Will 2024 Be A Year of Procrastination or Fortitude?

Will 2024 Be A Year of Procrastination or Fortitude?

I love writing, producing an award-winning program, or hosting a great event that nourishes souls. But it is often agonizing getting there. I know the destination, but the journey of getting there never stops being challenging. I have a beast inside me that occasionally rears its head, hissing that I’m not good enough, not worthy, and blowing flames of ensuing failure at me if I awaken it. This beast can wake me up in the middle of the night, prompting me to avoid the pain of attempting what God says I can do – “all things.” I end up in the pit of procrastination while watching others from the sidelines instead of doing the hard work to move forward.

Procrastination is a form of anxiety and fear. 

Judson Brewer, a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and the author of “Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind,” said in a WSJ article, “Procrastination is a distraction. Anxiety triggers procrastination, especially for perfectionists, because we worry our solution to the problem won’t be good enough. Procrastination feels better than being anxious or trying to come up with a solution.”

No one wants to live in pain, so we stop moving forward to avoid failure and suffering. Procrastination holds us back. But it is a mindset that can be broken. God is a forward moving God who wants us to go forward and trust Him. Throughout the Bible, in story after story, God reminds us to make decisions on His Kingdom’s purposes and His will. We may not be good enough yet, but we can do “all things through Him who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13). The issue is whether we are fully engaged and aligned with Him and His will, or are we just running to Him with our willful desires when fear sets in.

Our mind needs to be sound and calm when we are anxious so we don’t lose sight of the road in front of us. It’s a choice. When we only focus on the pain and not God’s promise to be with us through the struggles, we freeze and procrastinate. The squeaky wheel (our pain and fear) is heard, but the wheel isn’t broken. It’s still going around. Our job is to keep going forward; in time and with God’s guidance, we will prevail. The Bible tells us that we are to be “anxious for nothing” and to take our requests (not demands) to God (Philippians 4:6-7). He will empower us and find solutions to the squeaky wheel if we stay connected to His will, which may not turn out the way we planned. It’s a message I have had to be reminded of again and again and why my quiet time with God is essential.

Want to break through the fear and learn how to gain fortitude in 2024? 

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fortitude as “strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger and bear pain or adversity with courage.” In the world we live in today, we need fortitude and the strength to face the oncoming cultural winds that often bring pain and suffering. We need to take on the “mind of Christ” living within us. This year focus on where God is taking you. We are to “walk by faith and not sight” (II Corinthians 5:7). Kingdom purpose must be at the forefront of all we do, both for our families and for our careers. This year will you watch from the sidelines or push forward?

God’s on the journey with you, so trust Him to be there. Let’s roll!

An INNER VIEW with Producer and Writer Sheila Hart

An INNER VIEW with Producer and Writer Sheila Hart

We all know pursuing your calling can be challenging, especially if you’re called to the media and entertainment industry. But Sheila Hart gives encouragement for how to stand fast in your identity and overcome obstacles with the Word of God! Read this month’s INNER VIEW and gain fresh inspiration to place your trust, hope and faith in the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

BIO

Sheila Hart is an award-winning writer, producer, director with a hunger for all things creative. From music to theatre to advertising to film, Sheila has dabbled in all the colorful pots of the artistic world. She was a producer on the film Unplanned, the true story of Abby Johnson that takes an eye-opening look at the abortion industry. And she recently produced the thriller Nefarious, set to release late 2023. Sheila is also an award-winning actress, singer, and voiceover artist. Her familiar voice has been linked with such well-known brands as Walmart, Nickelodeon Resorts, and Sea World.

She is currently preparing to release the first novel in her medieval fantasy adventure trilogy: Journey to Abaddon. And is now in development on a biblically based TV series as well as the faith/family feature film On Summer’s Wing, set for production summer 2023. Sheila’s passion is to tell stories that inspire women all over the world to think big, dream big and become world changers.

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: You’ve worked in the challenging media and entertainment industry for many years, but what’s God taught you lately about overcoming the obstacles?

Sheila Hart: The Word of God is powerful. When fears and worries creep in due to circumstances that threaten to unravel us, we can find peace and reassurance in verses like…

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
“He will never leave you or forsake you.”
“You are my God, and my times are in your hands.”

Well, one day, out of the blue, I heard these words echo in my head: “I am not your God, and your times are not in my hands.” Fear struck me and my first thought was… This is the enemy. But just in case, I reached out to God. I said, “God, if that’s you, I need you to explain this because you’re really scaring me.” And right away, I heard Him say, “Fear and worry have been your gods.” I was stunned. But I recognized the truth in those words. That day, I repented, renounced fear and worry as my gods, and invited God to take control.

Since then, it’s been a battle, but I’ve learned some things. Every negative emotion begins with a thought that, unchecked, will lead you to rehearse every lie the enemy has planted in your mind to doubt yourself and to doubt God. That’s why God calls us to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds” and to “hold every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”. The only power fear and worry have over you, is the power you give them by entertaining the thoughts they plague you with. So, when negative thoughts try to steal your peace, stop, and replace them with the truth. “You are my God, and my times are in your hands.”

Kathleen: The business can toss us sometimes into the wind of wondering who we are and what are we doing? Are we good enough? What do you do when those thoughts happen?

Sheila: Who am I? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I’ve wrestled with identity my whole life…struggling with the labels placed on me, with the physical perfection the world demands, the success I saw others achieving I assumed was out of my reach. And inside raged the battle between KNOWING I had something to offer the world and the FEAR I had nothing to offer. As a writer, God speaks to me through stories. And being the kind Father He is, God gives me stories that whisper the truth of who I am. Through them, He’s taught me that I am not a scullery maid but a daughter of the Most High God! I am royalty, a joint heir in Christ! I am a Princess!

Some people see princesses as privileged women waited on hand and foot who go to royal galas and get spoiled rotten. Though I do think God romances us that way sometimes, it misses the mark. A true princess is a servant. A true princess uses her royal authority to watch over and love on the subjects in her kingdom (her sphere of influence). She is commissioned by her Father, the King, to bring light into the darkness, bring hope where there’s hopelessness, and to lead others into the arms of the Father.

The truth is this: You are your Father’s delight. And you ARE a Princess. God placed greatness in you when he formed you in your mother’s womb. You, with all your personality quirks, and you’re not so perfect facial features or body, were designed for epic greatness. God’s calling you to your purpose. Know how you are…and walk in the power of it, and He will give you the ideas, the resources, and the courage to become a world changer.

Kathleen: Can you tell us about someone that influenced your life and changed your thinking?

Sheila: I will never forget the night I heard Story Mastery expert Michael Hauge speak on developing your hero character. Little did I know how my brain was about to explode with revelation. Here’s what I learned…

Over the course of the story, it’s important to move your hero from functioning out of their identity to functioning from their essence. He described the identity as the façade formed by wounds we experience in life. It’s like armor shielding us from future pain (e.g: people make fun of your clothes, so you decide to wear clothes that make you fit in, even if it doesn’t reflect your personal style). Every wound erects another piece of armor, until we are fully protected. If it’s doing its job, you won’t know this fake identity exists. So over time, you believe this façade is actually who you are. But it’s not. It’s the phony you that seeks to make you acceptable to the world. But for the sake of protection, you lose yourself, your true self.

Thus, it’s essential to put your hero through difficult battles that put a chink in their armor. When glorious light flows out through that break in the façade, it reveals the hero’s essence, and she shrinks back. “That can’t be me!” She’s forgotten the brilliance of her true identity. But once the hero catches a glimpse of the power in who she truly is, she can never fully go back into hiding. And like David who tossed aside Saul’s clunky armor to go out and slay Goliath, the hero is now free to shed the façade and move with courage into victory.

Wow! Life changing! That night, I was gifted a key to unlocking my true self. And since then, I’ve strived to always live in my essence! I would challenge those reading this to shed their façade so they can become the hero God created them to be. Go slay some giants!

 

Connect with Sheila:
Websites: shetalks.com, windingroadfilms.net
Social Media: @shedreamsbig