Emotional Cancer- 3- Fear

So I did this thing.

I went to Africa.  I was invited last year to speak at a conference in Tanzania, Africa and I agreed to go, but, a year later, when it got real that I was scheduled to make this trip, my dark side started working on my confidence.

  • It’s 8,811 miles away!
  • What if you get in an accident?
  • There have been terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka.
  • You are getting too old for 15-hour plane rides.
  • What if you get sick while you’re there?

You have to understand that I’ve been on such trips before. In fact, I have made over 20 trips to other countries to speak and minister.  I’ve even been to Africa before.

None the less, I was feeling fear…  not full-blown panic, but anxiety on a minor level.

I am writing this post from the conference in Arusha, Tanzania, and I’m delighted that I came. I’ve once again filled my life with sights, smells, and the people of Africa.  It is amazing! Why did I ignore my fears and take this trip? I did it because of some core mental distinctions I have around fear. These distinctions are:

  • You are only as young as the new experiences you are having. Don’t let fear make you old before your time by limiting your adventures.
  • You will die eventually, why not fill the time doing things that excite and expand you?
  • You must force your imagination to serve you by creating new dreams, not worries that shrink your world.
  • You have a limited “shelf-life.”  Don’t wait too late to take some chances in life.

I constantly encounter people who have allowed fear to limit their lives.  Not justifiable fear, like avoiding dangerous places and people, but imagined fears blown out of proportion. These are the people who die long before they are buried.

Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a long life, full of many dangers, most of which never happened.”

What’s the thing you need to do?  Force your fear into submission and get busy living a life that inspires you and others. Oh, and send me a response in the contact line.  I want to know what fear you conquered.

Kwa Heri – (goodbye in Swahili)

Want to be unhappy? Stay angry.

Unhappiness is not only  unpleasant, but it can have a negative impact on our success.  In my last blog, we looked at how a lack of gratitude can create emotional cancer in our lives.  Today, I want to look at the drain of anger on our emotional health.

Anger is one of the most destructive emotions we can let into our heart. It is a reacting emotion that is meant to be experienced short term. In short bursts, it is reasonable.  The trouble comes when we allow it to settle in for a long stay in the hotel of our mind.  Are you booking an emotional vacation when you should be pulling in for a rest stop?

Anger has powerful effects on our bodies.  It activates hormones for fighting that trigger our muscles for battle, but battles are only meant to last a few minutes. If we stay in battle mode long term, those hormones begin to wear down our immune defenses and over stimulate our cardiovascular system.  In short, we get sick.  Have you ever met anyone who was sick with anger?

Anger can become a habit.  Some people make it their default emotional setting.

They have been upset for so long, they have forgotten what peace feels like.  Rage becomes their calling card.

Side effects of an anger life:

  • Loneliness – sensible people will cut you out of their life
  • Career stagnation- businesses cannot afford the messes angry people make
  • Financial stress – it costs money to get out of jail, get divorced, etc.
  • Reputation damage – you will be known as storm waiting to happen

Ditch the destructive emotion of anger:

  • Lower your expectations of others – people are weak, get used to it.
  • Raise what it takes to offend you – don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • Hold tightly to peace – you can choose to keep cool.
  • Release offenses – if someone offends you,  let it go.

“You don’t have to attend every argument to which you’re invited.”  Author Unknown

Life is short and people’s memories are long.  Don’t let the emotional of cancer anger continue to limit your success.

Ancient wisdom from a timeless book says:

“And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”    Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT

Emotional Cancer

Why am I not happy?


We live in the most prosperous time in human history.  If you are reading this and lucky enough to live in America, you may have become accustomed to a lifestyle that would have boggled the mind of your great grandparents for its ease and comforts.  We live safer, live longer, suffer less disease, eat more meals, live in infinitely more comfortable housing, and drive stylish vehicles of amazing reliability.   We are living in the lap of luxury compared to billions of people around the world.   Yet, many are not happy.

It is a disease of luxury. 

It’s not that we can’t see, but rather that we don’t see.  We have developed a weird tunnel vision that sees only the few things we lack, rather than the abundance of generous things we possess.  We will drive our luxury automobile thru the drive through at Starbucks to purchase a $5 latte after having a full breakfast at home, and instead of feeling blessed, we are annoyed that the wait will be 5 minutes to get through instead of the usual 2 minutes.  Then, we pout because a woman, who walks past our car, is wearing a pair of $400 shoes we can’t afford, conveniently forgetting that the shoes we are wearing are one of dozens of pairs from our closet, which, by the way, is bulging at its seams.

Emotional cancer limits our success.  

Being unhappy is like having a sinus infection. It is not severe enough to cause you to miss work, but you don’t perform at optimum level while there.  Your co-workers notice you withdrawing. You don’t engage in discussions that could produce new growth because you feel off your game. You will skip meetings, because you feel blue. Bottom line… you perform at a subpar level. If you keep these behaviors up for very long, you will be passed over for promotions and probably find yourself on your boss’s blacklist.  Being unhappy for long periods of time will definitely cost your pocketbook.

It is a disease that disables.

In the next few blogs, we’ll look at how to survive emotional cancer.  For now, just diagnosis yourself.   Get honest about your habitual thoughts and start looking for a cure.  

The Master said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly,” You were not meant to waste away in emotional distress.  The answers are on the way.  Freedom is coming.  

If You Do This, You Have a Chance to Reach Your Dreams


“Kim Beckham’s message at the East Texas Leadership Summit 2018 provided a blueprint for me to take action in an area of my life.”

This was a quote sent to me by a young lady, who heard me speak at a leadership event. I shared key truths in the speech from my soon to be published book,“Game Changers, The People, Places and Ideas That Change Your Life.”  She wrote down four of them and put them to work. Just like I do when I coach people, I encouraged the participants in the seminar that knowledge is only useful when we put it to work. This woman did just that and she landed a new job with a huge increase in pay.

In my last blog, I wrote about her use of the concept I coached her on, which was “to start thinking big.”  Today, I want to share the last concept I shared with the group, which was to do a new thing.  

You have to do something different.  There is no change without new activity.  If you want a better job, you have to improve your skills and bring more to the marketplace.  If you want to improve your skills you need to go back to school, get some professional coaching, or take an online course.  If you are not reaching your goals with your current action, then it’s time to do a new thing.   As one jokester put it, “If it ain’t working, don’t do it harder.” 

What are you unhappy about in your life?  If you want it to change, you have to do a new thing.

This means:

  • You can’t stay in your comfort zone.
  • You can’t depend on your old network.
  • You can’t refuse to learn new skills.

The lady, who heard me speak, took action.  She decided it was time to do something new and she was willing to take a risk. She filled out a resume for her dream job, and mailed it to a potential employer.  She landed the biggest job of her life, but it would never have happened if she hadn’t done a new thing.

Do a new thing today and move yourself toward your goals.  It’s the only way things will ever change.

By the way, if you’re enjoying my posts, please subscribe to my blog. You can do so right here on the left side of this page by just entering your email address.  It would help me immensely and it’s one more new thing for you to do. 

Think BIG, Think God. 

 Kim Beckham’s message at the East Texas Leadership Summit 2018 provided a blueprint for me to take action in an area of my life, that brought me success on huge level.”

This was a quote sent to me by a young lady, who heard me speak at a local leadership event. I shared in the speech some key truths from my soon to be published book,“Game Changers, The People, Places and Ideas That Change Your Life.”  She wrote down five of them and put them to work. Just like I do when I coach people, I encouraged the participants in the seminar that knowledge is only useful when we put it to work. This woman did just that and she landed a new job with a huge increase in pay.

In my last blog, I wrote about her use of the concept I coached her on, which was overcoming fear by developing faith.  

Today, I want to share the third concept I shared with the group, which was Think Big, Think God.

What would happen if you took the lid off your vision for your life? What if you started thinking big?

Why don’t you 10x your life? There is a popular strategy going around called “10x.”   You can watch YouTube videos about it and there are entire books written about the subject.  The core teaching of this strategy is to take whatever goal you are thinking of setting and multiply it by 10 times.  For example, If your goal is to raise your net worth by $10,000 in 2019, what would you do differently if you were to 10 times that goal to an $100,000 increase? You might not get to $100,000, but you get a lot further than the $10,000, because you would be thinking completely different strategies.   The point of the 10x exercise is to get you thinking at a higher level, to get you to “Think Big!”

Are you thinking too small?   Why would you limit God by asking for small things?

William Carey, one of the greatest Christian missionary leaders of all timesaid,

“We insult God with the smallness of our prayers.”

Why not think big and ask big?

  • Why ask for a good job, when you could ask for the best job of your life?
  • Why ask to get stronger financially, when you could ask to double your net worth?
  • Why ask for your family to be happy, when you could ask for your family to impact generations?
  • Why ask God to help your ministry grow 10%, when you could ask to impact your entire city?
  • Why ask God to help you survive another year, when you could ask for God to make 2019 the best year of your life?

Do you get the point?  The lady in my class at the East Texas Professionals Conference did and you landed the job of her dreams.

Why don’t you follow her lead and start “Thinking Big, Thinking God!”

 

 

 

Is Your Faith In Yourself Greater Than Your Fear of the Future?

 

“Kim Beckham’s message at the East Texas Leadership Summit 2018 provided a blueprint for me to take action in an area of my life.”

This was a quote sent to me by a young lady, who heard me speak at a local leadership event. I shared in the speech some key truths from my soon to be published book,“Game Changers, The People, Places and Ideas That Change Your Life.”  She wrote down five of them and put them to work. Just like I do when I coach people, I encouraged the participants in the seminar that knowledge is only useful when we put it to work. This woman did just that and she landed a new job with a huge increase in pay.

In my last blog, I wrote about her use of the concept I coached her on, which was “doing a new thing.”  Today, I want to share the second concept I shared with the group, which was overcoming fear by developing faith.

Here’s the teaching:“You will be able to take action, when your faith in yourself is greater than your fear of the future.”  People get paralyzed by fear, because they are uncertain of the what the future will bring.

  • What if the economy has a downturn?
  • What if my health fails?
  • What if a major competitor to my business moves into town?
  • What if, what if, what if?

These kinds of open-ended fears can cause us to fail to make the bold moves that will drive our careers and lives forward.

The fact is that the future will always be unknown, but there is one thing you can know for sure and can count on to make your dreams come true.  You can count on yourself.  You know you!  You have come this far in life by using your mind, skills, and passions to reach goals that once seemed impossible to you.  You can count on you.  Remind yourself of your strengths.

When I coach people, I encourage to them to create the list of 25.   Everyone should have one in their desk drawer, on their phone, or somewhere else close by.  This is a list of 25 things you are proud of that you have accomplished in your life. It can be as small as learning to ride a bicycle, or as large as starting a business.  The key is to write them down and don’t stop till you get to 25.  Then, when your fears rise or you’re having a negative day, pull out your list and read them aloud.  Remind yourself of just how competent you are and then get back to work.

When your faith in yourself is bigger than you fear of the future, you can and will accomplish your goals.

So take action on your dream today.   Make 2019 the best year of your life by replacing fear of the future with faith in yourself.

 

 

You’re Not A Tree

SHE TOOK ACTION AND SOMETHING BIG HAPPENED

“Kim Beckham’s message at the East Texas Leadership Summit 2018 provided a blueprint for me to take action in an area of my life.”

This was a quote sent to me by a young lady who heard me speak at a local leadership event. I shared in the speech some key truths from my soon to be published book,“Game Changers, The People, Places and Ideas That Change Your Life.”  She wrote down five of them and put them to work. Just like I do when I coach people, I encouraged the participants in the seminar that knowledge is only useful when we put it to work. This woman did just that.  Here’s her quote

“I took a leap of faith after a friend encouraged me and I pondered on Kim’s message, I took a deep breath; this mind re-framing  he shared at the East Texas Leadership Summit was truly a game changer for me. One of the five points was:  Do a new thing…(send your name to a prospective employer).  I did, and the new  position was offered to me.”

 She was blown away by the new opportunity and the increased salary.

What opportunity is waiting for you if you will just take action?

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing while expecting a different result.

I’ve always loved the Jim Rohn quote, “If you don’t like the way things are, change it! You’re not a tree.

In my next blog, I’ll share another of the five points from the “Game Changers” speech and I’ll coach you on how to make powerful changes in your life.

 

 

It’s Thanksgiving week. Time for turkey, football, family and the giving of thanks.  Thanksgiving is usually my favorite holiday, but this year my wife has cancer.  The annual feast of gratitude takes on a new dimension when you are experiencing life with the number two cause of death in America. Even though she is doing well, and the prognosis is for full recovery, it is a sobering time.  I should be depressed and angry.  Certainly, my wife would have a right to be out of the holiday mood, but… that’s not how we feel.

We feel thankful.  How can we feel gratitude with cancer in our lives?

The question is really bigger than that.  How can you feel gratitude when your life is in a serious downturn?

  • Can you be grateful when someone you love has recently died?
  • Can you be thankful when your child is in prison?
  • Can you be grateful when your family has been shattered by divorce?
  • Can you be thankful when your business is sinking financially?

The answer is yes, and here’s two reasons why:

First of all, if you will access gratitude you will be happier. Why?

  • You will enjoy better relationships with your friends and family.
  • You will enjoy greater success in your work.

Gratitude can not only increase your enjoyment of life, but it will actually make your life more successful.  I just read a wonderful book on developing charisma for personal    success and I was surprised to learn it had a section on developing gratitude.  Here’s a     quote from the book:

“Everyone seems to be preaching gratitude these days. Oprah champions an “attitude of gratitude,” and studies have come out showing that gratitude helps you live longer, healthier, and even happier. The science is compelling, as are the ways in which gratitude can boost your charisma.  If you can access gratitude, an instant change will sweep through your body language from head to toe; your face will soften, your whole body will relax.  Your body language will emanate both warmth and a particular grounded confidence that people will find very appealing.”     Olivia Fox Cabane  “The Charisma Myth”

  • You will enjoy more of the life you have left.

Our pain can narrow our vision.  We can fail to see the good that still abounds in our lives when we are dealing with a   disappointment or pain. The Bible commands us to be thankful in all circumstances, because in almost all situations there remain reasons to rejoice.

Secondly,  the choice of gratitude will protect you from bitterness.I have a friend who lost a beautiful sixteen-year-old daughter in a car accident.  She told me that after a season of nearly unbearable grief and spiritual confusion, she made a decision to give her questions to God and move on.  She said her motivation was selfish.  “I did not want to be a bitter, old woman.”

I choose to be grateful this thanksgiving in spite of my wife having cancer because I want to be happy and I refuse to be bitter.  I hope you will choose gratitude as well this holiday season even if you’re going through a difficult time. So pass the cranberry and the candied yams.   Turn up the volume on the TV and let’s root for the Cowboys.  Oh, and if you ask me to pray, get ready for little bit longer prayer than usual, because I want to thank God for all Barbara and I still have in spite of her cancer.

How to Walk Through Darkness

I don’t like to be scared. I’ve never cared for scary movies or spook houses.  I never understood the appeal of having someone jump out of the dark at you while wearing a frightening mask.  Some people love this kind of thing.  I don’t.  Some spook houses have a room or hallway that is designed to put you in absolute darkness.  It is terrifying because you can’t see what’s coming.  The only way to conquer the darkness is to wait it out or to keep walking till you get to the light.  What keeps you from going crazy with fear is knowing that eventually you’ll get out of the darkness and the night will return to normal.

Life can be like a dark room in a spook house.  You can find yourself in a place of darkness.  Suddenly, you can’t understand what’s happening and even worse you can’t see what’s  going to happen next.  An emotional “dark room” can be terrifying.  To handle it you attempt to shore up your courage with the hope that light will return, things will get better, and hopefully, life will return to normal.

Struggling with the dark has been one of the more difficult parts of my wife’s and my experience with cancer.  Our lives were changed dramatically without warning and we struggled to make sense of it all, kind of like having the lights go off.  The darkness increased as we  faced the complication of medical treatments, the resultant body pain, the loss of control of time, and the steady stream of medical bills kept coming at us.  We fought to keep a positive attitude.

One of the worst aspects of “the dark” is the waiting.  As a friend of mine, whose wife is also struggling with cancer shared with me;           

The whole process is taxing on my wife.  It is all the waiting.  Every time we see one doctor, we have to wait another week or two until   we see the next one.  This weighs on us knowing that she has cancer inside her. The surgery is still probably at least 3-4 weeks out. 

I feel his pain.  Been there, done that, and we have that cancer t-shirt.

Maybe you’re in the dark right now.  Maybe you are facing:

  • The terror of a job loss.
  • The fear of ballooning debt.
  • The fright of a health crisis.
  • The panic of a child that is on drugs.
  • The apprehension of a spouse who is threatening to leave.

What can you do?  You don’t have a lot of choices.

One, you can curl up in a fetal position and cry in the dark.  You can whine incessantly about how unfair life is, and how God has failed you.  Of course, that will change nothing except to shorten the list of friends who will take your phone calls.

Two, you can choose to shore up your courage and keep on walking.   You can choose to believe that God is good, life is worth living even in times of struggle, and that eventually the darkness will end.  You can put a smile on your face as you make the inner determination that you will get through this with your integrity intact, and that the darkness will make you a better person when it is gone.

You can choose not to visit a spook house.  You can’t always choose not to walk through emotional darkness, but you can choose how you get through it.  Keep on walking. Keep on believing.  Next year will be better.  The darkness will eventually lift.

Leave me a comment about how you have dealt with the “dark rooms” of your life.

 

WHAT IN THE WORLD DO I SAY?

My wife is dealing with cancer and I’m learning some things about that far too common journey.   The ironic thing is that I’ve been writing a book on cancer with a friend, who is dealing with the strain of her second diagnosis of cancer.   For the past year, I’ve sent her a daily devotion and she has been journaling her response to each day’s post.  We hope to publish a book to help people find spiritual support and practical wisdom to help with their struggles.

It looks like I’ll be writing a chapter I never dreamed I would write….when cancer came to my family.

One of things I’m learning is how hard it is to support a loved one in a great trial.  It’s been said that it is harder to watch someone you love go through pain, than it is to go through it yourself. I know I’m finding it difficult to say the correct words to help my wife.  This is due to wondering “what is the right thing to say?”, not whether or not I want to be encouraging.    This dilemma is not a  “cancer”specific problem, but rather applies to anyone with a loved one in pain.

  • What do you say to a friend who says, “I have cancer?”
  • How do you encourage someone who says, “My husband left me for another woman?”
  • What expression of hope is appropriate for the one whose child just died?
  • How do you answer the question, “Why did this terrible thing happen to me?”
  • What can you say to the one who got laid off two weeks after his wife had a baby?

Now the problem is not having something to say.  The problem is not saying something that is trite in sentiment or that sounds callous to the one who is hurting.

  • Don’t say – “I know how you feel.” Nobody knows how anyone feels
  • Don’t say – “I am sure everything will be okay.” You don’t know that.
  • Don’t’ say – “I have a friend who had the same surgery, etc.” Your friend’s experience is not relevant.
  • Don’t’ say – “let me know if I can help.” Find a way to help.
  • Don’t say – “God needed your loved one in heaven.” That makes God sound cruel.

What do you do when someone you know gets the worst news ever? Maybe, don’t say anything at all. Do something!  Anything.   Say a prayer. Write a personal note. Make a personal visit.  Bring a meal to the house.   Make a phone call.  Make yourself available to listen.  Or try this, just go sit by their side and saying nothing at all while you hold their hand.

When someone gets the worst news ever, do something that will make you their best friend ever. Show them that you care.   That’s what they really need.  They don’t need a solution, they need to know they are loved.

P.S.  Let me know in the comment section you’d like to receive the cancer, or going through trial devotions, I mentioned in the last post.  I’m still compiling a list.