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I learned a long time ago the value of a good self-management meeting, especially when I'm feeling overwhelmed or fearful. The only attendee (other than God) at my self-management meeting is me!
In our times, there are lots of reasons to feel overwhelmed and fearful. We've had our fair share of natural disasters. We see threats of war and terrorism. We're overwhelmed by the sheer amount of media messages we receive each day, let alone all the tasks we need to accomplish. Throw in family stress, health issues and work challenges, and you've got the perfect storm. If that's the way you're feeling, let me validate you. Your feelings of being overwhelmed or fearful make sense to me.
I love the Psalms because the psalmists experienced those feelings as well. Psalm 42 is one of my favorites. After describing desperate tears for God, the Sons of Korah, the writers of the Psalm, wrote, "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted in me? Hope in God, for I will yet thank Him for the help of His presence" (Ps. 42:5). Those words describe perfectly what happens in a self-management meeting.
A self-management meeting is a conversation you have with yourself to get a grip on your emotions and restore your hope in God.
What do you do in your self-management meeting?
Here are a few suggestions:
Listen to Your Heart. Ask yourself, Why am I upset? Or, Why am I fearful? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what's going on in your heart. Then, listen. As thoughts come to mind, write them down. Don't overthink; just write whatever comes to mind.
Identify your Top Fears. When you're finished writing out all your thoughts, read them over and see if patterns emerge. List your top fears or the top stressors that are making you feel overwhelmed.
Tell Yourself the Truth. Often when we're feeling overwhelmed or fearful, we exaggerate the truth in our thinking. For example, when you're tired, stressed and fearful it becomes easy to tell yourself, "I'm never going to finish the task expected of me." Instead, tell yourself the truth. "It might take me a while and some discipline, but I am going to finish this task." Or, if you're fearful because of an unexpected health diagnosis, you might be tempted to tell yourself, "This is going to ruin all my plans." Instead, tell yourself the truth. "I will need to take time out of my busy schedule to deal with this, but it isn't going to ruin all my plans."
Remind yourself of the promises of God. Next time you feel fearful, write down your fear. Then make a list of the promises of God. You might write, "God, I feel fearful because the world is changing." Next to that write, "I praise you because 'You are the same, and Your years will not end'" (Heb. 1:12b). Or you might write, "I feel fearful of financial disaster." Next to that write, "My God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19). Or, if you feel like a task is too hard for you, you might write, "God, I can't do this!" Next to that fear write, "I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13).
Friend, the bottom line is this: These are challenging days. But Jesus is enough! He will supply all that you need to live a victorious life in Him. So next time you feel yourself sinking, hold a self-management meeting and re-fix your focus on Him.
Here's a brand-new song by Kristene DiMarco that goes perfectly with any self-management meeting! It's called "Fear Not."
Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Her most recent book is How to Listen So People Will Talk. Her husband, Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world.
This article originally appeared at beckyharling.com.
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