Overcoming Worry As A Christian Business Leader
Know that feeling when you’re overwhelmed, frustrated, and worried about your work? Well, of course, you do! We all do. But, I’m convinced that worry is one of the most devastating hindrances to success for entrepreneurs and business leaders, both personally and professionally.
Think about it. You’re running out of money, your customer base isn’t growing quickly enough, and your original sense of vision and excitement becomes dampened. It could be because of multiple roadblocks, or things just not working as you anticipated and as fast as you hoped.
You may sense you can’t even establish the foundations of a new venture, much less finish the project or even create an organization.
What if you fail?
What will your colleagues say?
What will the industry say?
What will your friends say?
What will your family say?
And, what will you do?
Well, all of these fears can certainly be a cause for worry.
Yet the Bible clearly says, “Don’t worry.” In fact, worry is listed with other “gross” sins like adultery, murder, idolatry, etc. Ouch!
So how do successful business leaders handle worry at work and in their personal lives?
You think and act biblically, turning that cause for worry into motivation for personal and professional growth and success.
At the beginning of Psalm 37, we observe the first 3 of the 7 core skills that if applied will change your life.
“Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper” (Psalm 37:1-3 NLT, emphasis mine).
I learned these in my late teens, when I was, in fact, a world-class worrywart. I worried about everything. Truly. I was living in a constant state of panic. A mentor taught me these principles. I turned them into habits and ultimately core competencies. I can honestly tell you I have not experienced a day (often not a minute) of worry ever since.
Based upon my experience of practicing these key concepts, let me coach you briefly on how to apply them as skills in your life to overcome worry.
1. Don’t Worry
Great, isn’t that helpful! You think to yourself. It is. But first, you must commit not to worry. Because your worry is sin and demeans God. It says in effect, “God, you are not big enough to deal with my issues.” So, what issues aggravate your worry as a Christian business professional right now?
2. Trust in the Lord
“God works all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose,” according to Romans 8:28-29, right? So, we worry not because our challenges are too big but because we fear our God is too small. Trust him.
3. Do Good
Don’t just sit there and stew, but do what you can that is good. If your business is struggling financially, use best practices by re-evaluating your business model, your customer service, the quality of your service/product, and so on. And, be good to people in general and, hey, be good to yourself too. Cut yourself some slack.
So, you see the importance of conquering worry in our own lives. Let’s continue to look into the scripture verses in Psalm 37 to see the next 4 key skills that we must put into practice to overcome worry.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes” (Psalm 37:4-7 NLT, emphasis mine).
4. Delight in the Lord
Worry is an emotion and King David (quite the leader and entrepreneur himself) knew that this horrid habit of worry needed to be replaced with a good habit (at an emotional level of delight). So, first, delight in the Lord and his goodness (meditate on the Word, worship him in music, appreciate his creation) and then delight in the good things he has done and is doing in your personal life and business. Make a list. Fill your mind and heart with gratitude.
5. Commit Your Way(s) to the Lord
This is where you say, “Lord, I submit my entire life to you. It is all yours anyway. I let go of CONTROL. My life, my family and my business are all in your hands.” Hey, no half measures here. Either you trust God or you don’t. I know which side of the equation I want to be on personally.
6. Rest in the Lord
Here you simply relax mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. You let go! Oh, you still work hard and work smart. But, you don’t let tenseness drive you. I often will lay down on the floor and tighten my entire body and then start relaxing all of my muscles from the outside (tips of my fingers and toes) inward until I feel at total rest. And, hey, get some good sleep. That is also huge.
7. Wait Patiently for the Lord
This isn’t an impatient waiting where you say “Lord, give me patience and I want it right now.” It is a sitting on the edge of your seat type of waiting where you are eagerly and expectantly waiting for God to deliver your business and personal solutions in a way that is beyond your greatest expectations and in His perfect timing.
Well, can you put all 7 of these skills to work? I can guarantee you that if you practice these skills diligently and turn them into habits and core competencies that you will win the battle over worry in your personal and professional life and that the likelihood of your success overall will grow exponentially.
And you know what? It will also be a lot more fun and fruitful overall.
So, this week put these skills to the test. Memorize this list. Every morning, lunchtime, and evening review these 7 skills. Determine how you succeeded or failed at practicing them. Make mid-course corrections. Then, get back daily for the next 21 days and make these skills part of your core habits.