Action is worry’s worst enemy

April 17, 2019 | by

One of the most influential messages taught to me early in my career came from a fortune cookie. Yes, a fortune cookie. It read, “Action is worry’s worst enemy”.

The message resonated with me at that time of my life as I was in my early twenties and just starting my career as an insurance agent which required a great deal of prospecting potential clients over the phone. My day would consist of picking up the phone, contacting unsuspecting businesses, and attempting to schedule an appointment to discuss their insurance. While rewarding at times, my fellow sales colleagues are snickering because they know how challenging this prospecting method can be. Lack of prospecting new clients is a salespersons top reason for failure. It’s known as call reluctancy or prospecting aversion and it leads to a staggering washout rate in our field. Some estimate 70% percent of insurance sales professionals won’t be in their position after 18 months. Instead of worrying about the statistics, I knew that in order to succeed, the first step was to pick up the phone and make the calls. “Action is worry’s worst enemy”.

On my eighth week in sales, I quit. I was tired of making calls, facing the rejection, and dealing with the uncertainties of prospecting. Defeated, I put down the phone, stood up, and walked to my boss’s office. Numb and embarrassed, my mind filled with worry. What would my family say? Would I be able to get another job? How would I pay my bills? What would I do next and would I fail again? When I got to his office, I stood in the doorway for what felt like an eternity. I was sick to my stomach and worried about what he would say, do, and perceive of me. He had provided me an opportunity and I was about to let him down. Instead of knocking on the door, I turned around, walked back to my office, and picked up the phone. The appointments eventually came. “Action is worry’s worst enemy”.

I had that fortune cookie message taped to my phone for seven years. In that timeframe, there were numerous situations or circumstances where I’d reference the saying in my decision-making process. Now it’s just instilled as one of my core values.

Often, we are faced with circumstances that are uncomfortable. Some people when faced with these situations are paralyzed by worrying about the unknown. Others act to make the unknown, known. I encourage you to believe in yourself, take action, and make the unknown, known. “Action is worry’s worst enemy”


“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”  –Dale Carnegie



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