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Are You Guilty of 'Sweating the Small Stuff'

Updated on January 14, 2022
cherylone profile image

I have three children and seven grandchildren. I worked full time while raising my family. I have been there.

Worrying about the little things......
Worrying about the little things...... | Source

What 'Sweating The Small Stuff' Means

Basically, a person who sweats the small stuff is someone who worries about every tiny detail of everything. For instance: they might be hosting a party and they will worry about: enough food, house clean enough, space for everyone, enough drinks, forget anything, outfit okay, fire in the fireplace or no, outside or in, the list is very lengthy and goes on throughout the night. The problem isn't that someone might worry about getting these things completed, it is that someone might worry about these things even after they have taken care of them. And they make up things to worry about, for example: what if they don't like my table decor; what if I offended them on my invitation; they cut the phone call short so they must be mad at me or even something like--I've lost weight, will everyone be mad because I weigh less? The worries are endless and stressful to the max.

Ten Steps To Free You From "The Small Stuff"

  1. Like yourself.
  2. Like what you do.
  3. Be confident.
  4. Give yourself credit where credit is due.
  5. Give others credit when they have earned it.
  6. Accept when you are wrong.
  7. Ask questions when you need to.
  8. Take a moment to assess a situation before you react.
  9. You cannot do everything so stop trying.
  10. Be happy with what you have.

It is going all wrong.
It is going all wrong. | Source

Like Yourself

Before you do anything to improve yourself or your worries, you must like yourself. Take a look in the mirror and remember that you are who you are. You can improve your behavior or stop a bad habit, but you cannot change your inner self. So take a moment, introduce yourself to you, and like what you see. Don't worry about change, that will come as you mature and learn new things. It is the person within that is important right now. Liking yourself stops the questions about what to do. It will help you to see how great you already are. You will suddenly understand so much if you just relax and like yourself.

Remember this important step: no matter what you look like, what your background is, and/or what your financial situation is, or anything else that might come up, you are a good person inside, or at least you can be.

Like What You Do

This does not mean that you have to quit your job today because you don't like it. It means you should actually determine if the job is worth keeping (in other words the pros and cons of the job) and if it isn't worth keeping, then you can start actively looking for another one (still working while you train and search for that dream job). Also, don't do things because other people are doing them and want you to do them. A good example of this would be crafting. Perhaps you do it as a hobby. It is okay to do crafting if you like to craft. I love it which is why I thought of it. But if you are just crafting because everyone else is, then stop doing it. Do the things you like and let others choose for themselves. That will eliminate the worry of what 'should I do and how should I do it. Do what you like so you can like what you do.

Never believe you should do or be something you are not just because someone else told you to do it.

Be Confident

Are you good at many things? Can you do many things well? Do you know how to run many pieces of equipment? Do you learn fast? Do you get along well with everyone? Are there more things that you can do well? Then be confident in yourself. Being confident isn't being in charge or knowing more than others know. Being confident is knowing you and trusting in yourself. Being confident is being relaxed with yourself. The stress about whether you will do good or bad is gone because you are confident with yourself. And whether others feel the same way about you is irrelevant, only how you feel counts at this time.

If you know you can do it, then do it and stop worrying about it. Will you make a mistake? Yes, many, but everyone else does as well. Think of the number of mistakes scientists make before they find a solution.



Give Yourself Credit Where Credit Is Due

Everyone likes to bask in the spotlight every now and then, right? So blow your own horn when you do something that is worthy of the spotlight. Besides, it makes you look good in the boss's eyes, or others who are important to you. Don't go too far though. Blowing your horn too often can be big trouble. The boss will become suspicious. Co-workers will get angry. No one will want to work with you. Eventually, you will become a liability.

Give Others Credit When They Have Earned It

Yes, we often forget that we are not alone in the things we do. But giving others the credit they deserve will eliminate anger from them, the stress in the relationship, and worry about what to say and how. We all like to look good in the eyes of others. Getting well-deserved credit means you pass on the baton, so to speak, and get it back with great fanfare. Besides, you should always look forward to when your chance in the spotlight will come. Looking back and being jealous of those presently in the spotlight can 'stink' in the long run. Give them their chance, then stop worrying about how to do something correctly because they already did it for you. Now all you have to do is perfect it.

Yup, Looking Back Can Stink


Accept When You Are Wrong

No one person can know everything, including you. Will lying to the boss about who made the mistake in the report make you look good at that moment? Maybe. Will lying about a friend or family member make you look good? Maybe, and maybe not. The truth comes out eventually. When it does, things can get really hot really fast. A saying I learned when growing up: 'Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.' I don't know who first said it but it is so true. With that in mind, try admitting that you made a mistake. This will make you look better in the long run than those who would lie. This will also make you look better in the eyes of those who count in your life. However, in the reverse; if you did not make a mistake, then speak up. Taking the blame for others all the time ultimately makes you look guilty all the time, even when you are not guilty. Your web of lies will eventually catch up to you. But, if you accept the blame when it applies, the stress of deceit, and its results, will be gone. What an insurance policy!

Admitting When You Are Wrong Is A Great Insurance Policy For Your Future


Ask Questions When You Need To

How dumb would it be if you said you understood something when you didn't? How dumb is it to think that asking a question will make you look dumb? Asking questions is not dumb, it is smart. How can you possibly know about something if you don't ask? I have learned one thing that has been proven correct time after time. It is: there is no such thing as a stupid question. So ask, then you will know the answer. I bet all of those around you were wondering the same thing, but they were afraid to ask. You can be their hero! Just saying. Oh yes, the stress of "I don't know" will then be gone.

You Could Be Their Hero


Take A Moment To Assess The Situation Before You React

Unconsciously, we often behave based on past experiences. This means that your behavior might not be appropriate but will come from your heart. This could make things worse. Take a moment to assess the situation. Take a moment and ask yourself: what is happening, who is involved, why are they behaving this way, when did it start, where is it happening and how can it be stopped? These are the questions you should ask yourself before you react to any given situation. You may not have all of the answers, but you will have a better understanding of the situation. This means that your reaction will be more politically correct and will usually help to diffuse the situation rather than make it worse.

Just For Fun

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You Cannot Do Everything, So Stop Trying

Is this you? I have to clean the house, go to the bank for cash, pick up dry-cleaning, gather the invitations, prep the food, pick up the kids, take the kids to the baby-sitter, get dressed, greet the guests....... How many more things do you think you can do in one day? You cannot do it all. You are not superman or wonder woman, even they couldn't do everything. You are a human being. Ask for help and don't be embarrassed that you had to ask. Stress levels go through the clouds if you try to do forty-eight hours worth of stuff in twenty-four hours. So they don't do it the way you do, they aren't you. The task they had, however, is done. Give them the credit for it and move on with getting your stuff done. And don't forget to soak in the tub or stand under a hot massaging shower before the event takes place. Now, the stress about something you needed to do is minimized. Those clouds are for watching, not worries.

The Clouds Are Beautiful, Worries Are Not


Be Happy With What You Have

Ah, keeping up with the Jones's. We try so hard to have everything they have, but better. Well, stop that right now! You don't need what they have, you only need what you need. What would a bachelor do with a shoe closet? What would a beauty queen need a tie-dye shirt for? You need to decide what you need, what you can afford, and what you really want. Now, instead of looking at the other person and thinking 'I want that', look at them and think 'wow, nice'. The stress of keeping up with the Jones's or Adams' or Believeit's is gone. You don't need theirs because you have your own. Besides, getting what you need and can afford will also keep those debts in line. No worries there. Stress, get lost. And, when they get a brand new car that just came off the lot you can smile. The debt of the car and the stress of a possible scratch will haunt them, not you.




Okay, now that you have the basics, you are good to go, right? Well, not quite. You need to keep a few short rules in mind:

  1. Make the obvious choices even if you don't like them. The stress about that will give you wrinkles and a headache.
  2. Keeping things simple and within your price range will keep all those stressful debt worries at bay. Worrying about them will do more than give you a headache, they will cause you to make decisions that you might regret later. Who needs to worry about that?
  3. Relax, even if things go well, there will always be something that goes wrong or doesn't go quite as planned. Expect it, then you won't be so upset when it happens. Worrying about whether or not something will go wrong will just ruin your enjoyment of when they go right.
  4. DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF! You now have the tools you need to avoid the worry about all the little things that can go wrong, so don't worry about them. Besides, life sends a lot our way; if you get stuck on the small things, you might let the big important ones get away.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Cheryl Simonds


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