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Entries in Kathy Carleton Willis (2)

Tuesday
Jul092019

5 Excuses that Hold You Back

Kathy Carlton Willis is not only an encouraging cheerleader for writers and speakers, her practical wisdom as a life coach helps people move forward in faith. In this Goals UPGRADE, Kathy identifies five excuses that hold us back.

“How would your life be different," Kathy asks, "if you could ditch excuses for good?"

As a long-time excuse maker, I (Dawn) understand the distraction and loss that comes from living with excuses. In fact, my goals mantra has become, "There may be reasons, but not excuses."

Kathy continues . . .

One of my biggest blessings, but also biggest struggles as a life coach, is to recognize what causes someone to feel stuck, and to strategize biblical ways to help them be free of those restraints so they can function in freedom. It is challenging because some prefer to stay stuck rather than step out in faith into unfamiliar territory.

Faith gives us the bravery we need to move forward, one foot in front of the other, until we get to the destination God has for us.

Are you feeling stucik? What’s holding you back from pursuing the goals God has for you?

First, let’s look at the typical excuses we give.

5 Common Excuses

  1. I don’t have time.
  2. You don’t know my story, my hang-ups, my trials.
  3. I can’t afford it.
  4. I have a broken relationship.
  5. It’s out of my control.

You make your own list. What’s holding you back? Why can’t you or won’t you take the next step needed toward your goal?

6 Ways to Ditch the Excuses for Good

1. Is it an excuse or a reason?

  • If it’s an excuse, learn not to listen to it.
  • If it’s a true reason, learn a “work around” so the reason is merely a detour rather than a dead end.

2. What fear is attached to your excuse?

If you find yourself in a place where you aren’t comfortable moving forward, usually it’s because there’s a fear holding you back.

What do you fear might happen if you move toward the goal God has for you?

  • Fear of failure?
  • Fear of success?
  • Fear of change?
  • Fear of what others think?
  • Fear of it costing something you hold dear?

3. Kick the excuses to the curb and use godly self-talk instead.

Evict the excuses out of your head and heart. Then learn a new truth statement to repeat to yourself instead.

You can find what God thinks about you in Scripture and can apply it to your situation.

4. Make moving forward a priority.

Don’t wallow in stuckness.

Don’t give your excuses permission to have control over you.

Determine what God wants for your life and don’t let anything hold you back from it.

Even if you have to wait for something out of your control to happen, you can have “active waiting” by learning how to adopt the right thinking so it’s in place when you get the green light to move forward.

5. Spend as much time seeking the solution as believing the excuse.

Evaluate what it would take to tackle the problem.

Decide if you were aiming for the wrong destination—maybe the solution is a different destination or outcome. Seek God for that direction and then ask Him to help the next step become apparent to you.

6. Embrace the work of change.

Many people don’t move toward their goal because they’re comfortable where they are and don’t want to put in the extra effort necessary to get to where they wish they could go in their lives.

Sweat equity isn’t just for house projects—it’s for life projects.

We might get a little uncomfortable moving to the next step. That’s okay if it’s a temporary discomfort. And hey, that’s one reason Jesus sent the Comforter, right? He knew we’d be uncomfortable living out the deeds of His will in our lives.

“You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom” (Galatians 5:7-9 NLT).

Would you allow a thin rubber band wrapped around your middle to hold you back from rescuing a child from a burning building? Of course not.

Don’t let a thin excuse hold you back from what God wants in your life—from what you know to be a desire you have as well. Risk the momentary pinch or snap of that rubber band as you disable it from holding you back, and then all of a sudden you realize there’s less resistance than there was before.

What’s holding you back today?

Kathy Carlton Willis, God’s Grin Gal, shines the light on what holds you back so you can grow. She’sspeaker and author with over a thousand articles online and in print, as well as her Bible study, Grin with GraceHer popular blog, Grin & Grow with Kathy is featured on CBN. She just released a training manual for speakers called, The Ultimate Speaker’s Guide. Kathy and husband Russ are trying to raise seven-month old Hettie the Boston Terrier—but in truth, she’s training them.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Geralt at Pixabay.

Tuesday
Jul102018

Making Space

Kathy Carlton Willis is a highly-motivated woman with resilience and vision. She has come through many tough experiences and shares lessons from her heart. In this Priorities UPGRADE, she writes about making space for what matters.

“I learned how to make space for what’s important.” Kathy explained. “It’s not about stuff, but people.”

I (Dawn) thinks this is a lesson all of us need to learn, and Kathy shares the truth about "space" in the most personal and appealing way.

Kathy continues . . . 

One of my big life lessons is regarding how I fill my existence. My time. My relationships. My home.

Do I cram it full or allow space for margins?

My husband has always liked our home to be neat and orderly. More stuff equaled more stress, especially if it was out of place. I guess you could say he has a disorder with disorder.

On the other hand, I come from a hoarder background, and have to put the brakes on wanting more of everything. More seemed to equal happiness and prevent feeling deprived.

But I was wrong.

It took a series of situations to show me the peace of less.

We went from having a 4,000-square-foot home plus a two-story carriage house to finding happiness in just 550 square feet. Once we adjusted, God gave us our forever home—a spacious 2,300 square foot Mid-Century Modern home.

During the early part of the transition, we said goodbye to most of our belongings to pare down.

Do you know how odd it is to watch your possessions going out the door with someone else at your living estate sale

“I called to the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me and put me in a spacious place” (Psalm 118:5 Holman Christian Standard Bible.

Now we have room to fill back up, but we don’t have the desire to acquire.

Instead we want to fill our home with people.

That’s what it all comes down to. Whether it is our home or our lives, we make space for people, not stuff.

  • My mom moved in with us.
  • We started a small group who meets weekly in our home to do life together.
  • We carved out extra space in our schedules, not to do more, but to do life more—especially with others.
  • We set up our home to be a welcome haven for others.

This transition has also caused me to evaluate and eliminate unnecessary demands on my time and energy. It allowed me to regain focus on what really matters.

We don’t take our stuff to heaven with us when we die, but we do take the effects of how we spend our time with others.

People matter, not stuff.

How can you go through a similar reduction in order to fill up with what’s really important?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is my goal with minimizing stuff, reducing debt, or lightening the demands on my schedule?
  2. What do I want to make space for?
  3. What causes these things to keep piling on?
  4. Is there something I need to say “No” to, in order to simplify?
  5. Is there something I need to sell, in order to minimize?
  6. Is there a stress I need to let go of, in order to find greater peace?
  7. How will simplifying my life make space for what I want—and more importantly—what God wants?

One way I make space for what matters is to live healthfully.

This means a balance of wellness for heart, soul, mind, and strength. Eliminating what detracts from that goal.

A simple life is a satisfied life.

Mom had a funny experience of too much of a good thing recently at a cafeteria-style restaurant.

She requested carrot salad. The server scooped on a big heap of the salad, but then started pouring what she called “the marinade” over the carrot salad. It wasn’t a flavorful marinade or a dressing. Just a watery mess.

The server thought she was doing mom a favor by adding more and more. Instead, there was a spill on the way to the table, and things went downhill from there!

Just because something is good doesn’t mean more of it is better.

A perfect example of the cliché, LESS is MORE!

How will you make space in your own life for what really matters?

Kathy Carlton Willis,  God's Grin Gal, writes and speaks with a balance of whimsy and wisdom. She graduated with honors from Bible College and has served for 30+ years in ministry. Kathy shines the light on what holds you back and inspires lightbulb moments. Over a thousand of her articles have been published, as well as her Bible study, Grin with Grace. Kathy and husband Russ share their mid-century modern home with Kathy’s mom.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Brimstone Creative at Lightstock.