We all know what it’s like to feel like we’re in a fog. Maybe we need clarity, or vision, or just a little bit of life breathed back into our days.
In the moments when you’re lacking inspiration… In the moments when you feel stuck… When you’re pursuing your goals, but you can’t see the progress you’re making… When you know there’s more beyond where you are now, but you’re just struggling to see it… I want to encourage you to take some time for yourself. Take some time to stop, be still, be thankful and remind yourself of all the beauty around. Sometimes we get our heads buried so deep in our every day mundane that we miss the baby progress steps that are being made and even the wonders around us.
Life flows in seasons and we all can tell stories of the seasons we’ve loved and the ones we haven’t. I truly believe that even in the crappy seasons, there’s beauty to be found and triumphs to be celebrated – no matter how small. The tough thing to do sometimes is see them and to know how to find them.
In those stages where we feel like we’re in a rut, it can be such a struggle to “get out”. We could feel stuck in our goals – be it life goals, fitness goals, career goals, whatever. We could feel stunted in our inspiration – be it in creativity, our jobs, our spiritual walks, whatever. In whatever area of life that we’ve hit a fog, it could feel paralyzing and the only thing we want to do is wish this season to pass.
But I want to encourage you to remember that every stage of life is an opportunity to grow. We so often try to rush past a tough season but what if instead, we took time to stop and reflect in the midst of the fog. If we stopped to take notice of the things that are happening around us when we’re trying to rush past this season, or if we paused to be thankful for itty bitty steps of progress even though they’re not as big as what we want to see, or if we just took time to rest and breathe in the air, we may find that we can learn so much from the fog.
I always think of sports analogies because my family has always been into sports, so follow me here. When I used to train in tennis, I would play about 3 hours a day. Training included lots of things from hitting with other players who were at my level or better, to doing monotonous drills, to honing a stroke, to conditioning. The parts of training that I disliked the most were the monotonous drills. We’d hit so many balls and I would just do drills over and over again that it felt never-ending and many times boring. It was in those drills though, that my game, especially my mental game grew the most.
It’s when you’re doing a repetitive drill that you mentally push beyond your limits. It’s when you persevere through a rough patch in a drill that you hit a breakthrough. It’s when you finish that seemingly never-ending training that you look back and realize you are sharper, stronger and a better player for it. When it came to tournament time, you could tell the girls that drilled hard because their focus was sharp, their mechanics were refined and their mental game didn’t buckle under pressure.
So my point with sharing that is this, the fog can be a mental breakthrough if we use it to our advantage. You can choose to give up in a drill or you can dig in and let it make you better. Don’t let the fog discourage you or make you idle. Let it push you to dig deeper with intentionality. I want to share some ways in which I have learned to be intentional during the foggy seasons.
Remind yourself of your purpose.
Daily. Sometimes hourly. Now I don’t mean your career or your talents or what people think of you. I mean your God given purpose. Psalm 86.9 says, “All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name.” Let everything flow from your purpose of bringing glory to your Creator.
Write down your wins.
Even the smallest and seemingly insignificant ones! Write them down and encourage yourself with them. Fill yourself with encouragement, not doubt or negativity.
Make time for things you love.
These could be simple or big. Make time to create or treat yourself to something or just be by yourself for an hour and reflect. If you don’t intentionally make time for it, it probably won’t happen.
Interrupt discouragement with gratitude.
In the moments where your mind floats into discouragement or negativity, catch yourself and combat it with gratitude. It’s hard to stay discouraged when you operate on a thankful heart.
Take some time out of your day to love on someone. Bring them coffee or write them a note or treat them to a meal. Do things to take the focus off of you for some time and give someone a reason to smile. It does our souls so much good to be good to others.
Take note of the lessons learned.
I don’t necessarily always write these things down, sometimes I actually take pictures of something that reminds me of this or I’ll pray that the Lord would help me remember this. I try to always take note of it though. Don’t let the foggy seasons go by without you learning from them.
Trust your King.
Don’t over think, don’t wish the fog away, trust that God knows exactly where you are and He is still in control. Don’t worry about the things that you can’t control because He’s got them. Remind yourself of His sovereignty and “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:7.
I hope this post encourages you. I pray that you and I will learn in the fog and will be sharper, stronger and better people because of it. Let us know if we can pray for you in any way.