So I know I say it a lot, but here’s a conversation I have been having a lot (I spend 20-25 hours coaching masterminds and one-on-one clients each week)… What do I do when I feel overwhelmed? But first I want to share with you something I truly believe that Zig Ziglar says, “You can have everything in life you want, if you just help enough other people with what they want.” So when you enter into conversations with others, don’t enter into the conversation to be interesting to that person… enter into that conversation so that you are interested in what’s going on in their life. You want to make friends? I think that statement or that idea comes from the book, How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
BE INTERESTED RATHER THAN INTERESTING.
I try to live my life that way, I don’t do it perfectly. None of us do life perfectly, but the reason I do these blogs is because I want to be able to serve and add value to you all. I want to help you solve some problems. And if I can offer some wisdom, some insight, then that is my heart to do it. But I digress…
Let’s talk about the word a lot of people are feeling right now: Overwhelm. I am not trying to timestamp things but there is a lot happening with the pandemic, uncertainty in the economy, and that can all lead to stress, anxiety, overwhelming thoughts. These thoughts can morph into thoughts of I can’t do this, This is too much, I want to quit and run away, I’m a failure. And it is easy to go down that path and start to think that way. They can keep spiraling and then you are cascading into a dark abyss of overwhelm, hopelessness… has anyone ever been there when you start to feel this way? What do you do? What should you do?
I would like to give you some encouragement on that… I’m not pulling directly from the book I co-write with my friend, mentor, business partner Bill Walton entitled Creating Your Best Life: Discover Your God-Given Potential (you can get it on Amazon or our website creatingyourbest.com) but there are some core ideas from the book and one of those is HOPE. And the definition of hope is confident expectation.
You could say, I hope to win the lottery. Or, I hope I lose weight… we are not talking about a wish and a prayer. I am talking about the Biblical definition of Hope. Confident. Expectation. So why am I sharing that? Because it connects to what we are talking about here. When you feel overwhelmed… my number one answer of how to address that is…
Begin to Shift Your Confident Expectation
Begin to change your hope; go from hopeless to hopeful that is overflowing because you get clear about what you are confidently expecting. I watched a movie a while ago called The Secret and you know, I didn’t know what it was about or what to expect. There’s a lot of truth in that we attract what we focus on… and some of you are so focused on being overwhelmed: I can’t do this. I’m a failure. I’m not enough. And in all those statements, what are you focused on? Not the good stuff! And if you get what you are focused on, you get what you expect.
Let’s bring it back to a more firm foundation for me, the Bible, there’s a verse in Hebrews 11: 1 says Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hope or confident expectation. Sure, there are people who have faith and are praying and saying their faith is not working. The truth is your faith is working but only manifests what you are hoping for and what you are confidently expecting.
So you don’t need to get more faith, you actually need to shift your culture and expectations and begin to focus on what it is. Get to the root. Begin to focus on what it is that God has promised. I have four questions for you that you can ask yourself to shift your confident expectation.
- WHO AM I?
This could literally shift your trajectory. And I say this because when I am overwhelmed, I forget who I am. I think in those moments of hopelessness that I’m nothing or I’m a failure. And straight from Creating Your Best Life, our identification builds our expectation. If I identify as a failure, I expect failure. If I identify as not enough, I expect not enough. If I identity as broke, I expect more opportunities to stay broke.
BUT IF I identify as a Child of God, if I identify as wealthy, if I identify as someone living on purpose for a mission… then my identification builds my expectation. Dig a little deeper: How are you identifying right now? Do you realize that there is greatness on the inside of you? Are you identifying as a man or woman who is living on purpose? Are you identifying as a person that if you don’t fulfill your destiny, a whole lot of other people aren’t going to fulfill theirs? Are you identifying as a mother, a father, a mentor, a leader, a visionary?
You can identify a lot of ways! Are you identifying as a child of God, like how your identification will build your expectation? I want to encourage you, you want to get out of the overwhelm of hopelessness, check your identification because you need to start to stir up who you really are and I am going to tell you: on the inside of you that the world is needing that greatness!
- WHAT DO I WANT?
Get a vision. Like the vision that can drive your expectation and get you there faster. You’re going to be able to achieve it… the quicker you are going to be able to achieve it, so get a vision. What do you want? Some might say, I want all my bills paid. Others might say, I want to be able to go on vacation, buy a new vehicle, the ability to retire your parents, and the ability to impact thousands of others with a positive message… What do you want? Do you want to help people find healing and hope and purpose in their lives? The clearer you get about you want, shifting confident expectation, then you start to get a picture of the future and that is a powerful thing.
- What has God promised?
Some of you may have to edit this one just slightly, but this is how I say it for me. The promises of God, He has promised me a whole lot of good things in the Word of God. And so for me when I get overwhelmed, when I start to feel helpless, I go back and align my expectation with what God has promised. Not even just what I want, but what He has promised because His promises accomplish the purpose for which He sent them. And so there’s a guarantee attached to what He promised there. Not a guarantee attached to my words, but there’s a guarantee attached to His words and my word, these words have the same power coming out of my mouth as they did coming out of His.
That is exciting, because when I speak His words and I just remember His promises, then I start to shift my confident expectation. It’s hard to have a clear picture of the promises of God, the goodness of God, the love of God, the mercy of God, the grace of God… It is hard to focus on all of those things and feel that kind of overwhelmed. It’s impossible.
- WHAT WILL I DO?
Listen, that secret thing and the law of attraction, it’s half of the equation… get focused on your thoughts, all that kind of stuff. As a man thinks, so is he… take captive every thought, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. All that’s true, but you got to balance that with what will I do…
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS… DEAD.
We’ve got to say: what am I willing to do to step into those roles, to create that future, to live into who I truly am, the full potential of what God has placed on the inside of me. So ask yourself, what am I willing to do?
I encourage you to take each of these questions and journal for at least 15 minutes. Maybe you will get carried away and journal a whole lot more than that because this stuff right here has the power to shift you from overwhelm, hopelessness, to being filled and overflowing with hope, strength, power, and confidence.
I don’t want you to walk around overwhelmed. I want you to shift that. So what are you willing to do to make the money?
BONUS QUESTION: What’s YOUR First Step?
This comes from the book by Gary Keller, The One Thing. He asked the focusing question and he said, “What is the one thing that by doing it makes everything else on your list easier or even unnecessary?” So make your list and ask yourself, what is the one thing that I need to do right now? What is my first step? And if you answer all four of those questions and you begin to move from just a journaling exercise to living into, to rehearsing; it will shift you from overwhelm into hope, strength, confidence and the ability to move forward living into who God designed you to be.
This is where you should go out there and give your greatness to the world because somebody needs what is on the inside of you!