Spiritual Concepts 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/

 

Implementing Your 2014 Success Routine

How do you define success?

Is it based upon standards related to prosperity, popularity, influence, or promotion?

Well, no matter how you define success, success is intentional. It is not an act of  happenstance.  It is something that occurs as a result of actions that take place on a consistent basis, day after day after day after day.

Think about it. 

If you have ever been to school, you know that you completed the grade or earned the diploma or degree because you attended school on a regular basis and you met the standards by which the grade, diploma, or degree required.

You were then awarded with promotion out of that grade to the next or you were awarded with a document that said that you had attained the degree on a certain date and  you have all the rights and privileges afforded to you as a result of it.

In the same way that you consistently attended school to obtain a certificate of completion, you must commit to your success in other areas of your life. You must take steps daily towards your goals and those goals must be grounded in the purpose that God has for your life. For if your goals are not those that align with God’s purpose for your life, then you will find them to be to no avail, empty, and unfulfilled.

Success Based Upon God’s Instructions

One of the things that I came to realize in 2013 is that everything that I do needs to be aligned with the purpose that God has for my life. He is my creator. He knows why he made me; therefore, it is to my benefit that I consult with him on what I should do and how I should do it.

This means that everything that is presented to me, even those things that are good in their own right, are not things that are for my benefit. On their own accord, they may be wonderful things to do, but as it relates to the purpose God has for my life, they may prove to be distractions.

Proverbs 16:3 says:

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. (New International Version)

Now, you might be thinking, “Well, I have prayed before I have embarked on many a thing. I have asked God to be in the midst of it and I have asked him to bless my endeavors, but there have been times that I felt that I did not succeed.”

I understand where you are coming from. So, let me offer you this translation of this verse which might clarify some things for you.

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. (Amplified Version)

Hmmm….I love this translation because it points out something that is KEY: “He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to HIS WILL, and so shall your plans be established and succeed.”

But when does He do this? This translation makes it clear that God will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to HIS WILL AFTER you ROLL your works upon HIM.

Rolling Your Works Upon Him

When you think of the term “roll”, you probably think of something that is moving in a particular direction, rotating or turning over and over and over again. Depending on your age or your experiences, you might think of a wheelbarrow, rolling up or down a hill. You might even think of your grandmother rolling the dough for some kind of pastry. Perhaps, your mind goes back to your early childhood where you may have rolled down a grassy hill and watched your momentum increase as you went further down.

When you think of “works”, you may think of activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. Or, you may even think of mental or physical activity as a means of earning income. You may simply think, “employment” when the term works come to mind. Finally, your mind might go to the “good things” that you do for the kingdom.

If you then think about what it means to roll your works upon Him, you may visualize yourself establishing a pattern of going before God over and over again about the mental or physical activities of which you desire to implement, so that He might give you the red, yellow, or green light as it relates to your pursuit of those activities.

You make a point to position yourself to hear from Him about what you plan to do because you understand that is the only way that He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His Will, not your will. You see, it is only when your will is lost in His that you experience true success.

Guess what? You get to know Him by spending time with Him. You begin to hear from Him as you study His Word and devote time to praying and meditating on it.

Joshua 1: 8 says: This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. (Amplified Version)

And so, I might be presumptuous enough to say that success, my dear friend, is evident when you are in sync with what God placed you here to do and you do it in the manner in which He desires that it get done. And you know what that means, that means you are then walking in your divine personal brand.

Implementing Your Success Routine

So, this year, I beseech you to alter your perspective on your planning for 2014.

In other words, as you create a schedule for your daily, consistent steps towards success in all areas of your life, make sure that you seek God about whether your works align with His purpose BEFORE you commit to them.

Remember, Proverbs 3:5-6:

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

You see, you always have a part to play before God can provide clarity, direction, and a very obvious path.

So, for 2014, consider your plans for your–

  • health and exercise,
  • personal and spiritual development,
  • career development,
  • prayer and meditation time,
  • charitable efforts,
  • entrepreneurial endeavors, and
  • time with loved ones and significant others.

Break your day into compartments that are doable and establish a routine that becomes second nature to you. Therefore, when success happens, you will not be surprised or caught off guard thinking, “Who me? For me?”

No, you will be expecting it because your thoughts were in line with God’s will for your life and your actions provided the evidence of those thoughts. Below, I have included an example of a success routine found in the book, Secrets to Creating Wealth by Stephen Pierce, that I purchased in 2010.

Note: Your routine does not have to be exactly like this. This is just a guide published on pages 77-83.        

Time Activities
4:30 a.m. Begin the day with prayer, meditation, and Bible study.
5:30 a.m. Check and respond to email.
6:00 a.m. Checks the markets—Dow Jones and the NASDAQ.
6:30 a.m. Workout and shower.
7:45 a.m. Reading Time
9:30 a.m.–until Work on various projects, create new products, put together new campaigns, check and respond to email.
Include time to listen to various audio programs, watch seminars or even listen to instrumental music throughout the day—constantly feeding your mind with all kinds of information that will move you closer to your intended outcomes.
Include time to meet with your mentor or your personal coaches that propel you in various areas of your life.
Spend time with your significant other or your loved ones. You may volunteer at your child’s school, do something fun with your husband or wife, visit your parents or grandparents.
Do some kind of charitable work or volunteer at your church.
Bedtime Read 30 minutes before you go to bed so that the information marinates in your mind while you are sleeping.

The idea is that you break your day into chunks or blocks of time that you can duplicate each day so that you do these things automatically. This does not mean that you cannot be flexible when flexibility is needed, but it does mean that you are not going through your day aimlessly without a plan for what you need to do to experience the success that God wants for you.

2014, The BEST Year EVER

My prayer for you is that this year is the best year you have experienced thus far as your relationship with God becomes more and more intimate and you earnestly seek Him each and every single day. Be blessed in all that you do and keep walking in your divine personal brand. ~ Shalom.

So, You Are Tired of Being Tested?

Testing.

What comes to mind when you hear the word, testing?

Do you think of sharpened pencils, bubble sheets, eerie silence coupled with the loud tick-tock of the clock? bubble sheet

Do you think of waxed floors, metal desks, and a teacher with a stern face, walking around, proctoring the atmosphere?

Or, do you think of those three minuscule minutes you have left–minutes posted so effortlessly by your teacher on the blackboard or white board (depending on how young you are), when you know that you still have a zillion questions to answer?

Hmmm…testing, testing, 1, 2, 3.

Testing is a hot topic in education, today. It seems that it always has been and it always will be. But, I want to put a spin on this topic as it relates to you, the Believer, who feels like you are always taking a test, preparing for a test, or just completing a test.

I want to speak to you, the Believer, who feels like things are just not “letting up.” You feel like as soon as you experience a “high” in your life, the low is not too far behind.

I want to take this time to have a conversation with you about the beauty of something much deeper than testing and that is assessment.

The Difference between Testing and Assessment

You see a test is simply an instrument given to measure skills, knowledge, development, and even aptitudes. But, assessment is a process for gathering information to make decisions.

When you are assessing a child, you are actually placing the child under a microsope, looking at how the child reacts to certain situations, how the child processes information, and even how the child applies what he or she knows in real-life circumstances.

During the assessment process, you take anecdotal notes and record the child’s actions in a systematic fashion. You may file those notes in folder labeled with the child’s name to be analyzed at a later date or you may keep samples or products of the child’s work in a portfolio to serve as official documentation of what that child can or cannot do. taking notes

Ultimately, the purpose of the assessment is to provide the data you need to instruct and guide the child in the best possible way. In other words, your goal is to create a learning environment that is so customized that the child has no choice but to thrive and discover knowledge.

The assessment may reveal some things about the child that are surprising. For instance, you may have certain expectations of the child’s abilities based upon typical growth and development charts or some set of curricular standards; but, while assessing the child, you find out that the child is nowhere near “the level” that you had assumed the child would be.

Or perhaps, the assessment reveals something that you already knew–something quite obvious: the child is much more advanced than “the level” indicated on the chart or by the “standards.” Either way, the data you obtain dictates how you set the stage for learning as the child’s facilitator.

Viewing God as the Facilitator of Your Learning Experience

In the same way, you are being assessed by God.

Let me help you imagine this.

Although we know that God knows us inside and out, try to imagine him as a regular classroom teacher.  As that regular classroom teacher, he has a clipboard with a list of all of the “standards” that he is looking for you to meet or exceed. So, he is constantly creating activity plans and lessons plans that give you the time, space, and materials conducive to learning certain skills. clipboard checklist

He sets up an environment that allows you to develop mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, financially—all the ways in which you need to mature. All the while, he is collecting in-depth information about you and determining how he might modify instruction so that he speaks to you in the way that causes you to “get it.”

Sometimes, he doesn’t set up anything, but he watches you in your own naturalistic environment. He notes things about your daily routine, your prioritized activities, your social interactions, and your mindset.

Seemingly, he recognizes your areas of strength as well as the areas that need improvement.

The great thing is that he doesn’t use the data he collects against you, but he uses it to enhance your growth and development—to take you from where you are to where you need to be.

If you need more practice, you get more practice. But, if you have demonstrated proficiency or mastery in a particular area, he ensures that you move on to the next meaningful learning experience.

Embracing Test-Taking Time

At some point, what you have learned from God by God and through God must be determined. Before you are “approved” to move on to the next level of learning, you must pass the test.

Given the Ivy League education you have received from God Himself, it is important to find out not only how much you know, but how much you will apply.

So, when you are faced with trials and tribulations, do you “count it all joy” or do you run and hide or gripe and complain?

When you are hit below the belt with an unexpected betrayal or rejection, do you slander the person or do you pray for the one who has despitefully used you.

When disease or famine strike, do you weep uncontrollably, fall into depression or do you exercise your mustard-seed faith and speak to the situation and cast it into the sea?

You see, when it is time to take the test, you can either showcase your growth and development or you can choose the defeated attitude towards testing and fail to accentuate your true ability.

Your performance will determine God’s instructional method. He already knows what you are capable of. He just has to provide the right circumstances that cause you to grow into it and know it for yourself.

Changing Your Perspective

He wants you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. He wants you to live an abundant life. He wants you to understand that you must always be postured to learn, process, and apply over and over again until the test is so easy that He can finally check-off that standard on his clipboard and MOVE you to the next.

So, as you go through the assessment cycle, be clear about what it REALLY is. Know that once you master a skill, not only will you pass the test, but then and only then will you finally be equipped to help others.

 

 kenetia-fearless-beauty-book-coverAre you ready for the new season of Books That Transform?

Click here to access your FREE subscription and be blessed by the show that “changes mindsets and transforms lives.”

New show on November 7th with Kenetia Lee, author of Fearless Beauty, A Women’s Guide to Living Bold, Beautiful, and Free at 2:00 p.m.(EST).

Can’t wait to meet you there!

 

 

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:

 

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 Page 1 of 17  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last » 

WordPress Web Hosting