Mental Madness – 5 Steps for Ridding Your Mind of Stumbling Blocks

Some days we wake up feeling fantastic and ready to take on everything that the day has to offer, and other days we’re just stumped! You can be the happiest, most focused, and expectant person in the world and still experience the mental chaos that comes along with living life. As a woman wearing many hats, there are times when I feel stuck because of the amount of pressure that can come my way on any given day.

When I think back on an extreme case of mental madness that I experienced, I think of releasing Episode 8 of my podcast, The Grace Podcast. As a podcaster, when I release an episode, I like to feel right about what I’m saying, and I want to feel present with the theme of the message. As much as I enjoy the episode and love the message, I felt like a fraud on release day! To be quite honest, the month before the release was a real case of “Mental Madness” for me. Yep, I was mentally demotivated and exhausted for the majority of the month. I found myself feeling anxious, tired, frustrated, aggravated, and pressed. My mental motivation was at an all-time low, and I was tired of hoping for my MORE.

The challenges I was facing were not external; they were all internal saboteurs (negative voices in my head) trying to take me DOWN! I literally could feel the force of gravity weighing down on me as I rehearsed frustrations in my head. You’re probably asking, “What in the world was going on?” While my marriage and family were doing great, I hit a professional stump and felt like doors were shutting on every side. On top of that, the mountains of daily responsibility that normally feel harmonious started to feel like a death sentence. Y’all, I was folding my kid’s clothes and saying “Will I have to do this for the rest of my life? Why!!!!”

Am I a failure? NO WAY! Did I begin to feel like one? YES! I was placing too much focus on my self-sufficiency and not enough emphasis on God’s power and grace in my life. I was turning delays into denials, turning a “no” into personal rejection and inferiority, and ultimately beginning to doubt that I was in sync with God. Consequently, I was feeling like a failure because my sufficiency wasn’t enough to deliver on the promises of God (Note to self and others: it was NEVER meant to be!)

There was a war going on within, and I was determined to win! What I realized was that I needed to reset my internal processor. I had two options at this point: 1. I could listen to the saboteurs and cave in and quit. Or 2. I could put all of my spiritual knowledge to work and allow the power of God to renew my mind and spirit. I decided to do the latter and began to set myself free from the boundaries that were starting to settle in my mind.  The process wasn’t easy, but it forced me to be honest with what was going on in my heart.

Here are some of my steps for getting rid of the Mental Madness:

  1.  I got quiet and shut down. Yes, I took a day to myself! YAAAS! That’s a huge deal for me because I am accountable to a husband, two kids, a consulting business, a business partner, clients, and a whole Great Girlfriend Community. There’s a lot on the line when I press pause, but I didn’t care. It was a matter of mental life or death for me. Taking the time to push pause gave me a chance to enjoy peace and stillness that God wants me to experience every day. It reinforced the feeling of peace and gave me clarity on where I needed to make shifts.
  2. I made a GOD list and a GOOD list. The GOD list was a list of things that I know I’m being called or led to do according to God. The GOOD list was the list of things that I took on in my own strength and power. Things that are noble but not necessary! Once I made this list, I started moving all of the GOOD off of my calendar so I could focus on the GOD. (this process meant saying “no” to some people and things that I love, but gave me the peace that I desired in step 1)
  3. I reset my priorities. I’m the queen of prepping and planning, so everything that I need to accomplish in life gets put in my head and organized from there! LOL! It’s a gift that can sometimes challenge me when I need to clear my mind (it’s like wiping my future away! LOL!). To reset, I looked at what was significant at that very moment, versus what was proper preparation. For example, it’s good to sit and play games with my kids to invest time with them instead of washing dishes that can wait. Focusing on the moment increases the quality of the time spent. So I cut the multi-tasking for a few weeks and went back to doing one thing at a time.
  4. I removed the boundaries and the limits that were mentally stifling me! I didn’t even realize how much I had begun to rely on myself for solutions instead of going to God! WOAH! When we depend on ourselves, it’s easy to feel like a failure, because we are incapable of doing anything in faith out of our strength. For me to break boundaries, I had to acknowledge that I had created them and needed to kill them. Who said I had limits? Who said my resources were tight? Certainly not God, so why would I not quiet those thoughts and think on things that are pure, lovely, and of good report? (Reference The Holy Bible, Philippians 4:8)
  5. I got physical! Part of the exhaustion included some of the eating habits that I had taken! Sugar what, sugar who? LOL! Yep, that sugar was jacking me UP! If you’re not eating right, you won’t be energy rich. If you’re not energy-rich, you’re not mentally prepared for the life that you’re called to live. I went through and transitioned some of my drinks, snacks, and desserts OUT and integrated my vitamins, smoothies, and salads back in! I also got off of my behind and started exercising again! I had to focus on the woman that I deserve to be and not the thoughts that were pulling me away from her.

I love this quote by Henry David Thoreau that says :

”As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

If you’re in the middle of the mental madness, you don’t have to stay there. Stop right where you are, breathe deeply, and try making the five shifts that I made in this article. Keep your heart, and your mind fixed on the idea that God’s best for you is on the other side of this madness, and get there!

Oh and don’t forget:

  1. If you love this article, check out the following episodes from my podcast, The Great Girlfriends:
    Ep 20:  Fueling Your Fire: 5 Tips for Staying Motivated
    Ep 36: Girl, Get Out of Your Way – No More Self Sabotage
    Ep 38: Self Care – Mental Motivation with Guest Girlfriend Tai Beauchamp
  2. Don’t forget to connect with me on Instagram and Twitter
  3. Send this article to all of your favorite girlfriends!
  4. Leave your comments below!

Be bold, be BRAVE!

Sybil.

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