You’ve allowed your worries and fears to have control over you; this is familiar ground, and they’ll want to return to it. They won’t like being kicked out and powered down. They will act up. When you’ve got the chaos of worries running and ducking for cover, when you’ve got them crawling over the control of your life, it can be difficult to remember what the focus is. Focusing can help you cut through the chaos and remember what’s important, why you need to stay firmly in charge of your life.
To help you clarify your focus, I’d like you to think about your priorities — what they are now and what you’d like them to be. Again, be honest with yourself; live in reality. This is you, now, with all your anxieties. You need to understand what your current priorities are and how they are shaped by your anxieties. Once you’ve listed those priorities, I’d like you to uncover the fear or fears behind them.
It’s okay to be afraid to look at yourself this deeply. It can be very uncomfortable, but do it anyway. If it helps, find a comfortable chair or pleasant surroundings. Take your time and take breaks if it becomes especially uncomfortable. Practice calming skills and then continue. If you need additional support, work through this activity with someone you trust who loves you and supports you enough to help you do something worthwhile that’s also difficult.
Take the time to do this exercise and tell yourself the truth. Open the door. Fill in the blanks to this question: As I look at my life, what are my priorities?
- Priority #1 ____________________________________
- Priority #2 ____________________________________
- Priority #3 ____________________________________
Examine yourself and try to come up with at least that many. If you uncover more, put them down.
Now, looking at these priorities in your life, what does this say about your underlying fear or fears? What fears are fueling your priorities? Try to identify at least one. What comes to your mind as you think of the answer? Don’t stop there. Take a deep breath, relax for a moment, then continue. Does it have any cousins? Are there others you can identify?
Now it’s time to shift focus to you instead of your fear priorities. I want you to determine your goals in life. What do you want to do? What would you like to accomplish? What is important to you? If you have trouble thinking of these, think about what you feel your life is missing because of your fears. These could be your wishes, hopes, dreams, and desires struggling to come out from under the weight of your anxieties.
- Goal #1 ____________________________________
- Goal #2 ____________________________________
- Goal #3 ____________________________________
This is the content of your life freed from your fears. This is what you need to focus on when detaching becomes difficult and uncomfortable. This is the reminder of why the effort is so important.
It’s time for your life to reflect you instead of your anxieties. In Scripture, there is a metaphor of each one of us being like a house of God, a building for his habitation. We’ve been talking about doing some remodeling, some renovation to that house. We’ve been discussing removing some negative aspects of that house so that other positive aspects have room. I encourage you to remember that this remodel, this renovation, can be done with God’s support. As you think about what you need to do and how you’ll find the supplies and the strength to do it, consider this prayer.
God, you are a God of action. You spoke everything into being. You hold everything together. I need you to hold me together, Father, as I begin to act for my own good. I have crafted my actions to support my fears. I choose today to craft my actions to support my trust in you. Today, help me to banish my fears and worship you as my God.
If you are struggling with anxiety, The Center • A Place of HOPE is here to help. Our team is skilled at navigating these sensitive issues surrounding fear, depression, stress and anxiety. For more information, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today.