Six Steps to Getting Unstuck

 

One foot in front of the other
All that we have is each other
One foot in front of the other

Walk the Moon

Have you ever felt stuck?

You started off the year with new goals and refreshed dreams somewhere along the way you became distracted, bogged down, and may be disengaged.

I have experienced seasons like that in my life. It wasn’t like I intended to get stuck or drift off course, but it happened.

If this sounds familiar you have only three choices:

  1. Live in denial and pretend like everything is fine.
  2. Quit, give up on the goal, the dream, the vision.
  3. Re-engage, begin to move forward again.

It’s funny how life will send you little reminders if you are paying attention. A few weeks ago I was on the road to a speaking event with the leadership team of the Gila National Forest in Southern New Mexico when some great lyrics caught my attention. It was a song by the group Walk the Moon titled One Foot in Front of the Other.

The lead vocalist, Nick Petricca in a Rolling Stone interview noted, “The song is about starting out into the unknown, being faced with uncertainty and what could be an uncertain future and to take the first step anyway.”

Petricca’s words remind me of the words about faith in the New Testament book of Hebrews 13:1, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is evidence of things we cannot see.” NLT

The resonating theme to me in this catchy tune is the theme that one has to keep moving forward, taking one step at a time, one step in front of the other.

I believe that this is one of the key components of resilience which is the ability to resist the manifestations of clinical distress, impairment, or dysfunction that are often associated with acute stress, upsetting life events, and personal trauma.

So is it time to get unstuck? Is it time to refocus? Is it time to use your resilience muscle?

If you are sick and tired of being stuck and you don’t want to live in denial or give up, I have some excellent news for you! I have six things that you can begin doing as soon as you finish this article that will give you some energy to start moving forward again.

  1. Quit staring in the rearview mirror of your life. Quit focusing on the past, let go of it. If you need help with this, see your spiritual leader or get therapy.
  2. Don’t be distracted by the bugs on your windshield, change your perspective.
  3. Begin by taking baby steps. Avoid you little inner perfectionist voice and take action.
  4. Consider your purpose on this planet. Hint: It’s not your job, it’s that thing that makes you tick, your passion.
  5. Believe in yourself. You are a unique person that is fearfully and wonderfully made. You have a unique blend of talents and gifts. Rather than doubting yourself, I want to you make a gratitude list, once you finish this article. In that list, I want to you write down some of this gifts and abilities and be grateful for them. Refuse to sabotage yourself with deep-seated fears and false beliefs.
  6. Change your thinking patterns, and you will change your life and outcomes. Incidentally, I have a free twenty-minute online course that you can sign up for today. It will give you the secret to managing your thought life in such a way as to improve your health, relationships, and business outcome.

Call to action:

Pick two of these and begin moving forward.

Sign up for my 20 minutes “Brain Tricks” Class

If you need to, talk to a professional. It might be your pastor, a therapist, or even me. I do offer Life Management Consultations.

Feel free to leave a comment, or sign up for my by clicking the banner at the top.

Be Blessed,

John

Revive Your Mind – Quit Blaming

When in Doubt, Project Blame

I work with people who have anger management issues. When someone starts a sentence with My wife…, My husband…, My boss.., or My mama…, I smile and wait. Then Ill say, Wow. So you have absolutely zero control over your emotions? Are you being completely controlled by external circumstances? People, aliens, the government, the president, the economy, your congressman, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your mom, your dadit is all their fault?

The next automatic negative thought or stinking thinking trap is Them, Them, Thembelieving that other people or circumstances are the causes of every problem you encounter. Jesus had something to say about this. This particular one has been around since Adam and Eve messed things up in the garden of Eden. When God confronted Adam about his disobedience, he immediately blamed Eve. I do not know about you, but some people working as therapist make a pretty good living helping people find a way to blame other for their current condition. FYI, I am not one of those folks.

Sometimes we avoid dealing with our own stuff by evaluating and criticizing others. Jesus instructs us to look at our imperfections before we censor and condemn the faults in others.

My wife has a business that she really enjoys. She is with Premier Designs Jewelry, a home-based business that allows here flexibility to be a grandmother, wife, and friend. It has been a lifesaver for her because it has had a positive impact emotionally, mentally, and financially to our family. By working her business, she has courageously pushed back the negatives from her early family life. Her self-esteem, love for God, and her leadership skills have grown. I am so proud of what she is done. She works hard. She has a dream. She is a leader. She encourages other women to have a dream and to move beyond their past hurts.

In the direct-selling business lots of people get into a business, and they get excited, at first. They want to make a success in business. They ask a few people to have a home show or to invite people over for a party and nobody shows up, or maybe their spouse isnt supportive, so they decide to quit after a few negative responses. If asked why they dropped out, they typically say, Well, none of my friends will buy. Or nobody will do this or that. People are against me. The culture is against me. The economy is against me.

They find an external source to blame for failure. Weve become a society of professional complainers and blamers. If we find the right person to blame, we feel justified in blaming people for our problems. If you believe that other people or circumstances are the causes of every problem you encounter, then you need to look inward. That is right. Take that journey inside and ask yourself this critical question: How did I contribute to this?

If your life is not going well, then you need to determine what you have done to contribute to the situation. If you have problems with personal boundaries, then lack of boundaries contributes to other people taking advantage of you. If you never stand up for yourself, then your reticence contributes to your lack of success. If you do not do your job, then your boss may reprimand you or terminate your job. Look inward and discover how you contribute to the problem, and then begin to take some positive steps to stop.


There is good news in all of this, you have the power to change the way you think. The Apostle Paul writes, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 NLT

Renew Your Vision, Revive Your Mind 3

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(c) 2013 John Thurman – Chalk Talk
Get Unstuck
By John Thurman

I shot this image a little over a year ago at a Living Free Service at Sagebrush Community Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Pastor Rick Bosh had just finished a message and he invited all of those who were attending to some write down some places where they were stuck? It was a powerful time, there was silence in a room for around 800 people with only the occasion sniffle of sadness or joy or the sharp and loud slaps of a man hug.

Do you ever feel stuck? Do some of your old thinking styles trip your up? Reviving your mind is tough work, but it leads to great rewards.

As we look at these styles, let’s review where some of our struggles originate.

What we believe is partially determined by the programming we absorb from our early childhood to the present. Our parents, siblings, peers, teachers, faith group, significant others, books, TV, and so on, all contribute to our perceptions about the world and ourselves. As mentioned in the introduction, there are two basic mindsets people deal with the “fixed mindset” and the “growth mindset.”

If a person is in a fixed mindset and something bad or negative occurs, the following things happen. He or she tends to think:

·      It is personal (it is all my fault)

·      It is permanent (it cannot be changed)

·      It is pervasive (it will affect everything)

Mind Reading

In Genesis chapters 11-25, one of the best-known couples in the Bible, Abraham and Sarah, serve as reminders of what happens when we presume to know God’s plans, and the plans of others. This couple often strayed from God’s will. Early on they gave into fear, dishonesty, and manipulation as they dealt with others. At times, they wrongly presumed to know God’s mind and plans before He had revealed them and then foolishly attempted to assist Him.

The good news is, over time Abraham, and Sarah got the lesson. They learned that a fresh start is always possible. They also learned that the fulfillment of God’s promises does not depend upon our performance, but rather on His grace. Finally, they learned it is dangerous to try to read God’s mind and to move ahead without first seeking His direction.

This mind-reading trap assumes that you know what the other person is thinking or expecting, or that you expect another person to understand fully what you are thinking.

 Mind reading often happens when we know or think we know the other persons well. After forty years of being married to my wife, she is learned she cannot always read my mind.

The way to avoid the trap of assuming you know what another person is thinking is to ask questions. Getting answers is the easiest way to see if what you are thinking matches what the other person is thinking. It takes courage, but it can work.

Here are a few questions to ask:

·      Did I express myself?

·      Did I ask for information and clarification?

·      Am I sure the other person is not holding anything back in fear of my reaction?


Feel free to leave a comment.
(c) 2014 John Thurman

Renew Your Vision, Revive Your Mind 

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Revive Your Mind: It is Cheaper Than Therapy
by John Thurman

Your future is not defined by your past. Your thoughts can change, and consequently, so can your future. Stinking thinking corrupts your brain and triggers harmful neurochemicals and dangerous mental states such as anxiety, anger, and depression. One of the proven ways to revive your mind is to get a grip on your “stinking thinking” styles and make the necessary adjustments. Unless you are willing to do some constructive re-engineering, your thinking becomes automatic, impulsive, and often wrong by bending, deleting, distorting, and exaggerating the truth. Over the next few posts, I will show you the secrets to renewing your mind. 

The first shift is to move into a “growth mindset.” Dr. Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, spent her life researching the origins of mindsets, their role in motivation and self-regulation, and their impact on achievement and interpersonal processes. Her findings give us two options, a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. The Bible contains numerous other passages that deal with managing our thoughts. For starters, I’d suggest reading the New Testament book of James 1:1-8

A fixed mindset is one in which you believe you are born with a changeless set of talents, abilities, and intelligence—all of which are unchangeable. Some people with a fixed mindset may find it more difficult to experience life change and growth. As a result, a fixed-mindset person fails to develop his potential and is more likely to give up or become distracted and feel depressed when he fails to make the grade in his own eyes.

One of the ways to engage these thoughts is to give you some descriptions of how stinking thinking works. Knowing that, you will be able to push back the lies and replace them with the truth.

Stinking thinking traps undermine mental toughness and performance and lead to an inaccurate understanding of the situation. You can use some of these critical questions I’m going to talk about in these thinking traps to help you clarify a situation. In the following blogs,  we’ll talk about developing resistance, resilience, and getting stronger.

In the next few days you will begin to revive your mind with the new truths that you are beginning to implement. Let me know how you are doing.

To learn more about the “Stinking Thinking Traps,” read Chapter 4 of Get a Grip on Depression.
It may also be ordered through Amazon


(c) 2014 John Thurman