Personal Development Archives

Conquering Anxiety in 2014

May I ask you a question and receive your honest-to-God, truthful answer?

Okay, well, here goes.

Do you ever find yourself consumed by anxiety?

Yes, anxiety.

Perhaps, I should first explain. anxiety man

When I speak of anxiety, I am talking about feeling nervous, uneasy, or even worrying about something that is about to happen or about how something will turn out.

Let me give you a real-life example. Imagine this….

Your seven-year-old daughter has never spent an entire weekend at her father’s home. From what you know about him and his family, parenting is not at the top of their list of priorities. They often leave the children unsupervised watching hours of television. They have no qualms about who they allow to babysit the children (if they even get a babysitter) who are supposed to be under their care. As long as the person is a member of the church or a friend from school or the neighborhood, the person gets a stamp of approval as a qualified caretaker.

If that is not enough, most of the adults in the family are extremely irresponsible and share a very weak moral and ethical code. They have multiple children by multiple women or men—children of whom they cannot afford. They have difficulty maintaining employment for any extended period of time and their marriages (which are usually based upon their need to have someone more successful provide for them), do not last.

In a nutshell, they have mastered finding gullible, naïve, or vulnerable people to support them in their many endeavors and their lifestyle. Consequently, a need to alter their behavior has not been realized.

Ultimately, in your opinion, they are unfit to rear children. However, just recently, you were ordered by the judge to allow your daughter to spend every other weekend and some holidays with her father, who lives with his relatives.

You are devastated.

Every time you think about it, which is all of the time, your heart beats fast, your chest tightens, your head aches, and your mind races.

Each moment that you are awake, you play out hypothetical scenarios in your mind that could occur while your child is there—scenarios that would be detrimental to her mindset and her well-being. Your mother, who was the director of the Department of Social Services (DSS), has shared with you the horror stories that come from homes such as these. As a result, you cannot find anything positive about this situation, so your mind is plagued with worry and uneasiness, and more and more of the same.

You literally feel like you might just go crazy thinking about this situation and you do not know how you will ever make it through. You do not sleep well. You do not eat well–either you eat too much or not a enough. You may even experience nervous tics (like eye blinking, throat clearing, toes crunching, or abdominal tensing).

This is what I mean by anxiety.

So, do you ever find yourself consumed with anxiety? When I say consumed, I mean that you experience these feelings on a regular basis or even a daily basis as it relates to the various events or circumstances in your life.

If so, you are not alone.

Millions and millions of people experience anxiety to the point where it impedes upon the quality of their day, the quality of their mindset, the quality of their life.

In fact, according to Beverly D. Flaxington in Self-Talk for a Calmer You, “….20-30 percent of the population suffers from some form of anxiety at some point in our adult lives (p. 17).”

If that is the case, there are millions of us (Believers) who are probably challenged when it comes to fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives because we are swimming in a pool of anxiety and we have not mastered the skills of getting out of the water, drying off, and getting back to life on dry ground.

2014 is the year that you can conquer these feelings and claim victory over them. Conquer may seem like a strong word, but it is quite fitting. It means to take control of by force. So, yes, you are going to conquer anxiety starting this year.

You do know that you are going to have trouble in this world, right?

Jesus forewarned you of this in John 16:33. But, that is okay, because He assured you that He has overcome the world and since He lives in you (Galatians 2:20), the trouble that is in the world should not overwhelm you and cause you to be anxious.

In fact, being anxious is contrary to how you should respond to anything according to Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (New International Version)

The Books That Transform LTVD Experience

With that being said, I am inviting you to join me in a study of a strategy-filled book that I mentioned earlier—Self -Talk for a Calmer You: Learn How to Use Positive Self-Talk to Control Anxiety and Live a Happier, More Relaxed Life.

I have had the book since last September and it has been such a blessing to me. Therefore, there has been a tug on my heart to not just interview Beverly D. Flaxington on Books That Transform, but to facilitate an incredible learning experience using her book as the guide for nine straight weeks.

So, on Wednesday, January 22nd, I am inviting you to join me on the new Books That Transform LTVD Experience from 12-12:30 p.m. LTVD stands for Learning Through Virtual Discussion™ which is a name I coined for the virtual process of Learning Through Discussion that was created by William Fawcett Hill in the 1960’s. It is the most thought-provoking, life-changing way to delve into any kind of content that you are reading as it helps you make personal connections that are applicable to your real life and forces you to examine your thinking as it relates to any of the principles that are shared.

Believe me. You will enjoy this process, because you will get a chance to go through each and every chapter with the support of at least one person….Me. But, even still, you will enjoy it even more, as a Believer, because you will see how the powerful techniques have a direct correlation to the Scripture and how we are challenged to “be” in this trouble-filled world.

It will be invigorating! It will be challenging! It will be well worth it!

Steps for Participating in the Book Study self talk for a calmer you book cover

  1. Purchase the book at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.
  2. Commit to 20-30 minutes per day for prayer and study time.
  3. Join the book study mailing list here so that you can receive the show’s recording as well as any updates. http://archive.aweber.com/firstblogcap/ET71X
  4. Participate in the discussion every Wednesday at noon from January 22nd through March 17th by calling in to 347-327-9688.(Save the number in your phone. :)You may also join us live at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/booksthattransform
  5. Finally, subscribe to the show on Blog Talk Radio to get reminders emailed to you when we are about to go on the air.

 

 

Looking forward to taking this journey with you on the Books That Transform LTVD Experience where books become tools of transformation for purpose-driven conversation.

For more information about Self Talk for a Calmer You, visit http://www.selftalkforacalmeryou.com/

 

Learning How To Talk To Yourself

In this innovative, technological age where people can reach you by email, cell, social media, and “snail mail”, you have those people whose name immediately garnishes a positive reaction.  A smile comes to your face, an internal jump for joy erupts, or a wonderful memory of them races through your mind when you see their name anywhere at any time.

Well, something of the sort happened to me earlier this month. I finally downloaded the LinkedIn app to my new Samsung Galaxy 4 (which is a big thing because until about 60 days ago, I was not an “app” person), and lo and behold, there it was….a message from Beverly D. Flaxington, the Human Behavior Coach.

As soon as I saw her name paired with her charismatic photo, I immediately tapped on the screen to view her message.  To my delight, Beverly was asking whether I knew anyone who might benefit from her new book, Self-talk for a Calmer You, and I instantlyself talk for a calmer you book cover responded, “YES!”

Call me self-serving, but I knew that the person who could benefit from a book about self-talk was me. And, I also knew that if Beverly Flaxington was writing about it, it would be a mindset-changer.

So, I did what any other book-loving, truth-seeking, ever-morphing, student of life would do. I let Beverly know that I desperately wanted to read the book and of course, I would want to talk to her about it live on Books That Transform. Thankfully, she agreed to send me a copy and promised to entertain my questions on the show. (Yaaay!!!)

Well, a couple of weeks ago, the book arrived and let me tell you, my heart fluttered, the butterflies in my stomach did somersaults, and my voice giggled with glee as I tore open the box.

(Think: Christmas morning, a five-year-old little girl, ripping open that gargantuan present that has been sitting under the tree for weeks, calling her name, while posing as that Barbie dollhouse she has been wanting since forever…and you will get the picture.)

I don’t know how to explain this, but when I saw the cover, read the title and subtitle (Learn how to use positive self-talk to control anxiety and live a happier, more relaxed life), I just knew that Beverly was going to do a work on me. In fact, I can get a little deeper. I knew that this entire situation had been orchestrated by God.

Now, that may sound “spooky deep”, but it is the truth. This is the area of my life that causes me tremendous turmoil more often than not. And, I am sure if you are still reading this post, it may be a hindrance for you, too. How I perceive “a thing” and how I talk to myself about it can powerfully upset my equilibrium and cause me to ponder over it for days, months, and even years. As you can imagine, being in that state of mind is counterproductive and eventually begins to eat away at my peace.

But, I digress….

On the very first page, Beverly sucked me right in. (Oooo, she is such a good writer.) She explained that self-talk at its most basic level is the way you talk to yourself.  “It’s a kind of internal monologue, a stream of consciousness.” And then, she said something that I knew, but needed to hear again and really wanted to share here with you:

 “You may have heard stories about people overcoming impossible odds to succeed, or about those who rise above their challenges. What they say to themselves, how they interpret the events, what they choose to use as their self-talk is often at the root of their ability to rise and succeed. What makes the difference between those people who seem to overcome the obstacles and make things happen, versus those that get stuck and can’t seem to find the way out of their anxious thoughts and feelings? Often it is their self-talk. It’s the things people say to themselves to get them through or give them new energy or help them problem solve.” ~ Beverly D. Flaxington, author of Self-Talk for a Calmer You, p. 10

You see, I believe that the major roadblock that entrepreneurs have, and particularly, employed entrepreneurs have, is not from anything outside of us; but, it is the nature and quality of our self-talk. We either do not know what to say to ourselves or we know what to say, but we just don’t believe it. As a result, we stall….we start or stop…or even worse, we never even go for it.

Why?

Beverly explains it best: We use anxiety as a coping mechanism to protect ourselves from negative experiences because being confident and feeling good leads to failure.

And, who wants to fail?

anxiety-imageSo, we decide (whether consciously or subconsciously) that it is “better to feel anxious and uptight and be prepared.

Now, this kind of thinking can come from many sources—a traumatic childhood, disappointments or setbacks, hurtful experiences, or troubling situations that we have witnessed. I also believe it can come from being taught or programmed in error or never fully comprehending how much we are valued and loved by God. Or, perhaps it comes from not knowing at the core of our being that HE has a divine purpose for our lives in which we get to participate.

Whatever the cause, the good news is that there is a cure!

Yes, there is a balm in Gilead. There is a process that we can go through to retrain our thinking patterns and thus our quality of self-talk. We have the power and the authority to control our thoughts and put them under subjection.

Isn’t that great news?

Remember that the Word says this:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 NIV

I am sooooo grateful that God has placed someone like Beverly D. Flaxington in the earth to show us how to “do the work.”

As I close, I want to invite you to purchase a copy of Beverly’s new book.  Together, let’s go on this journey of learning how to consistently and faithfully speak positively to ourselves, no matter the circumstance or situation.

As I read, learn, and grow, I will be sharing my thoughts here and I would love for you to share yours as well.

 

Be Inspired to Change Your Mindset & Transform Your Life!

Listen to these shows on Books That Transform:

 

 

 

What would you do if God told you to spend the entire month of July in the desert? 

That’s right….the desert. desert region near Judea

No cell phones, no social media, no reality TV, no news or sports channels, no email–no access to the outside world.

The purpose?

To move you to an  uninhabited place, where God’s audio is crystal clear and no distractions would keep you from receiving the revelation of your divine personal brand.

You see, it is one thing to set goals, to make plans, to get caught up in the busy-ness of attaining all that YOU desire; but, it is a totally different thing when you consult with God as your ultimate  ”life coach”, “brand strategist”, and “business mentor” on what you should be doing, when you should be doing it, and how it should be done.

Read these Scriptures from Proverbs (Amplified Version):

Proverbs 16:1

The plans of the mind and orderly thinking belong to man, but from the Lord comes the [wise] answer of the tongue.

Proverbs 16:3

Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.

Proverbs 16:9

A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.

So, as you can see, it is critical that God play a very intimate role in what you set your mind to do so that your plans receive his ultimate approval.

The Desert As A Place of Preparation

I believe that in order for you to get the revelation of your divine personal brand, you are going to have to “steal away” into your desert place. Stealing away may come in various different forms of which I have included below:

  • Setting aside quiet time with God to pray in the spirit, to meditate on the Word, to be still and know that He is God—allowing God to minister directly to you.

  • Fasting from social media interaction including time spent reading information blogs (like the Huffington Post) which can suck away your time and limit your productivity.

  • Going on a retreat which will allow you to get away from everybody else and immerse yourself in the presence of the Lord for several days. (And this means no access to phone calls, text messages, or emails.)

These are just a few examples of stealing away.

The bottom line is that however or wherever you can get in a place where you can hear from God, you must commit to doing so. You must hear from God, your creator, about His purpose for you—not your purpose for yourself.

That is the only way you will make the impact you were called to make and thereby live a life in peace and contentment.

Consider how John the Baptist “grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.” No doubt, God specifically explained to him his purpose and exactly how he would implement the call that He had on John’s life.

Or think about how Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert fasting and then being tempted by the devil.  No doubt He meditated on the Word of God and His divine purpose, so that nothing that Satan proposed would be enticing in any way.

Likewise, if you are unclear on what you have been called to do and how to orchestrate the flow of your calling, it is time for you to take it to the desert. God promises in His Word to give you wisdom if you ask Him.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him. James 1:5 (NIV)

 I encourage you to steal away and seek God. He will reveal your divine personal brand to you, directly, so that it can be manifested in the world to transform lives.

Listen Now

Did you miss Preparing to Move From Your Job to Your Divine Business with Author, Evangelist, and Kingdom Trainer, Ericka D. Jackson? If so, listen now.

Learn more about how God will reveal to you what you are called to do and who you are called to serve.

Listen to internet radio with kelliegardner on BlogTalkRadio

You Deserve To Walk In Peace

Do you find yourself getting disturbed or taken aback by the troubling experiences that you go through?

Do you find that your peace is easily shaken or disturbed?

If so, please read this post in its entirety.

A Life-Changing Experience

Just last March, March of 2012, I was sitting at my desk working on the computer and my chest began to tighten. My fingers felt numb and I had sharp pains at the base of my neck and into my shoulders. Then, I started feeling like my breathing was off. I guess you could call it shortness of breath.

My daughter, who was just five years old, was out of school and she was in her bedroom watching one of her favorite movies. I didn’t want to alarm her, so I went on the internet and I typed symptoms of a heart attack.

I started reading the symptoms and my mind said, “You are getting ready to have a heart attack.” So, I called one of my dearest and closest friends who had been experiencing issues with hypertension so I knew she knew all about heart attacks.

She stayed on the phone with me for almost an hour and ruled out the fact that I was about to have one. She told me to go to get my pressure checked at a Harris Teeter grocery store or a CVS Pharmacy because perhaps my pressure had escalated for some reason.

I went and according to the instrument there, let’s just say I should not be here.

So, I thought, that can’t be right. My mother then told me to go to an Urgent Care but by that time all of the Urgent Cares had closed. My mother then advised me to  take an aspirin,  try to get some rest, and go to the Urgent Care right after I dropped off my daughter at school.

That night, I did not get much rest.

I kept thinking crazy thoughts about my health, about my life,  and about the safety of my daughter. I certainly was not ready to leave here (the Earth) and have someone else raise her, so I needed to find out exactly what was going on in my body to cause these kinds of symptoms and do whatever it took to make sure I didn’t experience them, again.

The next morning, I took Zoe to school and rushed to Urgent Care.

After being checked out and x-rayed, the doctor informed me that my blood pressure was high for the first time in my life and that what I had described was an anxiety or panic attack. anxiety attack

He told me that people who experience these feel like they are having a heart attack. He also informed me that the x-ray revealed that my neck was too straight.  (I didn’t even know there was such a thing.)

As he showed me the x-rays, he informed me that my neck should have a little curvature to it, but mine did not. It was completely straight. The straight neck was the cause of the pain in my shoulders and the numbness in my fingers.

Seek and You Shall Find

After that experience, I began to seek God about the state of my life.

Why would I, a child of God, get to a place where I would have an anxiety attack? Why would I get to a place where my mindset was not on taking care of my body? What in the world was going on with me?

I realized that I had not been studying the Word as I should but I had been substituting tele-evangelism for my daily dose of the Word. So, I made a decision to devote time to my own time with God.

Now, I am the kind of person who would rather study a particular topic or issue that I would like to learn more about or even one that is bothering me, as opposed to just reading chapter after chapter, book after book.

And, God, knowing His child, laid it in my heart to study PEACE. And as I studied, He revealed to me three elements, three components, three keys to possessing my peace so that no matter what goes on in my life, I can walk victoriously, confidently, without angst.

It is not a magic pill, quick fix or a microwavable potion, but it is a process that you and I can use no matter what we face. Because guess what?

You deserve to walk in peace. :)

Yes!!! You are a child of the God of Peace….so nothing “in” or “of” this world should sabotage the peace that your Heavenly Father has given you through the power of His Holy Spirit. (I Thessalonians 5:23, Galatians 5:22)

The three keys that God gave to me will come in handy in your life, time and time again. I promise you that. The more you use them, the better you will get at using them.

 

Sharing the 3 Keys to Possessing Your Peace on Not Just Talk Radio

On March 25th, I was a guest on Shamara Cox’s Not Just Talk Radio Show and I spoke on this topic: 3 Keys to Possessing Your Peace: Rising Above the Drama to Walk In Your Divine Personal Brand.  Shamara and I had a ball and it seemed to be a popular topic with the listeners as the questions came flooding in–so much so, that we didn’t get a chance to answer them all.

Listen Now

  1. Get your Bible out and turn to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. The three keys are found there.
  2. Listen now and be blessed!
  3. Share the show with others who need a systematic formula for walking in peace.
  4. Don’t just read and listen. Leave a comment below. :)  

Listen to internet radio with Not Just Talk on Blog Talk Radio

 

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV

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