Updated: Oct 9, 2021
Sometimes it is hard to reset when you've had one life circumstance after another seemingly piling on top of you like a stack of life-sized dominoes. Or maybe you've had one on-going hard, draining situation with no let up at all. There is a great temptation to remain stuck. You may ask, "Why even think of trying to reset, staying in my comfort zone is easier anyway. Will the comfort of your comfort zone change the things you are going through? No, however your attitude towards hard situations will change when you decide to love yourself enough to push life's reset button. Einstein says, "No problem can be solved with the same level of consciousness that created it."
When going through hard things you can wonder, "Am I made for this?" or "Why don't I just quit?". Well, quitting is one option but like I mentioned earlier, if you quit in the middle of a tough situation, it does not magically make the situation disappear. You might be thinking, "Wait, aren't you advocating for quitting that's what the title said?" No, not exactly, what I am saying is sometimes it is necessary to quit or pull back in life's tough situations so that you can pinpoint negative stress factors, regroup and move forward.
Psychologists say some stress is good, motivating even. This is the type of stress that provokes you to study for a big test or obey the law. Then there's the bad stress, the major incident stressors like on-going issues at work or caring for a sick loved one, there's even chronic stress that leads to depression and other physical and mental issues. It's important to get to the root of the stress so it can be managed or better yet prevented from happening again. In my experience, change is palatable when I am prepared for it, meaning, if I am overwhelmed by change or problems, I ask myself, "What tools could help ease my suffering, create progress and win in this situation?" Then I begin to implement the tools little by little, so I am not overwhelmed, in other words, I pivot. Following Einstein's theory, I gain a new level of consciousness to shift my perspective about the situation even if I cannot change the situation.
"Quitters never win they say", Well in this case they do because when you quit something it is an amazing opportunity to take time to reset and reconfigure life to work for you. Recently, I quit answering calls and emails after I left work and it greatly reduced my stressed. This boundary was necessary so that I could stop over-extending myself and communicating to others that it was okay to infringe on my personal time and energy without consequence. Reconfiguring lifestyle habits usually consists of acknowledging the small daily habits that drain our energy and emotional accounts leaving us stuck or in procrastination mode. If you find you are in procrastination mode, ask yourself, "What emotion am I avoiding and why and/or what am I stressed out about? Acknowledge your stress, then you can interrupt the habit of avoiding and complete task(s) in smaller chunks, done repeatedly you break the habit of avoiding! Think of it, what could you accomplish if you weren't afraid of success? Now, between 2020 and 2021 I know we all have had one time or another where we've either thought of throwing in the towel or done it, quit something. Can I tell you something it's okay! If you resolve to quit because a situation is not a good fit or it is toxic it is not the end of the world, just remember never quit on yourself, keep the faith and hold on to your hope under duress. It's like I always told my kids, "It's okay to fail, just fail forward." The only real mistakes are the ones we never learn from. Shift your focus, remember the times God brought you through before? Remember how you garnered your strength in the past to overcome in tough situations? These are reasons to remain hopeful. God is faithful to do "it" again plus as we hold on to our hope, we build endurance in our character and stand ready to receive the promise of God in due time. Read this aloud: Do not, therefore, fling away your [fearless] confidence, for it has a glorious and great reward. For you have need of patient endurance [to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising], so that when you have carried out the will of God, you may receive and enjoy to the full what is promised. Hebrews 10:35-36
It is okay to quit a team that you thought you could handle but it turns out it takes too much of your time and energy, it's okay to step back from that extra-curricular school activity if it is infringing on your mental health, it is okay to take some of that earned paid time off at work to regain your life balance and well-being. It is okay to step back from life situations that overwhelm you, it is okay to say, "I need a break to regroup." Also, guess what you don't need a super complex reason to give to other people, "No thank you, not at this time" is a complete sentence. It is okay, to not be okay. It is okay to keep the faith and get therapy. It is okay to work, create life balance and enjoy life! It is okay to find ways to reduce your stress and not feel guilty. If 2020 taught me nothing else, it taught me what sustainable habits were and what they were not. I needed to unapologetically let go of some ways of being to be healthy and remain focused on the right things. Our society perpetrates this glamorized "strong man or strong woman" superhero ideal which usually means:
· Work and hustle so hard that you feel guilty for getting proper rest
· Spend countless hours on social media and then wonder why you are dealing with comparison complex
· People please to no avail so that you "feel" like you fit in, but you do not
· Avoid your true emotions to seem normal and if you say that you have needs you are seen as weak
· Worry endlessly about things out of your control and even worse be so anxious about the future that you spend little to no quality time with the family and friends that are present
· Judge yourself so harshly that you begin to live in an atmosphere that lacks self-acceptance, self-love, creativity, and progress. In this space you are unable to receive the divine downloads you need to align with your true purpose
We have so many demands on us it is hard to know what or who to pull back from, what small changes we can make to accommodate our well-being and especially those big lifestyle changes that take us out of the red (negative) and put us back in the black (positive). So, what do you do first? As a Christian believer I would say pray and ask God to align your life with His will; when you do this you are giving God permission to show you the unfruitful places in your life with the choice to bury them. Maybe you don't need to lead all four of those ministry groups! He will also show you where you are not in faith but striving for approval, love, and accomplishment instead of resting in His finished works so that you can experience His real peace. Ouch! Read this aloud: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 Practically, get in touch with your true feelings and do not dismiss them, or judge them. Take some time alone and get to the root of why you are feeling the way you are feeling. Coach yourself to find the root of your stressors. Ask yourself, "What aspects of this adversity can I directly control, leverage or influence." Then keep talking to God and listening for His response. The scripture urges us like this, Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Your concerns and dare I say worries are important but they have a place and it is not on your shoulders. Being humble enough to dethrone yourself and turn your worries over to God is what gets you results not having a super hero complex. Prayer tells God what the care is, and asks God to help, while faith believes that God cares and can and will intervene. Throw your cares off and receive God's care.
I would also suggest realigning your life's core values too. A lot of times when we are overwhelmed, we've either dismissed our own core value(s) or a situation is signaling to us that we need a new core value, once this is complete you can re-establish your priorities. Choose progress over perfection. Perfection and excellence are different, perfection is being as free as possible from flaws and defects, so it is like working against yourself because we all have flaws! Excellence is a mindset of doing things well, giving your best while still being open to course correct, when necessary, without beating yourself up. Next, one of the most amazing things that I have learned to do is - stop arguing with reality. It truly is what it is. As humans we are argue with facts which causes stress and prevents us from engaging our faith. As believers, it is okay to acknowledge the facts and engage our faith to see God's powerful outcomes in our lives. Problem is we humans waste entirely too much time arguing with reality instead of accepting experiences for what they are which causes us willful suffering. For example, Sarah believes for gas weekly instead of budgeting a larger amount for gas and a lesser amount for lattes or Jaquan throws his doctors report away and ignores his symptoms instead of acknowledging the facts and partnering with God and other believers in faith to see his body healed. What am I saying, "Acknowledge the facts, pray, get in the Word of God and find the revelation you need to see God's word manifest in your situation.
Hold yourself accountable by being present and accepting the situation as it is, this is the first step out of stressful situations and into a mindset for possibilities. In the absence of stress, your mind has space to find solutions that couldn’t be seen within the jungle of stressors. Be open to setting healthy boundaries to stop inviting energy draining activities; ask yourself often, "Is this activity or relationship moving me toward my "reset" or away from my new reset perspective and habits?" This will help you limit time wasters and time wasted on non-reciprocal relationships. We often fast from food, but I am finding social media fasts are necessary and can clear our minds and schedules to do what is important and what needs to be accomplished. In my personal life I have noticed that when I allow myself unhindered quiet time, time to stop and do nothing I can hear my own thoughts and I can hear God very clearly. This also goes for work-life balance; when you are at work or running your business do all you can do to be present but once the clock stops you stop. When we allow work life to cross healthy boundaries and seep into our personal time, we become tired, weary, stressed, and worse we begin to become bitter about our blessings. We need time away from work to feel rested and have a fresh perspective about the work we do. Working longer hours is not a badge of honor and can negatively affect work performance; a good note to remember work with excellence and moderation to meet your outcomes. The "grind and shine" culture can be unrelenting and result in a comparison conundrum that steals your joy and leaves you burned out. Remember the work we do is not just supposed to benefit our employers/businesses, it should also work in our favor too. Even God took a break when His work was completed! Stress is a huge sign that we need to make some changes and those changes need to benefit us instead of causing us to settle for less or compromise our wellbeing. Healthy limits do not just happen it is with intentionality that remove unhappiness, overwhelm, resentment or issues with boundary setting. It is necessary to quit or close a door when it does not serve us anymore. I am not speaking of quitting just for quitting sake but instead making it a great time to reset and plan new priorities. Where do you need a lifestyle reset? Write it down along with the steps you will take to get to the root of your stress and plan your way into balance and peace. I encourage you to redistribute the weight in your life to release pain points and take on some power thoughts that lead into more purposeful living. This reset doesn’t happen overnight nor is it a onetime occurrence. We need to do it regularly and if we have breath in our bodies it's up to us to create balance and harmony in our souls. Keep at it with fervor to protect your peace. Like the widow in Luke 18:
The widow kept going to the only place that she could go in the world to get help, and though she was continually refused and could not get the help she needed, she just kept asking an unjust judge. Finally, something happened. Luke 18:4 and 5 say, “Afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” This judge was selfish, but to save his own reputation he gave in to her demand. To save his reputation, though he had no pity or compassion, he decided to avenge her to get rid of her. Her persistence saved her! Be persistent about your peace. I was recently treated for whip lash from a hit and run car accident. It put an enormous amount of stress and pressure on my neck and shoulders that caused a lot of pain. In addition to this I was overusing certain muscles causing my other muscles to experience spasm. The physical therapist noted that I was overusing certain muscles, so I needed to retrain those muscles and nerves to understand that they didn't have to do all the work! It is not good to put so much weight on any one area of your life that other areas begin to suffer. The solution was a treatment plan and medication to be able to use all my affected muscles again in a healthy way. Where do you need to quit being unbalanced and get a new treatment plan?
I hope you can quit if you need to and reset to regain balance, I know I certainly have over the last few months. Losing my Dad recently really has taught me that life is but a vapor and it is our right and responsibility to be intentional about a life well lived. If you got something out of this send me note and let me know, I'd love to hear from you.
I wish you love, peace, good health, wealth and reset! Check out our offer for this month-"You were made for this" T-shirt by the "I am valuable" Brand Coach Kim