By Theresa Ceniccola
Have you ever sat down with a friend over coffee and poured your heart out about something that’s been troubling you? And somehow (let’s call it divine inspiration), she comes up with the perfect statement to put you at ease. She finds those magic words you need to hear to make you feel better and remind you that everything will be ok.
Wouldn’t you like to bottle that encouragement and tap into it anytime you need it? Of course, I know you’d rather have your BFF deliver it in person, but we don’t always have time for a long chat with a friend. So why not try the DIY method of encouragement? I call it Whisper Therapy. It’s not a replacement for your loving friendship, but it will help you stay positive and focused on what matters most.
These whispers are simple affirmations…reminders to yourself of what you ALREADY know…of what your best friend would tell you if she were sitting right next to you.
Here’s how it works. Create three to five whispers that encourage you. These are the messages that you know you need to hear whenever you are frustrated, defeated, overwhelmed or exhausted. These are the words you hear the Holy Spirit whisper in your heart when you really spend the time to listen. These are the words that bring you peace and confidence and clarity – in business and at home.
Your whispers will be unique to your life and your business and the challenges you are experiencing in this season. But take a look at some of my personal whispers for inspiration:
1. My Productivity Whisper: “God has a plan for my business. I have a plan for my day.”
This is what I tell myself when I need a reminder to lean on him for the bigger picture, but stay on task in my daily actions. Whenever I find myself lost between surrender and control, I remind myself that my business belongs to God and I need to follow the path he sets before me. But I can’t just leave it all up to him – I need to stay focused on executing the plan in baby steps each and every day. That I need to have a plan for my day so that I can stay on track and follow his plan for my life.
2. My Overwhelm Whisper: “It’s ok to say no.”
I must repeat this phrase a hundred times a day. I’m getting better at saying no to projects at work that distract me from my goal and from “new opportunities” that send me in another direction. I’m also fairly adept at saying no to social activities that take me away from my family. But I have a difficult time saying no to certain activities with my children that I feel guilty about missing. I use this mantra anytime I need a reminder that I can’t possibly do it all. That I am not designed to BE everything and DO everything for everyone. That it’s ok to say no because I need to open the space in my life to answer God’s call.
3. My Gratitude Whisper: “I am grateful for...”
There’s nothing like a dose of gratitude to help you put life and business into perspective. Whenever I am feeling disappointed, rejected or fearful, I think of one thing in my life that I’m grateful for. Sometimes I use my gratitude journal to jot it down and other times I simply say a quick prayer of thanksgiving. Use whatever method works for you – just know that expressing your gratitude daily will help you stay clear and focused on your blessings and your purpose. Make it a habit to visit this whisper every day and your own struggles will slowly begin to seem less overwhelming.
4. My Support Whisper: “I don’t have to do this alone.”
If you’re like me, there are days when you feel you bear the weight of the world on your shoulders. You know in your mind that God doesn’t intend for you to carry the burden alone, but there’s something in your heart that just won’t let others in to help lighten the load. This is the whisper you need to hear when your cross becomes too heavy. This is the whisper that will set you free and surround you with support. Maybe you need more help at home with childcare or housekeeping…or reliable assistance in the office with bookkeeping or customer service…or maybe you just need a supportive sister to reach out to…someone who will listen and love you and lift you up. No matter what your struggles are today, you don’t have to do this alone. Remember that. Repeat it often.
5. My Confidence Whisper: “I am God’s masterpiece and I already have everything I need to succeed.”
No matter where you are on your business path or your motherhood journey, there are bound to be moments of doubt. Even the most experienced entrepreneur or mother lacks confidence in certain situations. Fortunately, as Christians, we can lean on our faith when the doubt and fear creep in. We can remind ourselves that God counts every hair on our heads and he has plans for us to prosper. We can stand tall in knowing that God doesn’t call the equipped – he equips the called. And we can come back to these truths every time we start searching elsewhere for the answers. Every time we feel less-than qualified. Every time we lose sight of how beautiful and brilliant we are – if only we allow our light to shine from within.
Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur—a mentor to moms who are running a business that supports their values of faith and family. As president and founder of the International Christian Mompreneur Network, she empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace. Join the International Christian Mompreneur Network for free and receive the Ten Commandments of a Mompreneur toolkit!