“Dad, you stare at your calendar a lot,” my middle daughter recently said to me. After I thought about it, I noticed I do stare at my calendar a lot. Sure, I’m organized. But, looking deeper, I’m often overly concerned about my schedule. I review it after having just reviewed it. I’m worried I’ll forget something or upset someone.Worry can steal our sleep and kill our kindness.
But worry is care or concern that goes overboard. Most worry starts as a good concern—and then it starts to control us. Worry can steal our sleep and kill our kindness. It can even cripple us. Is there any hope for those of us who are worried dads? Yes, but we must realize where the worry is coming from. Here are 3 reasons why you’re worrying as a dad.
1. You’re too focused on things you can’t control.
How you’re going to afford bills that don’t exist yet, what your blood work results will be, what other people think of you—the more we focus on stuff like this before we really need to, the more we worry. It turns into a cycle that keeps us coming up with the next thing to worry about. We most often worry about day-to-day things that usually end up resolving themselves. Plus, most things we worry about are outside our control. I’ve found that the more I focus on things I can control, the less I worry.
2. You’re too focused on yourself.
Worry also shows up when we are too focused on ourselves. All my perfectly planned calendar says about me is that I’m trying to control everything myself. The reason I stare at my calendar so often is that I feel like by having my calendar and tasks in order, I’m in total control. I don’t know about you, but for me, with a perfectly planned calendar, I end up trusting in myself rather than in God, which is who I actually believe should be in control. And since I believe that God created us and is good and is worthy of our trust, I can trust him because he’s promised not to let us down. When I do that, I worry much less.
3. You’re too focused on the future.
When we worry, it’s usually about stuff that hasn’t yet happened. And that robs us of the present. We can’t enjoy today if all we’re thinking about is tomorrow. But we only have a certain amount of time. So focus on today. Love the people in front of you. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Imagine if we all simply focused on the present and our actions for the day without worrying about the future. Wouldn’t our lives look different? Learn to focus on the present and what you can control instead of focusing on things that haven’t happened yet—and you’ll start to worry less.
Sound off: What are you focused on as a dad?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How do you think I’m doing as your dad?”