Let's talk about panic. The frozen-state defense mechanism our minds engage to avoid an overthinking panic attack. You know, something we introverts seem on the verge of constantly. Enter Michael K. Jackson.
I met Michael online through a social media platform and have interacted with him only electronically. It is my sincere hope that I get to meet him in person some day. He showed mercy as I traversed a valley and was the consummate professional. He is a dynamic speaker and strategist who helps professionals from the start-up small business to the corporate executive. Please join me in welcoming this month's guest poster, Michael K. Jackson as he shares three places to look before you panic!
Ever lose something important like your wallet or purse, your keys or -God forbid- that extra appendage otherwise known as your cellphone? No matter how hard you look, you just can’t find it. Then moments later, after going into full panic mode, you realize that thing you so frantically searched for was actually in your hand, in your pocket or somewhere else on your person all along! As a typical introvert with a penchant for over-analysis, that has happened to me more often than I’d like to admit.
When troubling situations happen in life, how do you react? Now to be clear, I’m not just talking about losing your keys or your phone. I’m talking about stuff like getting laid off from your job or losing a loved one. Do you go into full panic mode? Is worry your default setting, or is trust?
Sometimes when stuff hits the fan, we lose our peace in much the same way as in the above illustration, only to find out that our Peace was with us the whole time. So, the next time life smacks you across the face or hits you upside the head to the point that you react with worry instead of respond with trust and faith, I want you to look in 3 places before you panic and lose your peace.
Look up to the Creator. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “All that I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all that I have not seen.” Scripture says it this way, that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1 KJV). Trust and faith go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other, and the two reinforce one another. The act of looking up to the Creator in faith produces peace in us because He is the ultimate source of all peace.
Look around at the creation. There’s nothing I love more than being near the ocean or almost any natural body of water for that matter. Ever since I can remember the water has always drawn me in and brought me peace, even if only momentarily. I would say it’s because I grew up on an island. Admittedly, I think the calming effect produced by watching crashing waves of the ocean or watching sun rays dance across the surface of a lake is quite universal. What’s specific to us introverts however, and I’m sure you’ll agree, is the fact that ideally our preference is to look around at creation in solitude without the clamor of crowds.
Look within to the created. This one’s super-easy for us introverts because we’re naturally introspective anyway. I believe we’re all spiritual beings who are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139:14) by a loving God. Too often we lose our peace in times of adversity because we forget just how powerful we are. When times get tough and we take some losses, we should always remember that we are the highest expression of God’s creation – made just a little lower than the angels (Heb 2:7/Ps 8:5)- and that we are more than conquerors. Despite the loss, hope is not lost. Faith is not lost. We have a mind, which gives us the power to choose how we respond to life’s gut punches. This quality distinguishes us from all other creation.
After we look up to the Creator, look around at the creation, and look within ourselves and see the conquerors we were created to be-the very reflection of our creator- then suddenly we realize (much like our keys, wallet or phone) that peace was with us and on our person the whole time. So, choose peace over panic!
Michael K. Jackson is a Caribbean American inspirational speaker, business trainer, author, public servant, and entrepreneur. Michael has over two decades of business and government leadership experience, and he is an expert on the topic of resilience and overcoming adversity. As Founder and CEO of Michael K. Jackson International, LLC he is on a mission to inspire, empower and equip leaders and organizations around the world to “bounce back from setbacks and build back stronger”. Through his inspirational keynote speeches and workshops as well as through his Build Back Stronger blog, he provides leaders with proven strategies and techniques to reduce stress and build resilience so that they and their organizations can be more profitable, more productive and have more peace of mind.
Michael K. Jackson
CEO & Founder, Michael K. Jackson International, LLC