Hope Wissel

Help! My Job is Killing Me!


Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message.

I recently stopped at a local discount store to pick up a few things. When I went to check out, the cashier looked very familiar. He must have seen the question in my eyes because he smiled and said, “It’s good to see you, Mrs. Southerland.” When I heard his voice, I immediately recognized him as the manager of a local grocery store where I frequently shopped. Before I could say one word, he explained, “I lost my job at the grocery store. Evidently, I needed to change mission fields for a while.” Now that is what I call a heavenly perspective of an earthly job.

God uses our work as one of His tools to mold us into who He wants us to be. Stress comes when we view our job as our main life mission. It isn’t. It is the God-given opportunity to provide the tools we need to accomplish our life mission.

The apostle Paul writes, “Life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about God’s mighty kindness and love” (Acts 20:24, LB).

Paul worked as a tentmaker, a church planter, and an author. His purpose never changed, but his work certainly did. Many of us do not need a different job. We just need a different attitude and a new point of view about the job we have.

How do we make that happen?

Start by envisioning Jesus standing in the midst of your work place as your real boss. Then look for the life lessons God provides through your work.

God uses our work to teach us responsibility. Meeting deadlines, completing assigned tasks with excellence, showing respect for co-workers (even the abrasive ones) and working without supervision are all valuable life lessons learned on the job. When we try to cut corners, stress steps in and wreaks havoc in our attitude about work.

God uses people at work to teach us valuable lessons about relationships. Cooperation, fairness, flexibility, humility, and patience are relationship skills of a successful worker. Stress comes when we stray from the guidelines God gives us for godly relationships. Our workplace is not only one of our God-ordained mission fields, but it is also a classroom for learning to love the unlovable and forgive the unforgivable. You may very well be the only sermon your co-workers ever hear.

God uses our work to teach us how to serve. The way we serve God is by serving others. God wants us to grow spiritually at work by becoming a servant to those with whom we work. It is easy to serve the people who sit beside us in a worship service each Sunday, but a real servant serves on the job … every single day. God asks us to accept others unconditionally, encourage other continually, forgive others freely, and help others willingly.

Attitudes never sit still. They constantly move and change.

An attitude is a pattern of thinking and a filter through which we view life.

We can choose to be honest about our attitude at work, and we can choose to change our attitude about work, but most importantly, we can choose to pray for God’s attitude about our work. When we can’t change our attitude, the One who lives in us can. He can give us His attitude. Exchanging our attitude for His always eliminates stress.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, So You Want to be a Leader?

An Unhealthy Sense of Responsibility

 Raise your hand if this is you…………. Do you feel like you have to deal with things, even things you have no control over?  Do you take blame for things even if you were not responsible?  Do you act independently when making decisions, even if you don’t have the “authority”?
Many would say those who “take responsibility” make successful leader but what happens why you take ownership of not just your tasks but everyone else’s?  There is actually such a thing as over-responsibility.  We know if you are managing people, a workload, or a household, not much gets done if you don’t take responsibility on a daily basis.   BUT when you become “overly responsible”, you could be sabotaging your schedule, your effectiveness, and the people around you.
As I wrap up things before heading out “super early” tomorrow morning for a week of my “pink bubble” with my daughter…. I am feeling overly responsible.  I am stressing and all of this stress is for things I have no control over!  I can set things up but the rest is in God’s hands and the hands of others.

If you stress whether people in your life will hold up their end of a task, so you step in to take on tasks, you are being over-responsible. Yup, I have been known to do this…

Do you suffer from any of these signs of over-responsibility?

1. You behave as though everything and everyone depends on you.

I’m not sure if I developed this trait as a child during a time of family struggles or if it came years later during my days of addiction BUT this is me.  Pride gets the best of me sometimes.  We are we are the one with all the answers, fixing every problem. Do you define yourself by this ability?

2. You answer questions for other people, instead of letting them answer for themselves.

If this is you, be honest with yourself. Why do you do it? If you stopped, what would happen? Whatever your answer, it’s the issue it’s time to address.  Thankfully, this is something I have already addressed in myself.  I love hearing from others.

3. You consistently remind the people in your life of their own responsibilities because they aren’t responsible enough to remember on their own.

OUCH!  There is a difference between harassment and gentle reminders of daily responsibilities.  Do you keep up with your schedule – and everyone else’s. I have a hard enough time lately keeping up with my own due to health struggles so others have stopped relying on me so much.  Have others in your life stopped taking responsibility for their schedule because they rely on you?  Do you hear more often than not “You never told me,” “I didn’t know,” or “Just tell me what you need me to do”?  Time for them to take responsibility for their own life!

4. You consistently do for others what they can do for themselves.

Yup, this is me.  The proverbial people pleaser!  Instead of reminders, do you just do it?  Are you stressed because of it? Have people stopped asking for your help because they just want help? Lending a helping hand is wonderful but when you take on responsibilities which aren’t yours; you stunt the growth of others not allowing them to live up to their potential. So instead of helping, you’re doing just the opposite.

5. You avoid confronting people as much as possible.

I am not good with confrontation (remember I am a people pleaser!)  So when you have to get others to change their behavior, it can mean strained conversations. Do you refuse to confront issues? If so, you might be allowing others to be irresponsible just to avoid having a conversation about boundaries.

6. You are resentful people feel entitled to your generosity.

You’ve been over-responsible for so long people in your life have come to expect it. You’ve trained them to rely on you for things which should not be your responsibility. And deep down, you now resent it. This is the sign which indicates the problem has been going on far too long.

So, here is my challenge:  Use the signs to identify when and who you are “overly-responsible”.  Consider both your personal, community and professional life.  Be honest with yourself.  What steps are you going to take to share the responsibility?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

So You Want to be a Leader?

Sharing your VISION

Do you have a vision for your business, your family or your life?

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I love this analogy: “Vision works like a rudder on a ship. Without it, the ship may travel a distance, but not necessarily in the right direction. With it, the ship reaches the destination by the shortest route possible. Vision determines the direction of the team.”

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In the past, my ship has traveled off course, what about yours?

Champion basketball coach Pat Riley once said, “Teamwork requires that everyone’s efforts flow in a single direction. Feelings of significance happen when a team’s energy takes on a life of its own.”

I am a leader that doesn’t impart my vision very well to the members of my team.  The goal should be to transfer the vision both emotionally and logically.

There are several components for an emotional transfer of your vision such as:

  • Credibility.  Does your team trust you?  People buy into a leader before they buy into the vision.
  • Passion.  Is your vision something that you care about?  Team members can’t get excited about a vision if you aren’t excited. They need to see and feel your passion so they embrace it.
  • Relationship. How well do your teammates know you? How well do you know them?  Everything we do in life involves relationships.  I know you have heard this one a million times: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
  • Timing. You may have all of the components of sharing your vision BUT if the timing isn’t right, it will never fly.  The right decision at the wrong time is still the wrong decision.
  • Feel the need.  We all need to be part of something bigger than ourselves.  Sharing how your vision meets a need can lead to an emotional buy-in.

The logical transfer of a vision is something that I struggle with since some would say I am a “warm and fuzzy” kind of girl.

  • A realistic understanding of the situation today.  You need a starting point.  That starting point begins when you have a firm grasp on reality.  When people understand where they are starting and what the goal is, they are more willing to partner in achieving it.
  • An experienced team.  I’m not sure that I agree 100% that the team has to have experience with the vision.  Yes, if they’ve dealt with similar situations, they and more confident in their ability to tackle the challenge.  I have seen many who have an emotional link to the vision and no experience still reach their goal.
  • A sound strategy.  I must admit, my game plans in the past have not been very clear or succinct.  I love to have input from team members rather than give them a specific plan.  I have learned that the more detailed the plan, the more they are going to fully accept responsibility for achieving the vision .
  • Leader accepts responsibility.  As the leader, do you embrace your role in achieving the vision? Are you willing to be held accountable? People need to know that you’ll do your part.
  • Celebration of each victory.  Yes, I am a BIG proponent of CELEBRATING every milestone.  I believe that it keeps people moving forward.  It is the accomplishments of those small goals that help you to reach the bigger vision.  Celebrations help team members track their progress and find the motivation to continue on the journey.
  • Evaluation of each defeat.   When the team misses a goal, acknowledge it and focus on how the team can do better moving forward.  Celebrate the defeat then let it go!! (Yes, I do hear the Frozen song in my head)

It is not too late to cast your vision to your team so they can see the bigger picture.  When they buy in emotionally and logically, they will work together with you to achieve victory.  Through vision casting, teams learn together develop accountability, connection and engagement.

What is YOUR vision for 2016?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!