can relate to this. We tend to worry too much. I used to worry about everything and anything I can think of. Sometimes I even joke that maybe this was one of my reasons pursuing an actuarial degree. Actuaries tend to ask a lot of "What if"s throughout their career, but that is one of the qualities that makes them worth a few million dollar. Because I was a worrier. Typically a worrier tends to be more risk averse, as compared to someone who is carefree and confident.


Do you often find yourself worry about things happening around you? I did! In fact most of the things that we worry about never happen! When we are worrying, we give way to anxiety and obliterate peace in our heart. I was always worrying about things. I got worried about my exams, about what to eat for breakfast, lunch and even dinner, my university selection, my interviews, my career, my future, my financial situation, my presentation, my family members... even my neighbours!

But does that really mean a bad thing? Not really if we know how to control our worries, and convert them into our strengths. 

Let me tell you a story. When I was having my PMR Trial in my secondary school, there was this one instant I got so nervous even after entering the exam hall. It was a Malay language written exam, one of the subjects I was afraid of and I was not good at. I stunted and could not write a word. The invigilator was looking at me with a pity face. Everyone around me seemed to have started writing confidently, and the more I looked to my left and right, the more I got nervous. I decided to say a little prayer, then only I managed to start writing my first sentence. That was about 10 minutes after everyone else started writing their exam. I did not do very well for the paper.

I was worried that I will get nervous doing that paper, but decided to do nothing to overcome my worry. And because I did nothing, the thing I am worried about materialised! But it was not only for this Malay language written exam that I got worried. In fact, it was for every single exam! Before entering the exam hall, I will get really worried about how the exam paper will turn out to be. I got worried wondering if I had done enough preparation to sit for the paper. This feeling persisted up until the one day, when I finally realised something that caused a paradigm shift in me.

I can choose not to worry! 

But that doesn't mean I no longer worry about things. In fact, worrying about things is good to a certain extent. It is a natural emotion that provides brain signal of potential bad things happening. If I were to give a speech tomorrow, I will be super worried. But worrying without taking any action will not only consume my time and energy to vanity, it does not give me any benefit whatsoever. So what do I do? I will get ready for it, else I will get stammered on the stage and I would then be embarrasing myself. There goes my reputation and confidence down the drain. So what do I do?

I would get ready the content of the speech, write down the drafts over and over again until I am satisfied, and practice to speak in front of a mirror, or even better if I could find my friends to listen to my speech. Back in university, there were a few times we were required to give a presentation in front of the entire class. So before giving presentation, each of us would practice presenting the slides in front of our own teammates. And we will receive feedback at the end. This undoubtably helped us improve our own presentation. We did well in the end, and I am grateful for my teammates.

So again it is up to you if you want to focus your energy on worrying but do nothing, or you can choose to focus on the solutions that will take away your worries. And because I choose to focus on the solutions, my worries always get vanished. Always. Over the past few years in university, I no longer worry when I walked into the exam hall. Because I had a paradigm shift in my mind. I am confident as I have put in my best possible efforts, and I will do well because God is watching over me. History has repeatedly taught me that I have done well and I am more than capable to attain the similar feat. I became a confident warrior, and I still am!

One more thing about worrying is, we tend to worry things out of our control. WHY?! Say our current economic and political situation in Malaysia, and most recently our haze problem which have been thankfully subsided. I notice people tend to keep complaining about things they have no control over, and they seem happy to do so. Don't you think it is a little unnecessary to complain? Instead being grateful may be what we should practice more often. I get worried over things that I have control over and work on the solutions, but what do I do for things I have no control over?

I hope for the best, and I trust that the pertinent authorities will handle the issue with their best efforts and expertise. For instance, Ringgit has been depreciating and in fact has been the worse performing currency over the past three months. I get it, the currency depreciates and inflation will shoot up simply because of many of our goods are imported, and many people will have to fork out more money to support themselves and their families. Cars become more expensive, putting more strain on us especially young people. The foreign reserve has also declined for quite a significant portion, and Bank Negara is taking all the bullets.

But really, what can we, the members of public, do about it? What I see people doing is keep on worrying and complaining. "Aiyo!" and "Hmph!" won't solve the issue but will only pull ourselves and people around us down. Our recent political situation is probably one of the best upcoming movies that will make a hit on Hollywood if any movie director and producers somehow decided to make this as his/her next movie. Hidden gem here. We tend to focus on the main characters and wonder when the truth will prevail and justice be served. Again we get worried.

We can't probably do anything much at our level, so why bother worrying about these things that are out of our control? We can always pray hard and hope for the best. Pray that the authorities will find out the truth and subsequent actions being taken appropriately, and investors will regain confidence. Economy will start growing again and the bull will return to the stock market. I strongly believe all these things will happen! It is just the matter of time. Why? Because truths and justice always prevail. Always. It may take 5 years, 10 years or 20 years. Eventually we will win, because God is with us.

So the bottom line is this:

Don't worry over things you have no control over, and focus on solutions for worries you have control on. 

Try releasing some unnecessary worries off your shoulder today, and let me know how it goes! I wish you all the best and have a good day!



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