Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
I think many business leaders can relate to this, feeling weighed down, that is. While owning your own business has many benefits, it can also bring about a lot of stress.
Maybe your revenue just isn’t what you expected. Perhaps you are putting off firing an employee. Maybe you’re desiring to grow your business, but you don’t even know where to begin. You may feel like your business doesn’t look how originally envisioned years ago and you are wondering how you got to where you are. You might be in the middle of hiring for a position, but are worried about actually committing and choosing a candidate.
There are countless situations and circumstances that can induce anxiety. One of the more common causes is the “what-if” game. We tend to play this question-asking game with ourselves where we start asking, “What if…?” and insert a made-up, usually-worst-case scenario at the end of the sentence.
You may not even realize you are doing so, because it all happens internally. In a split-second, we can go from worrying about one employee quitting, to picturing all of our employees quitting, to stressing about not finding any suitable replacements, to questioning our leadership and our original vision and to picturing our company going out of business.
The cycle of anxiety is very real, and can be very detrimental. And the feeling of anxiety is most definitely what the Bible says: heavy.
When we are anxious, we are weighed down, we feel burdened.
How Can Anxiety Hinder You as a Business Leader?
- You can become ineffective. Worrying is not a productive use of time because you’re dwelling on negative possibilities rather than trusting God for the outcome.
- You may develop health problems. It physically manifests itself in different ways depending on the person. Some people suffer panic attacks, digestion troubles, nausea, chest pain, hair loss, and more due to anxiety.
- You may begin to flee from work. When an issue arises at work that causes stress, you may start to avoid the issue(s). The problem with avoiding the problem is that it never gets handled and it allows you to be passive rather than forces you to grow in certain areas as a leader.
- You’re not able to be fully present. Anxiety causes us to get in our own heads. When we choose to spend time worrying and stressing, whether it be a staff meeting or client consultation, we aren’t able to be fully in-the-moment.
The exciting truth is that we don’t have to worry. We do not have anything to be anxious about because the Lord says He has a plan for us (Jer. 29:11). He tells us to give our anxieties to Him because He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7). He invites us to come to Him when we are burdened, and promises us rest (Matthew 11:28).
Sometimes it is easier said than done, right? It can be easy to say, “Just don’t worry… things will be fine.” However, sometimes it’s hard to get our mind off of the difficult situations around us.
When you’re bogged down with your day-to-day stresses, here are some practical things to help switch your mindset from worry to peace.
7 Things To Do When You Feel Anxious
- Pray. When we pray, we are physically communicating with the Creator of the world. Thank Him for His faithfulness and sovereignty. Give all of your worries and stresses to Him. Be transparent with Him about what you’re nervous about or scared of. He already knows your heart anyways.
- Journal. Sitting down with a pen and paper can be such a freeing experience. You can even write to God if you like. Anxiety can cause a lot of hurried stressful thoughts to bounce around in our minds. I encourage you to sit down, relax and write what you’re feeling or thinking.
- Talk to someone. Whether it be a friend, mentor, pastor, business coach or counselor, talk to somebody. It is so nice to sit down with a trusted friend and be heard, and receive sound advice and wisdom.
- Exercise. Running, elliptical, strength training, Zumba class. Whatever form of exercise you enjoy, carve out time in your week for it! It’s a great way to clear your head and increase your health and happiness.
- Get outdoors. Sometimes all you need to clear your head and find peace is to walk outside and take a few deep breaths of fresh air.
- Read God’s Word. The Bible is filled with encouraging truths and promises from God. Underline, memorize, study. Reading Scripture will remind you of God’s incredible character and bring you peace.
Anxiety can be a daily battle. It can sneak up on you at a moment’s notice. Remember that you’re not alone, there are ways to combat it and with God, we have permission to be anxiety-free.