Can worrying ever be a good thing?

Hi Brooke,

My question relates around the idea of worry. I just listened to today’s podcast and at the end you said that worrying is generally not useful. I tend to agree but at the same time, worrying has served me well over the years. My immigrant parents were HUGE worriers (sp?) when I was a kid. They used to think that danger lurked at every corner, and even gave me weapons and mace for Christmas one year when I was a teenager to carry around in my purse in case I was ever attacked! Coming from a poor background, they squirreled away their money even when they could have enjoyed some of it more. They were always afraid something could happen so they always tried to have a plan b.

I see how this fear-based mentality colored my world and has sometimes been a detriment; however, it has also saved me in many instances. Once, for example, I was walking home late at night and was clutching my bag and very alert like my parents taught me to do, and someone tried to grab me and I was able to run away quickly. My husband and I saved like crazy during our 20s/30s and are now in a position where we could retire if we wanted to; and in fact, I often preach how beneficial it is to “save for a rainy day” because it has served us so well and has given us so many choices. I’m not sure I would have done this without the lessons of my parents.

As a parent now myself, I want to instill some of those same lessons to my children – being on alert, saving, etc. – how can I do this from a loving place and not a worrying, fear-based place? Can worrying ever be a good thing?