Today, people feel stuck, discombobulated and befuddled. But in the midst of chaos and confusion, there may not be a better time for a reset.
So, what do you do when you’ve done everything, and you don’t know what else to do? As FDR said: “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!”
Here are seven tips while you’re hanging onto the end of that rope!
Keep going! Many of us are in the throes of a quandary in these hurry-up-and-wait days of quarantine and change. We’re either in transition, wait-and-see or Whoa Nellie mode in some cases. I had lunch with a friend this week who’s on my Fab Five list. His advice to friends: “Keep going! Stay moving, look for the open door!” Don’t become one of those flattened squirrels who developed the deer-in-the-headlights syndrome, couldn’t make a decision and got left in the middle of the highway. Keep moving, you’ll see an open door or window soon!
Put up your antenna! Be watchful and listen more intently than you have before. In days you don’t know what to do, you’ll see many opportunities. Just be careful and discerning, not all those doors are actually open and not all the roads you’ll cross are intended for you! Learn to see things from all perspectives, though, accentuate the positive, block out the negative and recognize what’s going on around you. You’ll need to adjust your receivers like one of those old-fashioned antennas.
Ask questions, good questions! Depending on your particular quandary or situation, your questions will be different. But you’ll want to ask questions about your current life (How did I get here? What can I do to change directions? or perhaps What is God trying to tell me?) Use the old journalistic tool and begin questions with what, when, why, who and how?
Change something. This is a good one. Change one or two things in your daily routine. Maybe it’s the time you get up, or where you have your morning coffee and quiet time. Perhaps it’s a walk around the neighborhood, watching a sunrise or sunset. Read a different author, go to bed earlier, eat something different, watch a bird in the back yard or take a different way to the store. We often revert to familiar routines when we experience a crisis, but nothing changes. So change your habits, adjust your attitude. Force yourself to stick to it. Remember, it’s the little ripples that make the biggest waves, so shake things up, make adjustments and witness the result! Remember, if you need or want a different result, you’ve got to change something you do every day.
Seek out wise counsel. This is imperative. You don’t need to walk through the valley alone. Many times, friends or even family can see the elephant in the room or what’s blocking your progress! You won’t see what’s visible to them even though it’s standing directly in from on you. Don’t let pride or fear be an impediment to asking and certainly don’t cast your pearls before swine (that’s where the wise part comes in!), but ask for input, advice and recommendations.
Be patient, wait and don’t give up. As you’re moving forward, listening, asking, changing and seeking, don’t give up or give in. Take your time, sharpen your alertness and hone your listening skills. Shun fear, put aside anxiety and resist hopelessness. Remember this too: While you may feel vulnerable or exposed, you’re likely to see your adversary walking around like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8), so “…be alert and of sober mind.” The times may be challenging, but they are exciting!
Look for God in everything. Finally, when you find yourself in the valley or all alone, or when you experience the setback from which you think you can’t possibly recover, you’re in God territory. He’s been working on your masterpiece all along and, while you may not be able to see it, victory is around the next corner or over the next hill. Until you get there, look for God in every situation, every circumstance, every quiet moment. Be still, and know.
Wherever you are, whatever your dilemma, never lose sight of the fact there is hope. You’re gonna make it, keep pressing on!