Mindset #1: What am I doing?
Do you struggle believing that you are a writer? As of September 2020, my published book would argue that I am a writer. Yet, I still have not truly embraced the reality. Although my book won an award, I majored in English, and I taught journalism, I still find it difficult to admit that I am a writer.
This “writer” mindset is something I am working on alongside many of you.
The main reason I feel God calling me to write is because I once heard someone say that writing a book is like creating a little missionary that goes out into the world and does the work for you. My passion for helping others with their mental health in a biblical way is a message that desperately needs to be sent out in the world. I’ve spent two decades beside parents who are shocked at the destruction mental health struggles are creating for their children. By equipping parents and ministry leaders to talk with students about mental health, I believe we can better prepare and protect kids from the realities of one in three adults or children living with a mental health diagnosis in our country. This is my calling.
Maybe your calling and passion are not as clear. Be patient with yourself and God. Clarity comes with time, the mentoring of others, and often with a lot of trial and error until you find your sweet spot. Our calling starts with our identity. First and foremost, our identity is in Christ. But then, if we want to accomplish other missions in life, we take on secondary identities like minister, author and speaker.
When coaching clients, I ask them to write a description of the woman they wish to be in five years. What time does she get up? What does her morning routine look like? What’s in her closet? How does she take care of her health? What’s on her daily calendar and what does she invest her time and money in? The goal is to begin thinking and acting like her.
Mindset #2: Why is this so hard?
I have yet to meet a person pursuing this calling who finds it easy. Writing and speaking are tough ministries because they involve public audiences. It’s easy for us to get stuck in worrying about how a message will be received or if something we write is good enough. As COVID restrictions decreased, my speaking and travel schedules began to ramp up. For the first time in decades, I didn’t recognize my own thoughts. I had begun questioning why I was speaking at all. This self-doubt wasn’t all bad because it drove me to beg God for help. His reminder not only brought me to my knees, but also raised me up, ready to stand in front of crowds once again.
I can stand in front of an audience or hit submit after writing because I am simply the messenger. Ministry comes naturally when God flows through us because His presence empowers us to cease striving.
Mindset #3: Someone else can do it better than me.
I often advise people to “stay in your own lane.” In this world there is only one Michelle Nietert and there is only one you. I don’t have the same gifts and/or the same weaknesses as someone else. Your life, your experiences, your story, your messages, and your voice are unique to you. You were created to reach people no one else would ever reach.
Comparison can suck the life out of us or make us feel prideful. As a Speak Up Conference faculty member, one of my greatest joys is doing strategic coaching with the women who attend the conference. By the time I’ve met with dozens of attendees, I catch a glimpse of what God sees every day—a larger view of the kingdom at work. I meet women who have unique callings, stories, and ministries that exist all over the country. When I think about it, most of them couldn’t do what the other is doing or reach the people they are reaching.
You are the only You God has. What if you said to yourself daily, “I am _________________ and I am called by God to __________________________________ as I join with others in building His Kingdom.
Practicing Your New Mindsets
When I talk to clients about renewing their mind or cognitive behavioral therapy, they often tell me (after a week) that it doesn’t work. And I agree with them. And if you read this blog and you think, “I need to work on these mindsets,” and then you move on, it won’t work for you either. Renewing your mind is not a one-time decision but a daily practice. Write out the “I am” statements that define who you are, and then begin to think about what routines you will need to develop to be that person. Think about what this calling looks like 5 years down the road and what practices that woman needs to establish. When does she wake up? What does she think about first thing in the morning? When does she work on her ministry? Where does she write? What does she think as she does the behind-the-scenes work, when she prepares, and when she ministers? Be as specific and detailed as possible because the next step will be to begin living out this description every day. Writing reinforces a decision to change. Making this decision public creates accountability. Celebrating small changes motivates us to keep moving.
Question: What new mindset are you going to embrace today and start practicing to create movement in your ministry? I can’t wait read your responses in the comments below.
The Speak Up Conference will take place on July 14-16, 2021, and it will be virtual. There will be five live keynote sessions, four panel discussions, and 42 breakout sessions. If you register for the Classic or Premiere Package, you’ll have opportunities for ZOOM one-on-one appointments with industry professionals. For information, click here.
If you’re in need of partial scholarship assistance, email Bonnie@speakupconference.com for an application.