14 Jan A Setback Is A Setup For A Comeback
I had a setback.
For whatever reason, whether it be from me deviating from my GERD diet over the holidays or just a fluke, I woke up at 3am Monday morning, choking and unable to swallow. It was scary, upsetting and nerve-wracking.
During this setback, I had to learn to control my thoughts. When my mind wandered to that ‘ugly place’ with beliefs of not being able to breathe, or needing to call 911… I needed to be able to regain control and compose myself through the feelings of panic.
🙋🏼♀️Full confession: I’ve never been the person that had much control over their thoughts. When something happens, my mind goes straight to the worst possible outcome [which is not a healthy way to live].
When I hear bad news, I immediately think the worst. Car accident on the freeway? It could be one of the kids. Phone call from the bank? I must have forgotten to pay a bill.
⁉️Why do I do this to myself? ⁉️
We have many choices in life, including the opportunity to choose how to react to life’s curveballs. With my recent setback, I had to learn the hard way to change my reactions and my outlook. I often call it, “talking myself off the wall.”
Proverbs says, “be careful how you think. Your thoughts make you the person that you are.”
Yikes. If that’s true, then my thoughts make me a worried, panicked and slightly scattered person. I had to take a stand and just say NO, I don’t want to be that person anymore.
Learning to control my thoughts happened because of three things:
⓵ Understanding the Truth
There’s the truth and then there are the thoughts that pretend to be the truth. My strategy: Keep a journal documenting the truth. For me, reading the truth has given me more control over the negative thoughts that sometimes arise.
For example, when the GERD-induced ‘choking sensation’ first started in July, my doctor told me it was very unlikely I would quit breathing [even though it might feel like it at times]. So, I wrote that in my journal and read it over and over. Now when an episode occurs, I can talk myself off the wall by repeating her words to myself. This practice evokes a sense of calmness for me; it allows me to focus on the truth and off the negativity.
When the symptoms flare up [or life just isn’t going my way] I push the pause button and breathe before I react. In fact, breathing allows me to respond instead of react. There’s a huge difference. My favorite breathing technique is called the 4-7-8 breath. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 and exhale for 8.
⓷ Realizing God’s Plan
It has been impactful for me to understand that God’s best life for me doesn’t include me feeling stressed, panicked, frantic, scattered or scared. God calls me a hyper-overcomer; not just an overcomer, but a hyper-overcomer. If He wants the best for me in my life, I should want the best for me too. I don’t think this relationship works if He’s the only one participating.
Sure, choosing to respond with feelings of serenity and calmness take commitment, and I will be the first one to tell you that I don’t always nail it. But, He wants me to live a peaceful life… One where I trust the truth and don’t spend time in such a dark place, believing the worst possible outcomes.
It takes time, it takes work, it takes forgiveness of yourself. But it works, if you [continually] work it.
Remember, every setback is a setup for a comeback. God wants to bring you out better than you were before. Write it down. Repeat it to yourself. That is the truth.