Friday, 28 October 2016

Giving up on long term planning

It may seem odd to end a week where I have reflected on setting a vision and communicating that vision with a post about giving up on long-term planning. Allow me to explain. For the past few years, every long-term plan I have made, every idea for the future I have had has been blown out of the water. My life today is far different from what I thought it would be. This may sound negative, but it is quite the opposite. I have experienced time and again that the plans that God brings about in my life may be challenging but are far more beneficial than anything I come up with. 

I am learning more and more that I try to control my anxiety by making plans. If my husband is running late and I start feeling flickers of anxiety about his safety, my mind defaults to planning for how I would cope without him, who I would call first if a policeman showed up on my doorstep, how I would go about paying for a funeral. All attempts to feel in control. I am realising that it comes down to a lack of trust. 

It is this lack of trust that I am working on. Giving up on long-term planning is not a matter of throwing my hands up in defeat but a conscious opening of my hands to let go. As I draw closer in my relationship with God, I trust Him more. I am able to trust that the path He has me on is for my good and for His purposes. I am learning to be content with knowing just the next step in front of me. I continue to seek out the seasons He has on the way for me, as I talked about in Discovering vision for where I lead

How does this relate to my leadership journey? Well, none of the leadership steps I have taken has been planned by me. Each has taken me by surprise in many ways. I have no idea how long I will be in this role and what will come after it. Amazingly for me, I am at peace with that. My default (that still tries to rear up at times) is to spend time, mental and emotional energy working out many different scenarios and possibilities. That achieves nothing but a distraction from the present. I want to be fully present in my life today, investing that time and energy into my team, my responsibilities and my leadership skills, and of course, my family first and foremost.

Giving up on long-term planning is necessary for my leadership to allow me to walk in trust and be flexible. Maybe you can relate to that. Maybe for you, long-term planning is not a distraction but a skill that you need to work on. We are each unique in what we need to let go of and what we need to pursue.

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1 comment:

  1. This is so interesting- I feel like my lack of long term planning is to avoid thinking about things that may make we worry. Not sure if that is a bad or good thing. I also think that part of it is being content with my own life right now.

    It's fascinating to read your pint of view on it. I totally agree about not giving in to catastrophic thinking/planning. When my husband is away I usually have a moment of thinking about the what ifs, but I am so thankful I don't give in to that thinking for more than a fleeting moment. I know worrying about flights etc can be a huge battle for some people.

    Food for thought today :)