Sometimes it can feel like a crushing sense of pressure is coming down on you.
That's not a common feeling for me but in early September, I started to feel that way about my new book release.
I started to worry that I wouldn't be able to get done everything I "needed" to do and that the book might not sell as well as I hoped. This sense of pressure started to have an impact on my energy levels, connection with people, and my ability to sleep through the night. (4:30 am is not my preferred wake up time.)
I share this with you because you or someone you know may be in a similar situation. It's not a fun place to be, whether it's crushing pressure about achieving certain results with your work, business, school, your marriage, your kids, or some other situation.
But the good news is that there is hope.
Here are three shifts that allowed me to regain a sense of peace that could help you too:
From Fear to Love: I realized that the main reason I felt an enormous sense of pressure is that I had fallen into allowing myself to be driven by fear, i.e. things must go a certain way with my book or I will not be OK. So then that meant I was driven by a negative influence, instead of a positive one. That was draining my energy and leaving me open to this sense of pressure. But when I recognized that and shifted to desiring love to be my fuel, everything got easier. My energy returned and I was no longer motivated to share about my book because I was scared it wouldn't sell well but motivated by a deep, deep desire for people's lives to be transformed by it.
From Results to Actions: No matter how much we might like to think otherwise, we can't control results in our lives. Sure there are things we can do to improve our odds but in the end, we can't make anything happen. Time, chance, and I believe God happens to us all. So the second way that I overcame the sense of pressure was to shift my focus off of the goal of book sales to the goal of being aligned with the actions that God wants me to take each day. When my focus is on what I can do moment by moment to the best of my ability, I can enjoy the process and increase my likelihood of whatever external results that I hope to have happen.
From Myself to God: I believe there is a God and that He loves me and that He can do anything. But sometimes even though I profess that belief, I can get off track and start acting like everything depends on me and if I don't do something about something, nothing will get done. It's what my pastor calls "practical atheism." It's extraordinarily humbling for me to admit that happens to me sometimes (even though I pray and read the Bible every day) but it does. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone. I think it's pretty common for everyone to get off track sometimes, no matter what their belief system. But the good news is that if you do believe there's a God who loves you, sees you, cares about you, and can do something about anything happening in your life right now, that's the biggest pressure release there is. Praise God I got back to that place!
That's the reason that the first section of my new book Divine Time Management, is about Trust in God at the Center. Because when trust in God is at the center of our time management, instead of trust in self, there's truly no reason to feel pressured or be afraid. God's got it.
I'm so happy to report that after I experienced the above shifts, I've been able to approach working on everything leading up to my book release from a place of peace and joy. My heart's desire is that you will experience the same freedom from pressure!
About Real Life E
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also encourages Christians to align themselves with God's heart through Divine Time Management.
McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Harvard Business Review published her second book How to Invest Your Time Like Money. Hachette is publishing her third book on Divine Time Management: The Joy of Trusting in God’s Loving Plans for You. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Fast Company and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.