**I apologize for any content which comes across as too raw, vulnerable, insensitive, crass or incoherent. Please extend me a large helping of grace as you read. I promise to be responsible and accountable. With this as the primer, allow me to provide this historical fact about me: I’ve been told that I “think too much” since before college. My fraternity brothers were regularly prodding me to “lighten up.” I take it as a compliment in an unorthodox way. I find vindication in a recent Slate article (slate.me/1b892o9) which notes that intelligent people have more anxiety, hence the title “smart worrier.”
I balance this with Ecclesiastes 1:18 which prompts us to recognize that “…with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief (i.e., stress).”
I am a thinker. I analyze and reflect on possibilities and contingencies involving multiple players and variables of events that may or may not happen…also known as stress or worry or anxiety. I like to refer to it as “process.” As I’ve learned in the Army and in ministry, as well as through my dad, father-in-law, and a few great mentors – “if you fail to plan then you plan to fail.” Planning requires a ton of process if you’re part of a family or a team. Multiply that exponentially if you’re an introvert.
Stress isn’t to be avoided, rather engaged…positively and with a healthy dose of prayer. Admit it, then steal and convert its momentum.
Positively dealing with stress is a requisite for leadership… whether within our families, at our workplaces, or even something as simple as talking with a friend through a difficult situation. The worst thing to do is Catastrophizing. Catastrophizing is wasting critical energy ruminating about irrational worst-case outcomes which prevents you from taking purposeful action.
I recently confessed to the pastors with whom I work, that I am an iceberg of thought: there’s more under the surface than what is visible (aren’t we all?). One of the pastors suggested that these online journal entries could very well be a form of free therapy. The articles that follow will likely involve both positive process and unfortunate catastrophizing. So, again, I ask for your grace.