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Beat Anxiety by Doing Things Badly.
People, young and old, experience anxiety in a variety of ways. It can manifest as fear, restlessness, lack of focus, hyperactivity, worry, sleep deprivation, irritability and the list goes on and on.
Anxiety can appear out of the blue as a panic attack. When panic strikes, you may feel like you’re about to have a heart attack, go mad or lose control. But perhaps one of the more insidious assaults of anxiety comes in the form of indecision where fear of the unknown or dread over worse case scenarios can weaken your resolve and undermine your ability to simply make a choice and go with it.
So, if stressful indecision describes you or someone you love, let me present a simple piece of advice for overcoming anxiety that was first served up by noted philosopher, theologian, writer and apologist G.K. Chesterton over 100 years ago:
“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly…”
The decision-making process for many is an agonizing, stress inducing exercise. We all want to Get-R- Done. But sometimes, the desire to do something “perfectly”, or to wait for the “perfect time” prevents us from doing it at all. And that, dear friends, sets into motion a perpetual cycle of anxiety.
In the case of indecision, the pathway to breakthrough often begins by jumping in and working at the risk of “doing it badly” without obsessing over how things will turn out. This will not only make it much easier for you to begin, but you may also discover that you’re completing tasks much more quickly than before. Even more than this, you may come to realize that you’re not doing it that badly after all! And even if you are blundering, you can always tweak your process as you go.
Using the “Do it Badly” slogan gives you the freedom to try to achieve something that is important to you. Studies are finding that failure is not only a valid option, but in many cases, failure is a necessary part of refining a strategy that will bring about wonderful outcomes. In Christ, when you give yourself permission to fail you get the chance to walk by faith and you put yourself in a position to learn and grow.
Still not convinced? Think about this. Confidently embracing the freedom to fail begins with your understanding of God. Jesus emphasized the Fatherhood of God throughout His earthly ministry. One of the greatest privileges of becoming a Christian is that we are adopted into God’s family (Ephesians 1:5). God considers you one of His kids if you’ve put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Now, there are a lot of poor examples of fatherhood in our world, but God encourages us to believe the truth that He is a good Father—full of grace and mercy—He gives His kids the freedom to fail (Luke 15:11-16, Hebrews 4:15-16).
Good dads do not let their kiddos charge off irresponsibly into dangerous situations. But good dads will let their kids try at the risk of failure, knowing that, if needed, they stand ready to assist with protection, provision, blessing and empowerment. Or what the Bible refers to as grace. J
So the next time an important decision has you stuck and anxiety has you fearing the worst, think about your Good Father’s love for you. That love will drive away your fear. Then pray, think, ask for input, decide and go for it!
 Chesterton, G. K. (1910). What’s wrong with the world. London: Cassell.
 Sutton, Robert I. (June 4, 2007). Learning from Success and Failure. Harvard Business Review