Are You Planning or Mitigating Worry?
I’m a planner and a strategist by nature. If I’m honest, a lot of my so-called planning is a reaction to worry.
Worrying is what I do when I don’t have control. Worry is frantic energy that showcases my desire to control all my circumstances and freak out when I can’t.
Plan Instead of Worry
Worry is not the same thing as using my God-given gifts for strategy and planning. When we plan rather than worry, we choose to partner with God. We recognize that God desires to work through us. He wants to steward the gifts, talents, experiences, and opportunities that we have. He wants us to use our minds actively. He wants us to be faithful with what He’s given us.
Planning is a proactive posture; worry is a reactive posture.
3 Ways to Know the Difference Between Planning and Worry
1. Planning is doing what you can. Worry is stressing about what you can’t. Scripture often speaks of the importance of sowing seed and planning for a harvest.
For example, as a consultant, I can help an organization build a fantastic plan, but I can’t force them to implement it. I can influence the outcome by being faithful to equip, train, and encourage, but I can’t control the outcome.
2. Planning is working with what is. Worry is being paranoid about the what-ifs.
When I plan, I build steps to reach the desired outcome.
When I worry, I’m not taking any step, but instead, I’m ruminating over a myriad of outcomes (which are usually not good).
Consider the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. An employer entrusts three of his workers with different amounts of money. The first two developed a plan and doubled their money. The third guy did nothing. He dug a hole in the ground and hid the money. When asked why, he said, “I was afraid.” What was he doing? He was worrying. He was afraid of what to do, so he didn’t do what he could.
3. Planning is proactive progress. Worry is engaging the hamster wheel of anxious thought without getting anywhere productive.
When our plans don’t turn out exactly the way we had hoped, we learn from the experience. We become better equipped for the future. Worry drains our energy with no positive return.
Are you planning, or are you worrying? Plan well. Worry less!
Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group
** 5 Simple Steps to a Great Strategic Plan **
Free Workbook to Get Moving Toward Your Goals
As leaders we are full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around.
We can almost taste the outcome but oftentimes we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.
The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us actually achieve them.
These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action!
Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.
Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.