Today, as our nation faces some of its most trying times, many individuals have found themselves questioning the future. From the multi-trillion dollar loss in retirement funding to the massive number of foreclosures the financial woes of Wall Street have echoed in our ears Perhaps you have been one of the many who have said, "What am I going to do? What if I lose my savings? What if we don't have enough retirement money? What if it all gets worse?"
Thriving In The Midst of Fear and Uncertainty
As I hear these questions in the hearts of so many leaders in our country, I can see the evidence of FEAR creeping in to steal the power of what makes this country so great.
America is the greatest country to live in and offers the greatest amount of freedom, opportunity, and potential. Yet, like a thief sneaking in a back door, fear seems to have made residence in the hearts of so many individuals in this time financial uncertainty in our nation. Despite the chaos at Wall Street, this country is still a place of amazing opportunity. For those who panic, they will be on the losing end of this season of transition for our country. For those who look into the muck and mire and see opportunity, they will be able to find the diamonds in the rough.
For example: While some folks are complaining that this is a "terrible time to sell a home", others are seizing the moment by saying, "this is a GREAT time to buy!" Every challenge comes with GREAT opportunity. So how do you weather this recent financial storm and make sure that you don't get caught on the short end of the stick? How do you position yourself to partake of this land of opportunity like so many other entrepreneurs will this season?
KEY #1: UP YOUR PERSPECTIVE
Look For The Good In Everything. Two young twin boys were being examined by researchers as a result of their very distinctive personalities. One boy was an eternal optimist, always happy and full of cheer. The other boy was an unfortunate pessimist, who couldn't seem to find a moment's peace or happiness despite his fortunate surroundings.
Researchers placed the pessimistic boy in a room full of every toy a boy his age could hope for. Meanwhile, they placed the optimistic boy in a room full of horse manure. After a short five minutes, the pessimistic boy began to cry with great emotional outbursts. Researchers opened the door and said, "Son, what is the matter? You have every toy in here a boy could want."
The pessimist replied, "There's so many toys, I don't know which to play with." In the other room they heard squealing and laughter, they peered in the room of horse manure to see the boy jumping up and down in the manure, throwing it in the air and laughing with glee. They quickly opened the door and said, "Boy, what on earth are you so happy about?"
The boy replied with great excitement, "With all of this manure, there's gotta be a pony in her somewhere!!!!"
This is a great story to show us the power of perspective. How do you view the "manure" around you? If you grumble in pessimism, you WILL miss the opportunities. Instead, look for the good in every day. Keep your eyes and your heart open to new opportunities.
KEY #1: ELIMINATE F.E.A.R.
What is fear? It is False Expectations Appearing Real in our lives. It is presuming the worst, expecting grave misfortune. Fear is an anticipation that something bad is going to happen. Worry is the partner of fear. It is the manifested bloom that emerges when fear takes root in our lives. As worry grows, anxiety, stress and a host of other symptoms bloom and radically change our perspective, our health, and our ability to think clearly.
Even when the reality of the world around you is in "crisis mode", don't let fear rule your heart. A scripture I hold dear in times of struggle is one in which God stated, "Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, and I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41)
Basically put, God knows of your current situation and He also knows how to rescue you. Trust him in the details. Don't try to figure everything out in your head. Do not worry. Don't let stress come in and plague your heart. Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in America? Did you know that STRESS is a major precursor to that disease?
By eliminating fear, you will not only see more clearly, operate more efficiently, be more open to creativity, and have a better outlook, but you will also be adding years to your life and peace to your soul.
KEY #1: GIVE THANKS
Another practice my husband and I make in times of decision is to stop in our tracks, and put on an attitude of gratitude. It is always amazing to me that no matter what the negative emotion may be that tries to steal our joy, when we allow gratitude to fill our hearts, the pain of the moment fades away.
It may be as simple as saying, "Thank you God for my children. Thank you for my home. Thank you that I have a bed to sleep in tonight. Thank you for shoes on my feet. Thank you that I have a job. Thank you that I have my health. Thank you that I can comb my own hair. Thank you that I can freely go to the bathroom by myself....."
Each and every one of us has something to be grateful for today. Even if your world seems to be falling apart, there is still much to appreciate. Stop right now. Close your eyes. Instead of focusing on the chaos and turmoil around you, allow your mind to list at least 10 things you have to be thankful for right now.
As you utilize these three keys, send us your results and let your life become a catalyst of encouragement, hope, and change for someone else!
Believing the best for you,