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Hey there, and welcome back to another episode of the Profitable Mindset podcast.

Welcome to the Profitable Mindset, a show dedicated to teaching you the skills you need to build a profitable product-based business that makes you feel free and fully in control. Here’s your host, Charlotte Smith.

Hey there, and welcome to episode number 18 of the Profitable Mindset podcast, How To Stop Worrying Both About The Little Things And The Big Things. I really want to help you minimize your worry, which is why I’m doing this episode. Because as I talked about in episode 17, worry can lead to making us sick in life and it does show up for all of us, so we need to learn how to manage it so that we can be happy, but of course, healthy and have a thriving business because worry will stand in the way of you achieving your business goals, too.

In this episode, I’m going to give you four steps that will help you stop worrying, and it’ll help you learn to manage it going forward. But first of all, I want to take a second, I’m going to read a review, and even before that, happy Thanksgiving, you guys. This is coming out the day after Thanksgiving. So by the time you hear it, our Thanksgiving will have happened, and I know we had an amazing one because we do every year. But since I’m recording it a week early, we’re taking our turkeys to the butcher tomorrow. We do them fresh for Thanksgiving, and our customers love it. We turn it into a big pickup party. So that’s what I’m excited about right now. Today is the last day for our Thanksgiving turkeys, can’t wait. But I hope all of you had the most amazing Thanksgiving day and a fabulous meal as well. I just love it. It’s my favorite holiday of the year, I think.

Now I want to get to an iTunes review. This one was extra special. I just loved what they had to say. And if you haven’t left a review, go please do that. It really helps keep the podcast going because it shows it to more people the more reviews we get. Now, today’s review, big shout out to Perry Podes, P-O-D E-S, and I hope you will email me and tell me who you are. I can never tell from your iTunes handles who this is, and I just love the way you write and I love what you wrote. I’d like to say thank you in person, so send me an email.

But anyway, the review is titled, “Lone Ranger Versus An Experienced Coach. That was me going at it lone ranger style, trying to learn what I needed to learn to run a successful farm business, researching, learning and making progress by trial and error, wishing I had someone who could cut to the chase and tell me the essentials, what to focus on, pitfalls to avoid and how to tie it all together. Enter Charlotte. Subscribe and get coached. You’re going to want to take notes and then roll up your sleeves.”

Thank you so much. Like I said, let me know who you are because I want to say thank you in person too. And as this person mentions in there, there’s so many things you can learn that will help you build that to profitable farm sooner versus later, and learning how to manage your worry is a huge part of that. That’s something I see holding a lot of people back. So let’s dive back into it.

I really had to start working on this a few years ago. About five years ago, my worry was out of control. In 2015, my son graduated high school and he had decided in middle school that he was going to go into the Marine Corps. So I knew that was his plan after high school. I was happy for him, I supported his decision, and he had a ship date for August, which was a couple months after graduation. So before he left, we had all kinds of plans. After school was out, before his ship date, we were going to take a trip to the beach. We had family barbecues plan so everyone could say goodbye, and we were going to create these memories because he was going to be gone for the most part of four years.

So then what happened, it was just a couple of weeks after graduation, was he got a phone call. We had our kids farm camp going on. So I had 20 kids ages six to 12 gathered around me on the farm doing our things, and he gets this phone call and he comes walking across the lawn and says, “Hey, my recruiter called and I’m leaving in two hours.” I will never forget the look of shock on his face, and I felt equally shocked and I was like, “What? I can’t believe this. All these plans we’d made to say goodbye and build memories, instead we had to hurriedly say goodbye and he was just leaving right now, and this is because someone else had gotten dropped last minute and my son had to go now to replace that person.

So my husband took over with the kids at farm camp, and I went in the house, and he grabbed his bag and I drove him off to the airport. And really, you take nothing to boot camp. You can’t even take your telephone. So we just took off to the airport, and he was gone just like that.

So then what happened, is in a boot camp in the Marine Corps, you go 90 days with no contact. There’s no phone calls, there’s no emails, there’s really nothing unless your kid gets injured or worse. So no news is good news in Marine Corps boot camp. And the other part of that is I started watching these YouTube videos that showed what was going on each week of bootcamp, and that’s pretty tough to say the least. I know we have a lot of military family and military personnel, people who’ve served that listen to this podcast. You’re probably laughing at me right now, but whoa, those YouTube videos opened my eyes at how these guys were being treated in bootcamp. Even though of course I understand why, I know the system works, I know why they do it, but still it’s tough for this mom, okay?

Then I was put in this Facebook group with all the other moms of the young men in his unit. So what happened is, all these moms would get on this Facebook group every morning and they would talk about how worried they were about their sons, and I would jump on there and I’d read all their worries too, and then my head would swirl. And then the accidents started happening and moms would post about that. Maybe there was a broken arm or one lady’s son broke his leg, and because of his time in the hospital, it was going to extend his service for a whole year. Then there were other kids who were on suicide watch. And then one mom got cancer and she was posting about that every day and how much she missed her son and he couldn’t just come home just because she had cancer.

So I was immersed in this environment of incessant worry. This was worry about real things like the woman’s cancer, but also imagined things. I woke up every day worrying about my son being in the military, and I realized at a certain point, it was harming my daily life and my business. Nobody was getting my attention because I was consumed with this worry. It just was not helpful, but it took me some time to realize it wasn’t helpful. It wasn’t helpful or useful to me to worry, period. There was no amount of worry that would change anything that was going to happen. It was not doing any good. It wasn’t making his time any easier, or it wasn’t lessening his risk of injury either. So then, I really started researching and figuring out what I could do different because I was making myself sick.

So let me explain what I’ve learned, and it’s going to help you in this area too. Our brain is wired for survival, which is really lucky, of course, right? Its key is it’s there to keep us alive. Our brain also sees emotional threats equally the same as physical threats. It doesn’t have the ability to differentiate between, say a lion chasing us down and attacking us and killing us, versus feeling immense grief over something happening to my son. It wants to protect me from feeling grief as much as it wants to protect me from being killed by a lion. The brain automatically senses these as equal threats that are threatening my survival.

So worry is a fear-based emotion and it comes from the part of your brain that is trying to protect you and keep you alive. So know that it’s there to protect us. But the challenge is, in today’s world, we live in such a protected life physically that we don’t have to worry about animals chasing us down and attacking us when we leave the house, or being kicked out of the tribe and isolated and die that way. We don’t have to worry about those physical concerns. But since we’re still wired to protect us, unless we learn to manage that part of the brain that’s not necessary in today’s environment, many of us will spend way too much time in the emotional threats and worrying about that, okay?

So we don’t want to completely turn off worry because we need it for some survival. But this kind of worry that a lot of us live with today, these emotional things like I’m going to die if something happens to my son or something like that, this kind of worry pretends to be necessary, but it’s not and it can easily get out of hand and make you sick. I witnessed that firsthand. I witnessed this Facebook group full of 2000 moms, and I say moms because it was mostly moms. There were a couple of dads, but dads seemed to handle their sons going into boot camp differently than women, all right? We all wanted to jump on Facebook and share our worries with each other. So it was mostly moms, all right? So we would jump on Facebook, and sharing our worries every day became our life, and it seemed really necessary, but it’s not.

I want you to know that most of the things we worry about today, we don’t need to be worrying about at all. When you learn to take a look at them like I’m going to show you today, you will realize that. The negative things we worry about mostly don’t happen. So my worrying about my son getting injured in bootcamp, or failing, or getting kicked out, it didn’t matter whether I worried about it or not, those things may or may not have happened and worry would not have changed that. And when these things happen, the bad things, when those bad things do end up happening, people report that they handle it just fine. So worry is not necessary. If he had gotten injured or if something worse had happened, we would’ve been able to handle it in the moment, and my incessant worry before then would not have made us handle it better. And all that worry was affecting my day to day life, all right? So that’s why it’s important to learn how to manage worry.

We don’t want to completely cut worry out of our lives, okay? I wanted to be concerned about my son when he was gone, but I wanted to be able to manage it in a way where I could say, “Oh, I notice I’m worried about my son today.” Okay, I’m just going to notice that. I’m going to remind myself that as far as I know, he’s safe right now and just say something like, “I see you worry. I see you there, and it’s okay. It’s not a huge threat.” All right? I’m going to go with the fact that I can trust that he’s safe unless and until I hear otherwise.

So what happens is when you allow worry to stay around and you constantly obsess over that object of worry all day long, that’s when it’s not helpful, and that’s when it turns into that constant anxiety, which really causes problems in your life, physically, mentally, emotionally, in your business, in your family, and everywhere. So worry does come from a good place. It comes from that place in our brain that has the basic need for our survival. But in today’s world, we just don’t need it as much as we needed it 50 and 100 years ago. So we got to learn how to manage it and how to turn it off.

Now, why is it so hard to turn it off or dismiss our worry? Well, our thoughts are super powerful. They create electrical charges in our body, and we believe those worrisome thoughts are facts. We have a thought about something, we believe it’s a fact and we think it’s necessary to think over and over about it. And then what happens is as soon as we think about it, we look for evidence to prove it. Like, I could have worried about my son and thought he might break a leg and I have evidence to prove that’s a valid worry because look, this other mom’s son broke a leg and now he’s going to have his time extended for healing. So I had evidence that that could happen to my son, and I believed in it so hard that it was hard to give that worry up. And so I want you to learn to practice noticing your worries, and then just acknowledge them and step out of that constant looping on that worrisome thought, okay?

Another place I’ve really learned to manage my worrisome thoughts for me on the farm is weather. We rarely get snow here in our farm in Western Oregon, maybe once a year or maybe even every two years. Because of that, no one really knows how to drive in it. We have one snow plow in the whole county. Most people don’t have vehicles that are safe driving in the snow. So when it snows, that means that our world stops on the farm and that nobody can come to our farm store for a few days. We lose all those sales. And of course, our products are perishable, so we can’t salvage it most of the time. So we lose a lot of money when people can’t come because of the weather.

So in the first few years of my farm, I would see snow in the forecast. Like right now, I actually see it for late next week, okay? There’s snow in the forecast. In the past, that would start the worry. I think something like, “Oh no, it might snow next Thursday because it’s in the forecast. And if it snows, no one will come. And if no one comes, we won’t make any money.” And I’m telling this worry to my husband when he gets home from work and anyone else who will listen, and I have evidence from years past to prove this is a valid worry. So my mind thinks I must loop on that worry over and over as if it will help me prevent it, but of course, it won’t.

So my worry looped and my stress was constantly high until that day came and it either snowed or it didn’t snow, and people either showed up as usual or they didn’t show up and we didn’t make any money at all that day, but those looping worrisome thoughts for the few days or the week in advance were totally not necessary. The facts are the forecast calls for snow. People may come to the store, people may not come to this store. We may make money, we may not make money. Think about it once, know what your plan is, and then think a thought that makes you feel confident or determined or focused or anything that’s more useful instead of worry because worry will just keep you stuck and not taking action.

What happens is worry deceives us because it makes our brain feel like it’s doing something important when it’s worrying, but it’s not. That’s why we often feel justified in our worry because our brain thinks we’re doing something really important. I’m here to tell you your worrying is not justified. So there’s just no reason to do it, okay? So take a look at your worries and notice if you can acknowledge them once, and then decide to move on. For me, the weather forecast, it can be a reminder to gas up the generators, talk with the employees to see who can drive in the snow and who can’t and make a plan, and then decide to move past that worry and just stop looping on that worry.

Now, at first, I had to learn to do this consciously. You’re going to have to do the same thing. You will learn to do this very intentionally. Your brain has probably been well-trained by you to be in a constant state of worry about certain things because it’s such a habit. So I’ve got some steps here to help you train your brain not to worry because it really is just a matter of retraining your thinking because you’ve created these very automatic thoughts that jump right into worry. And like I said, it’s a comfortable place for you because it’s a habit and you think it’s necessary too. It’s just a habit you’ve gotten used to, and you’re going to have to learn to unlearn it just like any other bad habit that you’ve changed over the years.

Also, know that you are not going to turn into not being a worrier overnight. It’s going to be a process. It’s not a once and done thing. You’ve developed a strong practice and this unconscious habit of worrying without being aware that you had control over it, and now you’re going to learn to unravel it. You are going to learn to manage your mind better so you can avoid that constant worry, and I’ve got the four steps coming up to help you do that. Let’s dive into them.

Okay, the first step is to breathe. Just breathe. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably thinking, “I didn’t listen all the way through this podcast episode to have genius Charlotte tell me to breathe,” but you wouldn’t believe the number of clients I work with who just learned to stop and breathe for five minutes or even three minutes, deep breathe, and do it three times a day if possible. And that alone, changes their lives. Their marriages change and get better, their businesses start getting better, their income start getting better. And I know this because I’ve worked with people one-on-one doing this, and then I get the emails from both men and women who finally decide they want to improve their lives and they just give deep breathing a try.

Now, I’m not telling you to go meditate for hours or anything like that. Just give deep breathing a try, notice how you feel some relief. And what happens, is with that relief comes your ability to control or choose the thoughts you think because we have complete control over our thoughts. I know this sounds really basic, but everything from spiritual practices and meditation to sports psychologists, mental health experts, and medical doctors, and everyone in between, talks about the importance of pausing and taking long, slow breaths. So I found that if you set a timer for three minutes to start with and work your way up to five minutes, you’re going to notice a big difference just in that practice alone.

So when you find yourself worrying, stop, take some long, slow breaths and do that for three to five minutes, but better yet, plan this practice into your day, all right? Let’s make it preventative. Be intentional about getting up in the morning, and before you look at your phone or your email or before anyone else gets up, practice deep breathing for five minutes first thing in the morning. What’s going to happen is you will notice your worrying habits start to subside. When you’re worrying starts to subside, then you feel better, you’re more productive, you’re more able to notice it before it starts happening, your relationships improve, and your business starts to thrive. So when you learn to go through your day reducing your worry because you’ve learned how to manage your thoughts, your days become so much more fulfilling.

All right, so that’s step one. Step two is to tap into your rational brain. Worry is irrational. It’s filled by emotion, especially fear. You can bet I was sitting in fear when my son left for bootcamp and four years of military service. So I want you to sit down and get rational with yourself just like I had to. Take yourself to a rational place. Here’s how you do that. You start asking yourself questions, what do I know for sure about the situation? What are the facts here? And I mean get rational about what are truly the facts, not your thought drama.

For instance, my son in the Marine Corps, I learned to do this with my worries about him being enlisted first and then deployed later on. I asked myself, “What are the facts here? Well, he signed up for this. He knew he wanted to be in Marine since seventh grade. He’s fulfilling his dream.” And I just kept repeating these things to myself. I’d say things like, “There are lots of dangerous jobs in life, including farming. The military is just one of those dangerous jobs. There are lots of safety precautions in place.” The fact is, I can’t keep my adult children completely safe. It could be that he’s not in the military, maybe he’s just going to a day job and something bad happens there too, okay? So I’m telling myself that it’s not the military that is the only place he could have accidents. It could happen to our kids at any time.

The other thing I would tell myself when I’m being rational, is when I worry, I’m wasting valuable time during my day that I could be thinking about and doing anything else like building my business or planning something on the farm, or just being truly present with my family instead of having these worrisome thoughts. Some other things I did to tell myself in order to be rational, is there are all these safety procedures in the military, especially because it’s a dangerous job, and me worrying will not keep him safe. It serves no purpose for me to loop in worry, okay? He might get injured and I will deal with it when it happens. Worrying about it ahead of time will not change that. So come up with some very rational thoughts for you, okay? And that’s step two.

Worry in our past with our ancestors was absolutely necessary because it protected us physically, but just know that in today’s world, our brain has no idea that the stressors we have are not physically threatening of those from 50 or 100 years ago or before that because our brain thinks emotional pain is the same danger as physical pain. So my brain wants to prevent me from suffering in the off chance I got a phone call that my son got injured or is depressed or something. So know that the brain doesn’t differentiate between me feeling fear of him getting injured or actual physical pain I might have. So that’s why my brain is telling me I need to worry to protect myself, but you’ve got to tap into the rational part of your brain, which is different than the survival part of your brain, and ask, “Is there a real reason to worry? And should I intervene here or not?” Okay? So get really rational with yourself.

Now, step three is you need to have some go-to positive thoughts. Know what those positive thoughts are for you, so that you can replace those worries of thoughts as soon as you realize what’s going on. So for me, I created a list of positive thoughts that resulted in more useful feelings when I found myself worrying over his military work and deployment. And you remember from past episodes, I’ve taught you that our thoughts create our feelings. So if you’re thinking negative, worrisome thoughts, you’re going to feel fear and worry, okay? And when you’re ready to move on from the looping worry, make a list of your own positive thoughts, so you can read them out loud and feel these more productive feelings that come from those, okay?

So some of the thoughts I think are, everything happens as it should. Now, that’s a thought you may think is crazy to think, but it really made me feel confident, so it worked for me, okay? So I tell myself when something bad happens, I can say, “Well, everything happens as it should.” When I thought that thought, everything happens as it should, I felt confident. So that’s why that thought works for me. And everyone’s going to have different thoughts that work for them. So find the thoughts that work for you. I also thought things like, “My son is fulfilling his dream. My son needs my unconditional support. I don’t want him to hear worry in my voice. I want him to sense the complete confidence and trust in his decision,” okay?

So these are all thoughts that I’m going to think when I find myself looping in worry. Or with my worry about the weather now, it’s easy for me to see the forecast today, and see the snow in the forecast, and muster up positive thoughts for that. Again, “Everything happens exactly as it should, including destructive weather, or the thought that, “I can handle hard things. I know exactly what to do to prepare for bad weather. I’m going to be prepared for snow. I’m going to be prepared for customers not showing up. It’s just a fact if they don’t show up. I can do hard things. And when I go through hard things, I become even stronger. So bring it on.” Okay, so that’s just an example of all the thoughts that I will rehearse ahead of time so that I can call on them and they are accessible to me when I need to stop the worry loop.

All right, so we’re to the last step. The fourth step is to practice being in the moment. What happens is worry takes us to the future, and that’s not helpful. Now, we can plan our future, but worrying about the future, worrying about what the snow might bring next week if it will happen or not, worrying that we won’t make money for those two days, is not helpful. So you’ve got to practice being in the moment. And if you sense worry in your mind or in your body, because you can feel worry too, just know that that’s an indicator to you that you’re not in the present moment. So be really mindful that if you feel worry, you’re not in the present moment.

Medical doctors know that there are physiological things that happen in the body when you’re in the present moment that are very good for you. So ruminating about the past, or how unfair things were, or how things should have been different, or worrying about the future, not helpful. Learn how to be in the present moment. Be mindful and live in the present moment, and it will bring you good health too, okay? So don’t just jump to the future and worry.

So then, how do you live more in the present moment? Well, the best way is to just notice what’s going on around you. Now, there are all kinds of apps that can help you be present, but one of the basic things is go back to your deep breathing and notice what’s going on around you. Just start to describe the environment around you. Like for me, I would start to describe the chair I’m sitting in, and I can feel my feet on the floor, and I can look at this big foam thing that’s over the microphone I’m speaking into, saying all these things, describing my surroundings right immediately around me, bring me into the present moment. And the more time I spend in the present moment, the healthier I will be, the more my business will thrive, the more my relationships will thrive, and there’s no room for worry when you’re in the present moment. Your brain can’t do both things at once.

So actively becoming present will help you banish that worry. And the more you practice being in the present moment, the easier it becomes to go right back to this present moment if you find yourself straying off into worry.

Okay, so there you go, you guys. I encourage you, once again, I challenge you to start practicing these four steps that I teach you, all right? Do it today so you can build this practice of being present and being rational and stop worrying. Because I work with hundreds of you each year in my marketing class, Farm Marketing from the Heart, the ones who learn to manage their thoughts are the ones who go on to have the biggest success on their farms and have the most profitable farms, okay? So the thing that’s standing in the way of you building that successful sustainable farm is often your thoughts, and this is just one area that you can learn to manage them, okay? So be one of those farmers that are learning to fulfill your dreams because you’ve learned to manage your thoughts, okay? Now, today’s episode is just one more step in learning how to do that.

Also remember, if you want some one-on-one help with this, I do mindset coaching one-on-one all the time, okay? I do it some in my marketing course, that’s a group class, but I also do it one-on-one where we meet in a video meeting and work together. That’s on the “work with me” page on my website. Go to 3cowmarketing.com/workwithme, you can read more about that. And I would love to help you get on your way to feeling better, feeling calmer, having more success in your relationships and your business, and we can do that in our work together.

All right, you guys, take care. I can’t wait to see you next episode.

Thank you so much for tuning in to today’s episode. For more great resources, check out the profitablemindset.com. See you next time.

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