Sometimes I question God…I do.
I say that gingerly because my questions don’t necessarily revolve around the unexplainable phenomenon of the universe and honestly I don’t know if questioning the sovereign Creator is a good look or not.
But I still do it.
It usually starts out like, “Uggghhhh, why do I have to go through this?!”
And, “What is it that I am supposed to be doing with my life?”
Or, “Why did you give me this laid back personality?”
And, “Why couldn’t I be more Type A so I COULD JUST GET STUFF DONE?!
These questions usually start rolling when I’m feeling overwhelmed with life and the responsibilities I have as a mom and wife. Or, when I’m feeling fearful and insecure about whether or not I have the internal fortitude to move forward with my purpose.
It has been in these faith-less and fear-filled moments that I have succumbed to the sudden and suffocating grip of self-imposed paralysis. The doubt and negative self-talk–that I allow–welcomes itself into my mind with the ease of a lifelong friend who knows the pass code to my home security system. It has forced me to relinquish my forward progress, more often than I care to admit and has destroyed any level of consistency that I may have relished in at the time.
Being in this space is not fun…IT IS AGONIZING! Especially when you know that there is so much more for you to do, be, and achieve.
I’ve learned that your “internal knowing”– that feeling that you were made for more– is something that you have to both protect and pursue vigilantly. Figuring out how to move forward after a challenge can feel overwhelming and it requires some acute thought awareness and strategic planning and action.
Here are 3 strategies to help move beyond paralysis towards productivity:
Renew your mind and faith
When fear or insecurities have you, or your marriage, or your relationships or your business cornered into a state of paralysis, you can either choose to look at it as failure or an opportunity to grow your faith. May I suggest the latter. Faith, like any other unused muscle will lose its effectiveness over time. As women, we are accustomed to using our mind’s muscle to analyze something a million different ways trying to make a decision or pre-determine an outcome. And it can be easy for the analytical mind to close the door to the activation of faith. However, Romans 12:2 instructs us not to “… copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. And you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” When we allow God to transform our thinking (i.e. renew our minds), through the activation of faith, we can trust that he will reveal His will for our lives and help us determine the strategy to achieve it.
Refocus your attention and energy
Ironically, if you are intentionally aware, being at a standstill can provide an efficient opportunity to observe and identify the thoughts, fears, and distractions that may have become the focus of your paralysis. Once identified, it’s imperative to create a predetermined course of action to counter those distractions. For example, when fear or negative thoughts try to infiltrate my mind I have to be quick to counter them by rehearsing-audibly sometimes- the truth of who God says I am (i.e., am fearfully and wonderfully made, God has a purpose and an expected end for my life). Or when anxiety tries to overwhelm me close to a deadline I know I have to turn off all device notifications to focus on the task at hand. So having a sense of awareness and a plan in place provides structure and the muscle memory to eventually begin automating your response to focus your attention and energy towards result producing efforts.
Restart with resolve
We all know that somebody who’s usually loud and wrong, but their confidence is on one hundred! You also know that any dialog with them can almost guarantee that your opinion or point of view won’t be heard. Right or wrong, you have to give this person credit for sticking to the script! Now, I’m in know way suggesting that you subscribe to this foolish practice, but there is a lesson to be learned from this type of individual. Brace yourself for some bad English! This person has mentally resolved that can’t nobody tell them nothing about nothing! When preparing to restart our course of action we should pursue our purpose, our marriages, our lives with the same unshakable resolve that sees the end in mind and refuses to deviate. (Note: you should always remain resolved in your commitment/decision, yet flexible in your approach. Never close to door to wisdom that may help you reach you goal)
So, tell me I’m not alone. Have you ever experienced paralyzing moments that have taken you of your course of action. What do you do to get back on track?
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