Episode 9 - Striving vs Thriving

Hello everybody, Karl Diffenderfer here with Higher Impact. I wanted to share a little bit of my own, personal journey here today and I think this is going to be interesting to hear because I’m going to be transparent about some of the things that God’s been teaching me and learning and growing in my life. This is tough because life is tough, right, and recently I’ve been on this edge of burnout, not for bad reasons. Business is going well, my family is doing well, enjoying life but more so because I was at my max, I couldn’t handle much more. Have you ever been there? Have you ever been at that spot where you just like, “I don’t know how I can do all this?”

Now, on top of that, I love what I do because I’m doing my kingdom calling, I’m doing what God has asked me to do and that’s just so life-giving but that also can get exhausting, and so, I began this journey last year. It started with me throwing my shoulder out and getting a pinched nerve but that pinched nerve was actually my body telling me something that I needed to learn and that was that I was pushing myself too hard earlier that year. I’d said, “you know what, go big or go home,” “I got this,” “How does that work?” Well, it doesn’t last forever, right, you can’t do it forever. I’m now in my 40’s and you know, the older you get, the harder that gets right, and so, I began to really just struggle with, okay. How do I maintain my energy in this season of massive growth in my business right now? We’re scaling up the business to over 100 coaches which is really exciting. I’m so excited to see what God does with the business but as we do that, it requires a lot of extra effort for me, and so here I am. I’m in this season of almost burn-out, you can ask my wife, she’s walked with me and she’s helped me tremendously through this time, and so I was reading in one of the most famous passages in scripture and the passage is this. I’m going to share this with you here and hopefully this works well, there we go, okay.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows, He leads me beside peaceful streams,

He renews my strength. He guides me along the right paths bringing honor to His name.

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me; Your rod and Your staff, protect me and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies; You honor me by anointing my head with oil; my cup overflows with blessings.

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life; and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

Now, when I first read this passage it was like, “Oh, okay, that’s cool, yeah.” I’ve heard this, it’s like in my mind I memorized it but God pointed something out to me, He said, “Karl, I want you to re-read it, I want you to tell me what do I do and what do you do, so what’s my action and what’s God’s action?” Well, okay, so let’s look at this, “The Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need,” Okay, where neither of us are doing anything there. “He lets me rest in green meadows,” Okay, well, He lets me that’s something that I’m doing and I’m resting, right? “He leads me beside peaceful streams,” Okay, now, He does that. “He renews my strength, He guides, He brings honor to His name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley.” Now, there’s something that I do, I walk, okay, “I will not be afraid for you are close beside me; Your rod and Your staff, protect and come from me” That’s him, again He’s doing that. “You prepare a feast for me,” He does that. “You honor me by anointing my head with oil.” Once again, He does that. I don’t do that. “Surely goodness; my cup overflows with blessings.” Surely your goodness, when I’m feeling love, will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. So, how much do I do in there? Not a whole lot.

Now, recently there’s another element that stood out to me and that was that my cup overflows with blessings. Now, this is tough because I don’t know about you. I like to try to fill my cup. Do you ever try to do that? Do you try to rejuvenate yourself? Well, as time has gone by, I’ve slowly been changing this mindset that I have. If we were to look at one of my tools inside of my coaching organization, –Higher Impact. It’s called managing your energy and what I have people do is we go in and we start to fill in this tool and we say, “Okay, well, what people you know maybe your spouse, maybe you know somebody else that’s in your life.” You know you have these different people and they fill you up. Okay, that’s good and they add to you maybe there are places that drain you, maybe it’s a house that’s cluttered, or maybe it’s going to the ball game because there are so many people, whatever it is. You define the places and then, environments can also be part of that, and hobbies and then, others. Okay, great, we have all these different things that rejuvenate us, that fill our cup, that’s great and then, we also have things that deter us, maybe it’s your mother-in-law. I love my mother-in-law, so that’s not one for me but maybe it is for you, maybe you have people that really deter you and empty your cup for you, so I’m here I am. I’m living my life, I’m pressing through, I’m working hard, and really, ultimately, I began to try to fill my cup but listen to my words I was filling my cup. It’s all about me, right, but it’s not, so God began to challenge me and what he challenged me with was the fact that my cup overflows by what he does, not by what I do, so where’s your cup at today? How empty is your cup? Are you on the edge of burnout? Maybe you’re struggling with discouragement or despair or depression. I don’t know where you’re at in your journey but wherever you are, I want to challenge you to begin to look at this differently because there’s not much that God wants us to do in order for us to be close to him and ultimately, what refills our cup is going back to the famous verse, “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still, that’s all we have to do. He wants you to enjoy his love for you and then, from that, you can begin to refill your cup, so I began that journey.

I started to look at that and say, “Okay, how can I do that?” And as time has gone by, refilling my cup has been very much my focus, and recently, somebody challenged me and they said, “Karl, are you striving?” Because it certainly seems that way, so, I began to think about that, “Was I doing it all in my own power?” It was my pinched nerve in my shoulder as a result of me trying to make things happen on my own. A piece of that was me just asking the Lord, “Okay, God, when I make this decision I’m going to come to you first as opposed to me making the decision” and then, later on saying, “Okay, God, what do you think about this” so, I’ve been working on filling my cup but through God’s power and that comes through my personal time with him, and so as I’ve been refilling my cup and just resting in His love in His grace that’s been enabled. That enabled me to start to refill my cup, and so He wants your cup. Now, the thing is that we were just talking about filling up our cups, the thing is that you can’t ever fill it up though, or you can’t ever fill it to overflowing because it’s just going to take too much time, and too much effort. I’ll never forget a friend of mine is a pastor and he was sharing with me one time that he likes to keep his cup full because if somebody takes out of his cup or something takes out of his cup, well, then, it’s not empty, so he always works on keeping his cup full and that’s really where that tool that I just shared with you came from. It came from that conversation but it says in Psalm 23 that, “He makes my cup overflow.” He doesn’t, so now, I want God to overflow my cup, I don’t know about you. Now, a couple of things about this I really firmly believe that there’s a balance in our lives between contentment and contending. Now, we could use the words contentment and striving. How much do you drive in your world? Are you just that driven go-getter? I’m always. I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna white knuckle it, I’m gonna make it happen. Okay, how’s that working for you? Have you hit your pinnacle yet? Have you hit your maximum? your plateau? your ceiling? Have you hit that? if not you will. Unfortunately, we all do, so what would it look like for us to just get rid of this whole performance mentality. I have to do more to get more. What would that look like? I personally believe that God wants to get rid of performance in our lives because he’s in charge of performance. How many times have you needed a client and you’ve done everything that you need, you need to do? You like all this different stuff and nothing and then, you’re standing at the gas pump and somebody says, “Hey, I know you, you do blah blah blah” and then, you start talking to you and boom you get a new client. How many times do you get somebody reaching out to you through the internet, “Hey, I know you, I need to talk to you about X…” Did you facilitate that? No, God did, so whatever mode you’re in your life, whatever you do for a living, wherever you live, whatever, wherever you go, it’s not about us performing it’s actually more about us using and going back to the word “contending.” Contending is where we have hope in the Lord and we go to him and we say, “Lord, I think this is what you’ve called me to do.” This is what I think you want me to do or I believe, I have faith this is what you’ve called me to do. This is your mark on my life but I’m contending for you to do that. Now, here’s the hard part about contending, we have to be patient. How are you doing and being patient with the Lord? Waiting for Him to come through on those things, those breakthrough things that you really just said, “Lord, need this to come through, so my answer to burnout is that we as people need to be going to the Lord and we need to be content.” We need to be thankful for what He’s given us, what He’s done and you know what if you have nothing else that He’s done for you. The very fact that He sent His son to die for your sins, that’s enough. You don’t need anything else. You can be 100 thankful for that and in that, and have you ever thought about the fact Paul and Silas, when they were praising the Lord, and all of a sudden their jail cell broke open. Okay, well, let’s think about this story for a second. They are sitting in prison possibly going to die in shackles. Prisons back then weren’t what they are today, very dirty, very unhealthy, and here they are what do they do? They’re praising the Lord at midnight just shouting to the Lord at the top of their lungs, so in our contentment there’s a certain level of praise that goes with that. Where we say, “Lord, thank you for what you have done, and yes, I’m going to keep contending contentment versus continuing. I’m going to keep contending for this over here but I’m not going to strive for it.” In my own power, it’s going to be you that accomplishes it, so if you do anything with your day, if you do anything with your week, this week I would challenge you to take a moment pull back and go spend some time with the Lord and say, “Lord, I need your help and you know what Lord, I’m thankful for all that you’ve done, and you know what Lord, I’m going to continue to praise you even if I feel like you don’t come through over the weekend.” I was feeling a little frustrated with the Lord because I have all these things that He’s placed on my life that He wants me to do and yet I have to wait for Him to provide those things, for Him to provide the means or the platform or the way for that to happen, and so I was getting a little frustrated and God said, “Karl, I got this but you need to trust me that’s another element, –trust. How are you not trusting him? Do you have lies that you’ve believed in your life that are keeping you from being able to trust God? Well, it’s His story, not your story, so you need to be willing to walk the journey. Walk the path the way he wants you to walk it, so if you’re tired of the never enough, you’re tired of having to perform and live up and just work real hard. If you’re tired of that striving and you really want to thrive, I would challenge you to get your Bible, get a journal, and go sit down, spend some time in the word Psalms, or a great place to spend time with the Lord. If this is the kind of place you’re at and just say, “Lord, here I am, I need you.” Now, with the whole, there’s one other piece of this that I think we all need to look at and that is, is that I’m not giving you an out to say that you don’t go and do the action that God’s called us to do. Go and make disciples? No, we have to do that, it’s non-negotiable, it’s part of our calling, all of us. It was a charge to all of us in scripture and so there are no excuses that can be thrown out here. Nothing that you can do that would say, “Oh, yeah, okay, I’m off the hook” No, there are still actions that you have to perform, and, so don’t use this as an excuse. Now, oh, I’m going to be content and I’m going to contend. No, go, do things because when you do things that open space but what I’m challenging you to do is do the things that God tells you to do, and if he doesn’t tell you to do it, okay, “Lord, I’m gonna wait.”

I hope all of you have a great day today. Thanks for listening in, as you think about things and process things, feel free to reach out, and by the way, I’m going to be changing this tool that I just showed you. If you would like to download a copy of this let me know. We’re going to be putting this training, this video up on our Business Leader Network, businessleader.network is the website and on that website, you can go ahead and join any of our courses and meet with hundreds of other business owners from all over the world Business Leaders, and on that Network, we’ll have this tool in there for you to be able to download. It’s businessleader.network and it’s free to join, and we welcome you to join us on that Network and community of people that are committed to growing and striving in a good way.

How about contending for the things that God’s called them to do in their lives.

Thank you.

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