Updated on 05.06.11

What Worries You the Most? How Can You Fix It?

Trent Hamm

For the better part of the last decade, the biggest worry I had in my life was personal finance and the foundation (or lack thereof) that I was building for my future.

My approach to this worry was, for the most part, to ignore it. I’d just make minimum payments and pretend that everything was fine, only to find myself pretty stressed out every time I was forced to look at it or when I’d sit up at night thinking about the future.

In short, I didn’t really address my big worry. I avoided it.

If I had only known the amount of peace that would have come into my life if I had just addressed the problem head on as soon as I identified it, I would have done it immediately.

In other words, the solution to the fixable problems in your life isn’t to avoid them, it’s to face them head on.

How did I address the personal finance problems in my life? Once I decided to face up to the situation, I took an immediate action to take some of the pressure off (selling off some things), then I engrossed myself in reading so that I could learn more, after which I developed a plan for myself that was reasonably in line with my life. Carrying through that plan brought me to success.

Since then, I’ve used the same approach to get my weight gain under control and tackle other health issues in my life, with success.

Now, I’m left with tackling other challenges in my life. What’s my biggest worry at the moment? Honestly, it’s probably my parenting skills.

What can I do about it?

First, I start off with a burst of doing what I know how to do. Simply put, that means spend plenty of time with my children. I already do this, of course, but I’m going through a period right now where I’m spending some serious one-on-one time with each child with the focus of strengthening my relationship with them.

Second, I read. I have a big stack of parenting books on my Kindle and my library reserve list, from NurtureShock by Po Bronson to Bringing Up Geeks by Marybeth Hicks. This will provide me with the foundation I need for the next step.

Following a sufficient amount of reading, I’ll set forth a plan to accomplish what I want, which is to guide my children into an adulthood where they’re independent and have the skills they need to be able to chase their dreams.

What’s your biggest worry? How can you apply those three steps to addressing that worry? Most importantly, why not get started on it today?

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  1. John says:

    Thanks, now you put that Danity Kane song back in my head.

    ♫ How you gonna fix it, fix it? ♫

  2. Michelle says:

    Very timely post for me, thank you.

  3. Misty says:

    It’s so interesting that you posted this topic today. Last night, I confessed to my brother that I was worried about being like my mother (who is still basically in the same stage of life she was in when she was my age), and he explained to me point-by-point how it was impossible. One of the things he called to my attention was how my mother never comes up with solutions to deal with the root of the problem, she just treats the symptoms. And I’m more of a big-picture person. When something goes wrong, I want to know /why/ and how I can stop it happening in the future. (I wasn’t always this way, but I’ve learned my lesson well.) I have a desktop full of spreadsheets for my budget, debt repayment, and other financial goals, and I don’t think it’s ever occurred to her to keep track of how much she owes and how much she’s paying over time. :)

    It was very encouraging, and just what I needed to hear. Sometimes I think we have blind spots about what we’re doing /right/, just as much as we have blind spots about what we’re doing wrong.

  4. Tyson says:

    My biggest worry is not having enough to enjoy life at retirement. Now, I’m 38…I have time to face this head on and make strides to accomplish this goal, however, I see my parents who provided so much (in terms of guidence, wisdom and memories) but didn’t provide much for themselves in a way of a future. I see them now and they are limited in what they can do. They are content, and happy, but very cautious because the money situation is scarce. I want to provide for my kids, but the best way I can do that is to provide a solid financial future for us as well.

  5. Maureen says:

    If you are concerned about your parenting skills I would suggest you join a play group with your children. You can observe the other parents and get ideas for improvements. I used to take my children to one when they were preschoolers. We all benefitted. The one that we attended was hosted by a staff of very knowledgeable early childhood educators.

  6. lurker carl says:

    What worries me the most are things completely beyond my control. The folks who do control those things are incompetent and self-serving.

  7. My biggest worry and stress is that I am not doing what I am supposed to for a living. I realized about 10 yrs ago that I needed to NOT work for someone else, I need to be my own boss. And after a lot of searching as to what that should be I decided to pursue the art I had put off my whole life because everyone knows you can’t make a living of of art! 4 yrs later and while I am creative and happy with my work $600 a year I sell in art isn’t going to get me there. I go from one crappy job to another, I’ve had over 50 in my 25 yrs of employment, and I get more and more mental being forced to do what I hate for money. I had plans to downsize my house/life to the point that there was little to no mortgage/utilities but that is on hold due to the housing market. I can’t sell my house for what I owe, therefore I can’t move forward. Lately its gotten so bad I entertain fantasies about bankruptcy and going to live in a shack in the woods….

  8. Sharon says:

    Hi – I liked your strategy for tackling your concern for your children. You are doing some great things. I have raised two, 23 & 22, and still raising an 8 year old and my best advice is spend alot of time praying for them and letting them hear you praying for them. Seriously, prayer changes things! I also try to make sure that when I am wrong or overreact, I apologize and let them know I make mistakes too. Emulate the traits you would like to see in them as adults and you can’t go wrong! I enjoy your posts :o)

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