Taming the Angst-o-Meter: The Most Important Step to Problem Solving

The Problem

“I can’t do this,” the new guy mumbled. Boy, could I relate. The new guy and I were only weeks into our new roles and like fish out of water. I leaned forward to hear his story.

“I’m an info technology project manager, not a logistics one. All I’ve ever done is IT. How am I going to transport several hundred individuals, their cubes, equipment, supplies, and phone systems to a new location? In only six weeks. And do it without interrupting the business.”

He revealed that his smug “I got this” and fifteen years of project management experience flinched on a Friday. Angst pummeled his initial calm when he first accepted the role.

Now, he traveled in unchartered territory with a new business unit. He knew names but had not had time to build relationships. Yet, everyone looked to him for answers and direction for a well-orchestrated move. Before he realized it, the new position pushed him far outside his comfort zone and experience toolkit.

“On Saturday, I wore a hole in my carpet worrying about what to do. By Sunday my angst-o-meter was off the charts.” The new guy could barely rub two coherent thoughts together.

The Answer

Then, it hit him. “Fall back on what you know.” He knew project management fundamentals, and he knew the first step … project discovery. Basic questions of who, what, when, where, and why. The answers would guide the plan. The new guy’s angst-o-meter cooled. His peace restored.

Haven’t we all been in that place? I sure have. New territory. Unfamiliar or painful circumstances without clear resolution ahead. As I look to myself for answers, my angst-o-meter registers in the red “danger zone.” My smug “I got this” gives way to “Where am I and now what?” My self-confidence melts and fear spirals out of control.

My answer must be the same as the new guy’s. Fall back on what I know. What I can trust. And I can trust my one foundation. Jesus Christ, who reminds me, “I am the Way.” (John 14:6) Once I fall back on that, then I, like my friend, can walk confidently through the discovery phase of whatever problems I face and take the future one step at a time.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

©2012 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.


About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
This entry was posted in God's Faithfulness, Managing Change and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Taming the Angst-o-Meter: The Most Important Step to Problem Solving

  1. vondaskelton says:

    Angst-o-meter? I love that! And that’s pretty much what I’m fighting against right now with family issues. Thanks for the reminder to go back to what I know and trust…my God Who loves me and has a plan for my life, even in the midst of the struggle.

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