Breathe. Don’t let the day overwhelm you before you even begin. Even if your circumstances are difficult, don’t let them steal from who you are. Focusing on the fear of failing to perform well enough for all the expectations on you is exhausting, and self-defeating. It may seem foolish, even backwards, but your main focus needs to be . . . finding joy.
Our brains want to make lists for tasks, strategies for projects, and defenses against anyone who doesn’t like our lists and strategies. The last thing on our minds is looking for God’s joy. But it’s there. He’s there.
Start by taking a moment for just you and him. Thank him for all the good things in your life. Even if things are painful, unresolved, and trying to suck the life out of you right now, thank him for all the good you do see. Gratitude opens your heart to hear him speak life into you. Listen for him to speak that life, displacing every worry with peace, every stressor with grace, and every fear with joy.
Stay there. Stand in his joy. The kingdom of God is “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17b). Allow him to be all that in you, so much so you’re happy to overflow it to others. In a meeting, the grocery store, or the gym, live in his joy, peace, and love for you. Let him renew your mind and strengthen your heart. See every person for who God created them to be, starting with yourself.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again—rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4).