We have heard a good deal about positive thinking. Its essence is found in Philippians 4:8-9 which tells us to think true, noble, honorable, admirable and pure thoughts. It is these thoughts that affect our attitude and determine our behavior. What happens when we think negatively? Does anything counterproductive occur physically, mentally or emotionally?
Proverbs 12:25 "Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad."
This verse begins with anxiety in the heart. Anxiety is certainly a very complex emotion. People with anxiety tend to wrestle with recurring and intrusive thoughts. It is worry, amplified and persistent. It is also very difficult to conceal. The eyes give away heavy thoughts, perhaps more than anything else. In the Old Testament it was referred to as a “downcast face.”
When feeling anxious at work, our co-workers can see it, including our leadership teams. It also affects our performance. Our willingness to go that extra mile fades. We lose excitement and we start seeing nothing but obstacles.
Yes, when feeling anxious we are partly immobilized, weighed down. It makes us quite sensitive to feedback or criticism too. It’s hard to serve others when pressed with anxiety.
So where does it come from?
Let me first state that I do not intend whatsoever to make clinical assertions about anxiety disorders or chronic disorders. I only address here the forms of anxiety that come upon us all - such as the feelings of stress when behind on a project or uncertain about our future.
To answer the question about where anxiety originates, let’s start with the end of the Proverbs 12:25 . It says “a good word makes the heart glad.” It seems to shift from the internal anxiety to the external good word - as if spoken from one peaceful person to someone with anxiety.
Have you ever considered the “good word” may be something the anxious person chooses to tell himself? Yes, it can be an internal good word too. It feels good to hear a word of encouragement from a friend, loved one or admitting boss. That’s easy to see.
If we reverse-engineer the scripture, we might conclude that if a good word makes the heart glad, bad words make the heart sad (or in this case, anxious). Bad words make the heart heavy. And it doesn’t matter if those bad words come from an external source or from your own self-talk.
It makes us feel as if we are carrying extra weight. It hinders us from being nimble and quick with our choices. It keeps us from seeing God at work in each situation.
When we think negatively, we give away our own power. The longer it persists, the more drained we become.
Shawn Sommerkamp is a motivational speaker and Executive Coach with 20+ years of Fortune 100 leadership experience. He founded Motivationeer™ to coach Christian professionals how to use their career to glorify God and support local church growth.
Shawn Sommerkamp, speaking to the Charleston Church of Christ at the New Year's Eve church service Dec 31, 2017.
Targeted goal-setting is powerful and effective. It helps us keep clarity of outcome. Breaking big desires down into smaller, achievable goals makes success achievable. The biggest challenges are overcome as we make a series of small goals that, collectively, lead to big outcomes.
And yet, just setting a bunch of goals can often be discouraging when we don’t reach them. Ever wonder why we often fall short? It’s because the goals weren’t smart! I’m not talking about whether the goals are stupid or intelligent either. I’m talking about a simple way of thinking about an activity designed to help us achieve results. It’s called S.M.A.R.T. and it stands for the following:
It’s early January.
The Holidays are over.
It can feel like we go from the ‘The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ to the most challenging time of the year.
A more appropriate lyric, now that it is time to make resolutions & get back to work, could be one of the following…
‘It’s The Most:
- Crazy busy
- Cash poor
- Weight Gaining
…Time Of The Year.’`
It’s not that you are
You want to enjoy it, but
it can feel more like “I just want to get through it.”
Although your MIND knows that God’s will for you (according to 1 Th 5:16-18) is to:
“Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances…”
...your HEART can lag behind & this simple command can seem overwhelming.
Sometimes you can put your finger on what’s dragging you down & other times it’s more elusive ~ not really sure what’s keeping things from being ‘Wonderful’.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus
Give thanks, no matter what is happening in your life. This is easy…right?
A national polling firm named Penn, Schoen, & Berland conducted a survey, mid-2012, evaluating American attitude toward thankfulness. They conducted more than 2,000 interviews across the US general population. I’m only going to share a few pieces of the overall report:
Where is the one place people are least likely to express gratitude? WORK
Based on this survey, that hardest circumstance to give thanks exists in and around the workplace. Isn’t that amazing? The place we spend the most waking hours (about 2,200 hours per year, about 110,000 hours in working lifespan) we aren’t thankful for. Wow!
The truth is our career is not just a way to make a living - it’s a way to transform the world. It’s the place God placed us so that we could make the biggest difference in our service to him.
Do you remember when these 3D-Hidden Object posters
came out? They were quite the RAVE…
They were not what they appeared to be at first glance… If you wanted to understand what the poster was really about, you had to stop what you were doing, get real close to it – focus on it, and back away very slowly… and then – like magic – 3D images would appear / seemingly emerge right off of the paper (3D effect). The embedded 3D images were disguised and hidden to the untrained/unfocused eyes.
Some people (me included sometimes) would get frustrated if we could not see the 3D images fast enough – some were easier than others… and missed the ‘magic’ of the poster.