Research shows that happy people are good at celebrating successes. Research also shows that successful people tend to be optimistic in their process of taking stock. They don’t consider situations which don’t turn out as they expect to be a bad thing or ‘failures’. They instead use reflection as a way of learning what works and what doesn’t. They therefore move forward into the future more equipped to succeed.
I have seen so many breakthroughs this year in clients lives where they have learnt to stop and take stock in a positive way. This is one of the best tools you can use to encourage yourself, to grow and to succeed. It’s a wonderfully fruitful activity which does us good on so many levels.
Firstly, it’s a Biblical principle.
God himself set up special festivals for the people of Israel. These are times for them to remember and be thankful for specific events that have happened and how God helped them. These festivals include celebration parties, remembering miracles that God has done for them, passing on these stories to the next generation and putting time aside to hear from God afresh. We can learn from this great model for taking stock.
By reading the Psalms, we see that they are full of references to remember what God has done and ensuring we do not forget. In writing the Psalms, King David gives us an example of journaling our feelings and opening up our hearts. This is a powerful way of re-connecting with both ourselves and God in the process.
Secondly, sometimes we need to re-write our history
Taking stock of your year and areas of your life which feel unresolved can really help. I have seen clients set free of regrets by simply journaling about events in their lives which they perceived as failures, then praying and getting Holy Spirit’s perspective. Some of us need to do this exercise to re-write our history, seeing it the way Holy Spirit sees it instead of the way we see it. I guarantee there will be an optimistic swing on it when you’ve done this. Another powerful benefit of this is that you can start to understand more about your calling. One of God’s special tricks is that he takes everything yucky from our pasts and turns it around to our good. He does this by His supernatural transformative power. The very areas you consider in your past, to be a waste of time or huge failures, become an integral part of your destiny and calling. (Read the story of Joseph as an excellent example of this!) I have seen several clients, re-write their history with Holy Spirit and get set free from a lot of regret, guilt and anger.
Lastly, taking stock can help you overcome impossible situations you are facing.
You are much more powerful than you think! You have strengths and characteristics that you do not give yourself credit for. You have a relationship with God and an amazing history with him which is unique to you, no other person shares this. It’s between just you and him.
Taking stock of how you have overcome difficult, challenging situations in the past, how you have achieved big scary goals, is an amazing way of remembering who you are, your specific amazing strengths and characteristics. You can see what you carry and how faithful God has been to you. This will help you apply the same specific strengths and practical strategies to big goals and difficult situations you may be facing this coming year.
A coaching exercise I designed, to take stock bought breakthrough to Lisa, in moving her forward in one of her big life goals. Here’s what she said; “During one of the coaching exercises, this big scary goal became tiny. It became very clear to me how to transfer successful strategies I had used in the past, to what I’m now afraid of”.
Lisa went on to explain, “For me, I’m very much forward focused. The coaching exercise helped me see how I achieved a past goal and then apply that to where I was blocked in this goal. I was able to see that if I had be able to achieve such a big goal in the past with the Holy Spirit, then this big goal I am facing now can also be achieved. Consequently, more has happened in the 3 weeks since the workshop than the 3 years before on this goal. And there’s all this hope that, God can do it for me. I don’t need to be afraid.”
The Practical Bit!
Taking stock, will encourage you, help you tap into successful strategies and learn not to repeat unsuccessful ones. It will bring you into thankfulness to God.
So, my challenge to you is to take out your schedule right now. Then book a date with yourself! Maybe book an evening or afternoon? Then journal answers to some of these questions to get you started.
What have been the highlights of my year?
What did I do extremely well? How did I do that? What strengths did I display? What character does this show me I have?
How can I capitalize on these strengths moving forward? What specific situations can I apply strategies that I know succeeded moving forward?
How did God help me in this? What situations now do I therefore know He will help me with in the future?
What do I feel dissatisfied with this year? Why? What do I feel about it now – list your positive emotions and negative? What can I learn from this? What will I change moving forward to succeed in this area?
Let me know what breakthroughs you get!