A Simple Plan To Identify Your Stressors

Sep 19, 2010, Written by Sue Miley

I was putting together worksheets so that my business coaching clients would have a step by step process to give their concerns about their business to God.  I have found that many times we feel anxious and stressed, yet we don’t really have a handle on the exact source.  In the counseling world it is called generalized anxiety disorder!

As I was sitting on my porch this morning watching my dogs pretend to hunt squirrels, I realized that maybe I have been more focused on eliminating other peoples stress and not dealing with my own.

A Simple Plan to Identify Your Stressors

In journaling to God, it became clear.  Maybe I should try out my worksheets!  So, I stopped right then and there and went through the action steps I plan for others.  In a nutshell,

  1. I first made a list of everything that is or should cause me concern in life and business.
  2. I went back and put a letter by each one.  Is it in my control or out of my control?  I placed an I or an O.
  3. Then I picked two that were in my control that I would start working on.
  4. I prayed for the couple of things that were outside of my control.  I gave those directly to God – the One who is control of all!

Can We Influence More Than We Realize?

The interesting thing was that in my list of about 15 items, only 2 or 3 were outside of my control.  Most of them I could influence in one way or the other.  This can sometimes lead to me not seeking God in these areas and trying to control on my own.  That is absolutely not the goal.  I just want to do my part.

Just Because We Have Influence Doesn’t Mean We Don’t Need God

I spent a little more time praying about the things I could influence.  I asked God to reveal why I have been slow to do the things I know to do.  I told Him that I want to do my part, but I still want Him to be at the center of all of the areas of my life.

Without God We Are Just Chasing Wind

As my dog raced across the yard after the squirrel that she will never catch on her own, it made me pause on my list.  I looked up to heaven and one last time confessed “Lord that is me chasing my concerns.  On my own I will never catch them.  I need you to do this through me.”

How about you?  Do you try to control your world?  Do you try to  run faster or work harder on the things that cause you anxiety?  Or do you realize your limitations and give it to our Father in Heaven?

Reader Interactions


  1. Bradley J. Moore says

    That’s a great idea – and so simple, too- to make a list with I’s and O’s, then pray through it. I agree that the areas we have influence in also require prayer, because it is all about how we influence. Do we see God working through us for his purpose, or just manipulating events towards our own ends?

    Thanks for the tip!

    • S_Miley says

      Thanks Trevor for visiting and commenting. I have visited many of your sites. You have a lot of great things going on! Good luck and blessings.

  2. Darlene Steelman says

    Love this idea.. I am going to try it… I have been stressed about so much.. I have a God Box. I write my worries down on a piece of paper and put them in my God Box, say a prayer and forget about them. Of course, sometimes they still creep into my head, but I just remember I have control over very little!

    Thanks for a great post.

    • S_Miley says

      Hi Darlene, I think it is only human that the worries creep back, but from personal experience it get’s better and better when I give it to God! I was the Queen of worriers at one point in my life. Thanks to God’s grace and mercy, it does not occupy very much of my mind or time anymore. Blessings to you! Sue

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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