Stress: A Simple Matter of Perception

How do you define stress? What does it look like for you?  Is it a new job, a breakup, Monday mornings, deadlines? Is it the 5:00 am ring of your alarm clock or the bills and laundry piling up?

People are usually surprised when I say that not all stress is bad. The truth is stress, at times, is actually necessary for change to occur. With that being said, some things I deem stressful may actually be the catalyst to transition and growth or a source of pleasure in someone else’s life (i.e. the stress often associated with planning a wedding, the pressure of a championship game,  the upcoming graduation of a high school senior for a parent, etc.), and vice versa.

Stress is not really about the actual stressors– those external events or frustrating circumstances– as we have often been led to believe. Instead, it is our internal response to these circumstances that represent the culprit of stress- related illness, unrest, and eventual emotional and physical meltdowns in our lives.

So, if stress is truly our inner response to external circumstances, the task then is to tap into the way we personally perceive that which challenges us to change. Afterall, the only thing that remains the same is change! So to avoid a perpetual hamster wheel of stress related anguish, make a decision to accept your circumstances and choose to see them and the impact of them on your life from a different vantage point.  BELIEVE that you have the prowess to handle stress before the external pressure becomes an internal hindrance.

Remembering these keys points will help you through the process:

  1. Not all stress is bad.
  2. Too much stress is bad!
  3. What you perceive to be stressful to you…is!
  4. You can choose to control much of the stress levels in your life, you can choose to discover why you are stressed out, and you can choose not to be stressed out.

Continue to become informed about stress and changing your thinking to maintain a more positive outlook, by following my daily posts on Instagram @shannonwhite_lifecoach.


The WHY!

How much focus do you tend to place on what you don’t have, what you think you need or what you are going to do about tomorrow’s problems before focusing on taking steps to carry out God’s vision for your life? Research shows that only 20% of our daily activity matters which means that most human beings are failing to focus on the “WHY” to their existence. Is that you? Have you forgotten that you have a very specific purpose and everything that you need to carry that purpose out is already wrapped up on the inside of you… especially when you are strategic about your WHY?

The more you talk yourself out of doing what God has called you to do, the more you are robbing from generations that need your voice, your talent, your gifts, your insight, and what God put only on the inside of you before the foundation of the world. If He meant for Tom, Dick, Harry, Jane and Justine to do it, He would have given it to them, but he gave it to you! So what are you afraid of? What is the roadblock in your way? Stop asking yourself “How do I” and start asking yourself, “Why don’t I”? Stop worrying about the how and start asking yourself what is the WHY!

WHY is change necessary? Why do you HAVE to do what He called you to do? Why are you here? Why has He equipped you with this gift? Identify your WHY! The degree to which you define your WHY, is the degree to which you will begin to attract your Victorious place. Vision doesn’t necessarily come with steps. It’s a big picture that can literally stretch as far as you will allow your imagination to take you. Vision is a culmination of the action steps that it will take to get to your victorious place! And it is your WHY that will determine those steps. It’s your WHY that will determine what your attention needs to be focused on. It’s your why that will show you the areas of your life that are out of balance; thereby prohibiting forward movement.

For me, my WHY is my family…my husband and my children. My WHY is living a long, peaceful, purpose- filled life on Earth. My WHY is to get to heaven one day and hear God say, good and faithful servant job well done! That is my WHY! This means every action that I take must line up with my WHY!

So spending all day scrolling through Facebook or Instagram does not help me in my WHY. Procrastinating or doubting myself does not lead me to my WHY. Walking in unforgiveness of myself or others, resentment, bitterness or other physically and emotionally maladaptive behaviors do not benefit my WHY. But, such actions as:

1. Renewing my mind daily in the word of God, so I can hear clearly from Him;
2. Proactively getting things done and using my time wisely throughout the day, so I can give my children
the quality time and attention they deserve when they get home from school (void of guilt, distraction
or frustration about what I didn’t get a chance to finish);
3. Intentionally preparing our home, so the peace of the Lord is lingering in the atmosphere when my
husband gets home from a long day at work (which allows him to rest and revitalize)
…those are all action steps defined by my WHY that lead to my destination of Victory. In fact, my stamina, the length of my life and the impact of my purpose is directly related to my clearly defined WHY.

Outlining my day from the moment I open my eyes until the moment I go to bed, with visual representations of my WHY, makes the bigger picture, or my vision, seem attainable. It causes things to make sense and frees me from the bondage of stagnation. It puts me in a state of peace that allows me to stop the nasty cycle of self- defeating behaviors (i.e. procrastination, self- doubt, avoidance) that attempt to antagonize and taunt my victorious place. Because my WHY outweighs the magnitude of my perceived problems, I see any negativity that attempts to attack my perception as mere stepping stones on a mountain that I more aggressively overcome with every passing day.

So, I encourage you…be so content in the black and white definition of your WHY, that every attempt the enemy makes at redirecting you with his colorful ploys is rendered TOTALLY ineffective! You’ve got this! There is Victory in Your Vision! ~Shannon White, Mindset Coach

The Sludge

Even when you think you have experienced all you can take or received the lesson in your situation, there is often a residue (a “sludge”), that still must be worked out of your life to get you JUST where you need to be, naturally and spiritually. Rest assured that God is still moving, even when you thought it was over! He is moving through your “sludge”, fine tuning and tweaking,  even when it appears impossible that anything else is capable of permeating or budging you.

What will keep you, is genuinely accepting that everyone and everything, most importantly your life, is HIS! This mindset is what will change your perspective, catapulting you into the positions necessary to reach those He called you to pursue, so you can effectively teach them what He has allowed you to experience.

So in your very painful human moments, remember that God NEVER allows anything to happen in your life without a plan to prosper you! Just keep your focus on Him and maintain the willingness to endure the molding, the stretching, the squeeze, the push that it sometimes takes for God to fine tune you as He moves through the “sludge”.

~Shannon White, Personal Development Coach

Time to Leap!

fish“Don’t allow the complacency of your current situation, stop you from enjoying the freedom that God predesigned for your future. Sometimes you have to be willing to leave what you are used to and leap into new territory!”

-Shannon White, Personal Development Coach