There are lots of ways that hinder us from living the lives God calls us to live. Each of us has at least one area where we battle to move forward in our lives, our calling, and our faith.

Fear

Fear will keep you stagnant like nothing else! Everyone has at least one thing they’re afraid of. Many of us don’t ever take the time to identify or acknowledge our fears, much less overcome them. That is why when we allow our fear to control us, it can feel like we’re stuck or paralyzed. If we continuously live in fear, we’ll live with that stuck feeling every single day. Remember, God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, “but of power, love, and self-discipline”.

To Overcome Fear:

Identify it 

Take time to sit in silence and think about your deepest fears. Ask yourself, “What’s my number one fear?”

Examine it

Ask yourself if your fears control you. Does it at least influence areas of my life? What are the areas of my life that are being controlled or influenced by my fear?”

Surrender it

Hand it over to God and ask Him for His help to overcome your fears. Also ask yourself, “What’s one thing I can do today to take a step away from my fear and toward faith? What’s one small change I can implement on my thinking, my words, or my actions?”

Take ownership and sense of responsibility

Taking responsibility means taking responsible action. Choosing your next step is a step itself, but you won’t notice a change until you actually take that step. As you begin to take responsibility in your life, stay surrendered to God and continue to allow Him to direct your steps. He can make the way forward and clear for us if we allow Him to do so.

Procrastination

Just like everyone has at least one fear, each of us also struggles with procrastination from time to time. There are many reasons why we procrastinate. There are things we just don’t want to do or are afraid of doing. Yet in James 1:23-25, God calls us to take action and move forward with Him. In order to do as much, we must overcome the temptation to procrastinate.

“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” – James 1:23-25

To overcome procrastination we must:

Admit it

We love to use excuses like, “I’ve been busy…” or “I forgot…” when the truth is we procrastinated. Once we admit and own the real struggle, then we can fight it.

Ask for help

Pray and ask God for help with your procrastination habits and If needed, reach out and ask someone else for help as well.

Take the first step

We often overwhelm ourselves by looking at the big picture of everything we have to do, but once we identify the first small steps we can take, it becomes so much easier to take that step and not worry about all the rest. Focus on taking one step a day with prayers until you’ve completed the things you were putting off. Procrastination may seem like one of those habits we’ll never be able to beat, but we are able to do all things through His strength. Philippians 4:13

Distractions

There are a couple of reasons why we get distracted. Sometimes we are so because God has asked us to take the next step forward with Him and we feel overwhelmed so we distract ourselves. Sometimes there is a sin in our lives that we can not get rid of and we do not want to stop, so we keep ourselves distracted instead of dealing with it. Sometimes we choose distractions because we are unhappy with the season God has us in and we don’t want to think about it.

Focus on what you’re doing

Do what you can to improve your focus and concentration in times of distraction. For example, If you’re reading your Bible, leave your phone in another room so you’re not tempted to look at it. If you’re trying to pray, put in some earplugs or earbuds with non-distracting sounds or music to help you focus.

Set a timer

Sometimes, we distract ourselves from things we don’t want to do because they seem boring, difficult and unending. By setting a timer, we know that the task will have a definite end for the day.

Do what you need to do

Break barriers. If you need to delete an app from your phone, delete it. If you need to cancel a subscription, cancel it. Do whatever you need to do to eliminate your distractions. Releasing the distractions that have been holding us back and choosing to focus on what God’s calling us to is one of the ways we can build our endurance as we run the race He has set before us.

Excuses

Let us say that you are stuck and wondering how in the world you got where you are at, the missing puzzle piece may be a sense of responsibility. If we don’t take ownership of our decisions, or for our perpetual indecision, we’ll keep looking for ways to shift blames or make excuses instead of admitting that our decisions and choices have landed us where we are.

Once we begin to take responsibility for our actions, we can work through the consequences and start to take different actions. It’s then that God can start guiding us and showing us a new direction to take.

Choices

Every minute of our lives we make choices and these choices we make are really the keys to everything in life. We choose to procrastinate or tackle a task. We choose to distract ourselves or stay focused. We choose to live in fear or walk by faith. We choose to take ownership and responsibility, or we choose to make excuses.

However, our daily choices are just as important as our bigger life choices because generally, the smaller choices we make each day can become habits, either positive or negative. So how can we break old habits and make better choices, not just in the big things, but in the smaller, day-to-day activities of our lives?

Prayer: Surrender any decisions to God right away and ask Him for wisdom and help. Also, prayerfully take steps forward and ask the Lord to continue to guide you as you do so.

Create a daily checklist: Create a checklist or tracker for habits you want to develop, such as spending time with God, spending time with family, reading your books, eating healthy snacks, going to bed on time, etc. This will help you stay on track with your choices throughout the day.

Set yourself up for success: If you’re trying to read your Bible in the morning, put it on your nightstand (or by your coffee mug) so it’s the first thing you see.

Seek support, wisdom, or accountability: Ask a trusted friend or mentor for some Godly counsel. Or let him hold you accountable to what you know God is asking you to do.

Seek support and accountability: Find a prayer partner or a friend who’s on the same journey and who can support and encourage you as you’re making new choices.

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