Crush the Limitations and Soar! by Lystra Wilson
There are many beautiful things in this world, but there are also things that can cause disappointment. Here is something pivotal I have learned: perspective is critical to how you perceive things. How are you looking at things? You can choose to have joy in a storm or to rain on a parade. Positive or negative, your perspective will drive your expectations.
Expectations can often cause disappointment, especially when they are based on people. That is why your faith must be in God, alone. Circumstances may bring happiness or disappointment, but you must not allow your emotions to overrun your life because of dashed expectations. Cambridge Dictionary defines expectation as: “the feeling that good things are going to happen in the future.” By this definition, you can look at expectation from a positive connotation, and this requires hope.
Why do we need hope?
Without hope, you have nothing to look forward to, nothing to plan for. Lack of hope can cause paralysis in your journey. Those lacking hope can slip into negative thinking, depression, and even suicide. Hope requires faith to give it substance (Hebrews 11:1), and both come from God.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him – Psalm 62:5 Cambridge Dictionary defines hope: “to want something to happen or to be true, and usually have a good reason to think that it might.” Needing “a good reason” causes you to consider what things truly qualify as hopeful. When you make the choice to hope in something that is not proven or trustworthy, you may set yourself up for disappointment, so be sure to vet your options carefully.
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise – Hebrews 10:23
What can extinguish hope?
Circumstances can extinguish hope, but you can see them from a different viewpoint, with the correct mindset. If you give access to “stinking thinking,” your emotions and actions will follow suit. The mind is a powerful leader, but you can evict negative thoughts and renew your mind (Romans 12:2), with rapid and intentional action. This will help to shift your perspective and empower you to overcome, regardless of the circumstances.
Limiting beliefs can also extinguish hope. Sometimes these thoughts come from family or friends, who tell you things like: “you can’t accomplish that” or “you will never amount to anything.” These words can become ingrained in your thinking, causing you to believe them yourself, which can keep you from succeeding or from even trying. Without trying, you will accomplish nothing, but with Christ, you can accomplish ALL things (Philippians 4:13)! Here are a few examples of limiting beliefs:
- Low self-esteem
- Believing lies
Fear is a thief of hope and expectation! You can be afraid of failure or what others may think about you, which can prohibit your pursuit of success. Doubting your abilities, having a low self-image, or being critical of yourself can also keep you stuck. When you believe lies about yourself or “impending” failure, it can keep you frozen in a cycle of procrastination.
Unforgiveness can block you from moving forward. If someone has done something that hurt you and you have not forgiven them, it may not be affecting them, but it can hinder you. That space in your soul that is on reserve for bitterness, offense, or replaying the reels in your mind about the events that happened is a space that cannot be used for creativity, positivity or increase. It’s time to forgive them, empty that bitter space, invite God’s peace, and make room for the blessings to flow.
To make needed changes and accomplish great things requires Courage. If you are going to Expect the Impossible, you must leave behind the mindsets, people, and practices that will crush your hope and steal your faith. It takes courage to try new things and to move in new directions.
One final item I would like to place in your toolbox is Perseverance. To Expect the Impossible, you must maintain your faith and hope, keep your thoughts positive, continue to forgive, and stand strong against challenging circumstances. The results are not often immediate, so you may have to keep at it for a prolonged period. Perseverance is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as: “continued effort to do or achieve something, even when this is difficult or takes a long time.” Continued effort is difficult, but it is rewarding in the long run.
What will it take?
We have learned, to Expect the Impossible, we must be intentional about:
- A Positive Perspective
- Hopeful Expectations
- Faith in God
- A Renewed Mind
- Extinguishing Limiting Beliefs
- Forgiving others
Make a chart with 4 columns.
COLUMN 1: write 1-3 goals you would like to accomplish, maybe those you have procrastinated on or been afraid to try.
COLUMN 2: write any limiting beliefs or fears that have kept you from accomplishing each of these goals.
COLUMN 3: write a scripture or positive affirmation that cancels each limiting belief in column 2. If you cannot think of any, call your greatest supporter or cheerleader (parent, best friend, etc.) for some ideas to jumpstart your positive thinking and belief in yourself.
COLUMN 4: write 1-3 actions you can take to move forward on these goals (ex: prayer, brainstorming new ideas with a friend, calendar deadlines for your goals, etc.).
Sometimes, seeing the thoughts in your head and the desires of your heart on paper can give you fresh inspiration to move forward. You already have everything you need to Expect (and accomplish) the Impossible, so let’s SOAR!
About the Author…
Lystra is the best-selling author of “Get Real: Healing Your Identity and Unlocking Your Purpose” and just released the highly impactful “Five-Fold Females Study Journal.” She accepted Christ at the tender age of four and is passionate about helping others to heal and thrive! She is a country girl at heart who loves horses, butterflies, and transparent conversations. Visit Lystra’s website here. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The Christian Authors Network Speak Up Competition
The Speak Up Competition, sponsored by the Christian Authors Network, is a powerful source of hope and light for people all over the world. This year’s theme, “Expect the Impossible,” is a reminder that no matter how dark our situations may look, we always have hope because we know that all things are possible with God! The inspirational messages featured in this series are from the round one finalists. Stay tuned for updates as the competition progresses, and please pray with us that God will use this competition to bless and encourage His people. We know that the speak up community has the power to make a difference in this world, and we can’t wait to see what God does through us!