Empathy

As humans we all need to feel connected and accepted by our peers. We want to be understood. Showing care for someone comes in many forms, empathy and sympathy being two of those. Both seem to be useful, the ability to show empathy is the most helpful approach.

Sympathy walks a thin line, it can easily come across as pity to the recipient. In showing sympathy we tend to say phrases such as, “At least you have…” or “It could be worse, I have…” When someone is hurting, they don’t want to be told that their situation isn’t as bad as it seems, they’re seeking understanding.

The most useful, and needed form of showing care is through empathy. Becoming aware of someone’s situation and putting yourself in their shoes allows you to approach their needs better. Don’t lead with judgement of why someone feels this why and instead be present in that moment with them and understand where they’re coming from and offer support. Empathy builds connection through understanding, while sympathy focuses on one’s experience rather than understanding.

Our ways of showing care and acknowledgement of feelings is learned as we grow up. Chances are if your parents had a more sympathetic approach to issues, you will take on that viewpoint. If you were told to suck it up and do better, you will learn to brush off emotions because you ultimately don’t work through them. Empathy takes on the emotion and can be difficult to convey if you haven’t experienced that support before.

Empathy can be learned, but one must be able to accept and empathize with their own emotions first. More often than not, we tend to beat ourselves down for feeling some way when in reality, we’re human. It’s okay to feel the emotions we do. When showing empathy we take on other’s emotions and leave ourselves and our personal emotions out.

It may seem helpful to offer solutions, but it can come off cold and show distance in connectivity. Obviously, it is not our job to take on other people’s emotions to show empathy to them; being present and showing support is the best way to show care.

This week, if you aren’t one to show empathy well, approach others ready to feel what they are feeling, hold no judgement and just listen. Avoid going to others with “I know how you feel,” judgement or offering advice that wasn’t asked for.

Our world needs more empathy and less sympathy. We all want to feel connected and understood by each other without judgement. Become the person you need most when you’re down, and be that for others and may you receive the same in return.

The Power of Reading

Our lives are chaotic, busy and stressful and it can feel impossible to escape our over running minds. Taking time for yourself becomes an impossible task that we continue to put off. Some days though, we need silence and time to step out of our daily lives.

This week, challenge yourself to pick up a book and read. I know, a book? When all these other tasks are pulling you in every direction? Yes. Reading has become replaced by shoving our faces in screens and soaking up, mostly, meaningless content that does nothing to improve your mental headspace.

Really, when was the last time you read a book cover to cover?

Your reading doesn’t have to involve a 300-page, 18th century, hard to understand novel. There are many books that focus on bettering oneself and focusing on personal development. Let’s face it, after a stressful week you aren’t at your highest, and can become consumed by fear of the arrival of the future. Be present, feed your mind positively.

Here are a list of 7 books we think you should look into with this challenge:

  1. Think and Grow Rich by: Napoleon Hill
  2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by: Stephen Covey
  3. Healed By Love by: Tina Hester
  4. Eat That Frog by: Brain Tracy
  5. Failing Forward by: John Maxwell
  6. Daring Greatly by: Brene Brown
  7. Simplify by: Joshua Becker

Each book approaches a different topic in terms of improving your life. Reading is fulfilling to advancing your mindset and how you begin to approach situations as they arise. It’s easy to feel like there’s nothing that can help you feel better about what’s going on in your life, but carving out time for you and consuming genuine and meaningful advice can be a game changer.

If not one of the books on this list, take some time to sit down and read and stimulate your brain. It is a small, but impactful way to relieve everyday stress and anxiety.

If you’ve read any of these books let us know what you got out of it and how it helped you!

The Season of Love

Valentine’s Day is just days away and regardless of your relationship status, radiate love this season.

Being in a relationship is great, but maintaining that relationship in a healthy manner is better. Whether it be an intimate relationship or simply just a friendship there is always a level of maintenance required to grow together.

For months, many of us have been reliant on our partners, family and friends to be there to provide love and a sense of belonging during the pandemic. We all possess different love languages, and the lack of physical presence can be disheartening for some. Although, there are many ways that you can practice sending love to those close to you.

Gift giving isn’t always a necessity to show someone you love them, of course gifts are great, but words of affirmation feed the soul more than any material item could. Through a medium of your choice, write to a loved one and express the importance of their role in your life and what it means to you. It’s a simple way to express gratitude and spread your love.

Love is unconditional, you have the power to make every day Valentine’s Day with your partner or loved ones. Practice showing affection your actions and behavior, it’s easy to get caught up in the negatives of our day, but don’t carry that stress into your relationships.

Not everyday is a great day, and that is to be expected. Recharge yourself with conversations and express yourself and allow others in on how you’re feeling. Show love through communication, take time to share how you feel and allow others to do the same.

We don’t have to go through hardships alone. There is someone that cares and loves you, so take time to communicate with them.

This week, month or year have those tough conversations. Break below the surface level and have deep, meaningful conversations that fill you up and learn more about how you can spread love to those in your life that need it too.

Love yourself and those around you! You got this.

What’s on Your Bucket-list?

Life is short, and a lot of the time we spend it stressing about the future. Although valid, we continuously lose the present moment figuring out the next move. Investing in yourself and your life now is an underrated move.

I know most of us haven’t made a solid bucket-list since we were younger, but we still hold big aspirations for our lives. This week, I challenge you to take some time and make your list of things you want to accomplish.

Start small, think of things you want to tackle this week that goes toward improving you. Even if it is something as simple as going to eat by yourself and overcoming that fear.

Last week we talked about the importance of having confidence in yourself. By making your bucket-list, you remind yourself of steps you want to take to push yourself further. Of course some experiences are better shared with loved ones, but try to focus on personal gain.

It is never unwise to invest in yourself, because at the end of the day you don’t want to be stuck thinking of the “what ifs”. At the end of a hard week treat yourself to something new. It may be comfortable to be stagnate in our everyday routines but we forget that there is so much more out there for us.

Now bucket-lists aren’t all about fancy cross-country vacations and winning the lottery, they can be small and intimate. It can be about investing in the relationships in your life, new hobbies or creating new goals for the year.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with over the top, extremely long term goals. Think about what you want to accomplish for the rest of this year and write it down and revisit.

Be present with yourself and your desires. You’ll never regret investing in yourself.

It’s All About Confidence

This one is tricky. For some it comes easily, for others it’s hard work to feel confident in your own skin. Let’s face it, it’s extremely easy to give into your own fears and anxiety than to stand up against it. This year, challenge yourself to shut off the negatives in your mind and be who you truly know you are.

Confidence is about acknowledging the power you hold and your potential to the highest degree. It begins and ends with knowing and trusting yourself. It is a mindset that can become all consuming, but is that a bad thing?

When you’re confident, you’re the best version of yourself. People can sense confidence, for some it is off putting for other’s it draws you to them. For those who find it off putting, there’s a chance are they are struggling with their confidence and find it unsettling how you could be so content. What is important to remember here is that your self worth is not up to the opinions of others.

Opinions from other people can only topple your confidence if you don’t truly love yourself. This isn’t to mean you have to view yourself as perfect, but that you are comfortable with who you are to yourself and to others. You owe it to yourself to value your strengths while also accepting your flaws.

Once you begin fully living for yourself and not who your peers might perceive you as, you will never look back. You hold as much worth as the person next to you. Why dim yourself because you feel their light may be brighter? Everyone is moving at their own pace and EVERYONE has self-doubt, so let go of your need for perfection.

Next time you’re in a room full of people, keep in mind that you are in control of how you think. Leave self-doubt at the door and take hold of your best self. Confident energy is infectious, especially when paired with a positive attitude.

Don’t forget to be your own biggest supporter and love yourself for who you are. Confidence built on hatred and negativity towards others is not confidence, it is rooted in insecurity. Be kind and spread love around you and it will come back to you.

Battling Your Anxiety

Anxiety is no joke. It can be all consuming some days and sits heavily on our shoulders while we search for relief. The emotions that visit our heart during times of distress are hard to control or ignore. How we allow ourselves to deal with anxiety plays a lead role in managing stress.

First and foremost, address the issue at hand. What are you feeling and why? Instead of overwhelming yourself with the issue and not finding a solution, take a second to analyze where you can go from this moment.

It is important that we take the time to pinpoint and work through our anxiety. Time can heal all wounds, but there is no time frame guaranteed to get there. Slow down and take time to work through past wounds that still plague your mind and soul. You are your own greatest power in these situations, even when it doesn’t seem like it.

Recognize what triggers your anxiety, whether it be the time of day, a person, certain language or pressure. Whatever that trigger looks like for you, take note of it. Realistically, it is impossible to avoid all situations that pose a potential threat to you, but learning how to handle yourself in the moment can provide peace.

“You can walk free of the fear. Be willing to address it and look it in the face.”

Tina Hester

One method you can take advantage of, if you suffer from anxiety, is learning how to make intentional choices to avoid inducing anxiety. Anxiety is often linked to past trauma, which can stay with us for our lifetime. No one’s trauma is experienced or handled the same, making it unique to how we live our lives. Living with our own individual experiences, we must learn to make conscious decisions to safeguard our mental health. This means skipping the night out with friends if you’re unsure of the plans, not replying to a text from a toxic family member or immediately removing yourself from a triggering environment.

Understanding and practicing intentional decision making will help those with anxiety from falling into a cycle of repeating stress inducing actions. Anxiety will continue to cloud our minds if we do not try to lift our minds above the negativity and doubt. If you find yourself continuously stuck in a cycle that disrupts your tranquility, reach into yourself and discuss what leads you to making the same decisions over and over.

Finally, take your wounds and reside in God. Take time, even in the midst of what feels like an uncontrollable rollercoaster, to surrender yourself and your anxiety to talk to the Lord. He is always with you in your heart, waiting for you to listen to Him so that he may lead you forward. Remember that He is always on your side and has unconditional love for you, even when you feel lost in His presence.

“Anxiety tries to make you believe that there is no hope. Anxiety will lead you to believe there is no hope of freedom of change, but you can be free.

Tina Hester

At the end of the day, anxiety sucks. It looms around our lives daily and often takes the reins and drives us to curate uncomfortable and unwanted thoughts and emotions. Understanding that we have the power within us to control how anxiety affects our lives, can help us begin to move forward with a new perspective. Do not allow yourself to be a casualty to your own mind.

Facing Confrontation

Time and time again, we face the internal battle of approaching the situation of confronting loved ones. Friends, significant others or family members tend to be the hardest conversations to have in these instances.

Difficult conversations can be very nerve racking for some and can often lead to suppression of issues instead. Depending on the problem at hand, it is important to consider what you want to say. This way you can avoid “kitchen-sinking” the recipient with all pent-up aggression that is often out of context

Conversations involving confrontation are filled with deep emotion that heavily affects how we talk through the issue. If you are one that tends to be fearful or easily caught up in the moment with emotions, definitely give yourself time to make sure you can plan what you truly want to get out of the recipient.

Confidence in your position is key. Stand firm behind what you feel you need without using aggressive language that can divert from the overall point. Don’t approach the conversation with intentions of attacking the other person; avoid using sentences such as: “You only care about yourself,” be assertive and speak from your point of view. Instead, say: “I feel that you are not respecting me the way I deserve to be.” 

Additionally, be prepared to listen in return. Thinking about the next sentence you can come back with, rather than understanding their position will not lead to a resolution. Allow time for your brain to fully process the conversation before responding.

Now, of course some confrontational conversations are not so easy to have, because the issue resulted in consequences, for example: trust issues. For larger scale issues make sure you are calm and composed as best you can. Being fearful of having challenging conversations is completely normal.

Don’t attempt to hash it out in public, make sure you are in a space where you can constructively talk through everything. Everyone handles confrontation differently, so you should not lead with expectations.

Some conversations are better handled with a third-party present to guide the conversation. If you feel more comfortable handling the matter with an outside perspective, look into resources around you.

If you and a loved one need additional guidance through hardships don’t be afraid to reach out to us here at http://www.onpointlifecoaching.com 

New Year, New Goals.

Stay on top of your goals, you’ll thank yourself later.

As the New Year approaches we are theoretically handed a clean slate from this exceptionally trying year. Given the hardships and stress experienced around the world, clean slates will look tremendously different for us all.

Allow for this new season the opportunity to transform to your life. If you haven’t considered already, think of goals you want to accomplish throughout 2021.

If you lead with dedication, the goals you set forth for yourself are stepping stones to new opportunities and potential pivotal life changes. In the face of uncertainty of what the New Year brings, setting goals that are aligned with where you want to go will keep you on track.

There’s no goal to small or too large, but never think of unfulfilled goals as personal failures. If you had goals you did not have the option of starting towards this year then carry them over and make a new plan.

The best way to remind yourself of your goals is to write them down. Don’t stop there though; don’t simply write them down with no plans of referring back to them down the line. Write your goals were you can see them. Plaster sticky notes all over your room, make a checklist or any way that you know they’ll be acknowledged.

Consider your end goal. How long will it take you to get there? Focus on what you can do to work towards that goal along the way. Curate smaller goals that you can accomplish daily to stay on track. Keep in mind that no one knows what you can handle better than you. Don’t overwhelm yourself with pressure to quickly get to your end goals.

By no means are you obligated to accomplishing every goal, but remind yourself that you are capable of anything you set your mind to. Without goals we remain stagnate and opt to repeat patterns that hold you back or provide no motivation to move forward. They offer a direction for you to move forward on.

This New Year will soon be presenting us all with our clean slates. Take advantage of the power you have in changing your own reality. Motivate yourself with small accomplishments that feed into bigger opportunities. Stay on top of your goals even on your worst days.

Remain open to adjustments as they come, surround yourself with positive affirmations and remain firm in your goals.

The Gift Of Giving This Holiday Season

This year has been a whirlwind and as it comes to a close, we find ourselves in the giving season.  Right now, more than ever, those in need in our communities are looking for happiness. This pandemic has affected everyone in major ways, and everyone deserves a little joy this season.

Giving back to your community is a great way to spread love this year. There are several ways to help out those around us this season keeping everyone’s health and safety in mind. In times of intense isolation, spreading warmth and compassion is very much needed.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16

Restrictions during the pandemic have made volunteering opportunities look different in every city and state. If you feel safe helping out in-person at food bands and shelters, check out organizations like Feeding America or Wheels for Wishes. Organizing a local food drive drop-off for donations to local shelters is also a great way to volunteer locally while social distancing. Check with local churches and charities to see what items are in need.

Donating clothes or supplies to shelters can make an immediate difference in someone’s life right now. With a difficult economic year, money is understandably tight. If volunteering is not an option, donations of any kind are helpful and meaningful. Donate items laying around the house that you no longer need such as furniture, clothing or toys.

Here at Flaming Heart Ministries and OnPoint, we are partnering with Grace Haven to deliver hygiene baskets to women each month. With almost 60,000 families with children homeless in the U.S. there are many necessities in need. If you’d like to donate online, you can support our initiative at www.flamingheartministries.org/give .

We may not be able to solve the world’s problems in these unprecedented times, but we can bring some light to the darkness. In whatever way possible, spread God’s love anyway you can, whether that be helping out a neighbor, essential workers, or schools around you. 

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”

Proverbs 3:27

How To Pick Yourself Up After A Long Week


First off, congratulations on making it through whatever this week brought you.

That in itself is a great sentiment to remind yourself as you get started brushing off any stress or anxiety you’re still carrying inside.

It may seem difficult or even impossible to release everything built up in your mind and your heart, whether it be friendships, relationships, work or just life in general. After all, it is 2020, anything can happen and relaxing doesn’t look like it’s on the calendar this year.

LIFE IS STRESSFUL.

Learning how to pick yourself up after a long, stressful week is one of the best things you can do for you and your mental health.

Here are some ways you can start picking yourself up in preparation for a better tomorrow. 


1. Accept

Take the week for what is was and plan to move forward into a fresh mindset. Accepting your stress is the first step in moving forward with it.

In this time bring your troubles to God and work through them with understanding and patience. Do not be overwhelmed. Be honest about what you need, and accept what you cannot have in this moment. 

Confront what is stressing you out, but most importantly, remember you are bigger than your biggest stressors.

Train yourself to slow down and accept stress as it comes, so that you train yourself to be stronger as you move through each curveball life throws. 

Remember that our minds sometimes convince us our troubles are more serious that they truly are.


2. Evaluate how much recovery time you need and what that looks like for yourself.

You know yourself better than anyone, so ask yourself: “What do I need right now for myself in the midst of this chaos?”

 Is it alone time in prayer? A nice dinner with friends? A long walk outside? A phone call with a loved one? A weekend long nap?

Don’t be afraid to back out of plans that no longer suit you. Figure out how YOU want to spend your time. It is not selfish of you to watch out for your best interest. 

Remember that you are not alone in your struggles and those that love you will understand. 

Replenish your soul and learn what works best for you when you feel scrambled. This looks differently for everyone.

“6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillippians 4: 6–7


3. Recharge

Stress takes a lot out of everyone. It can seem difficult to do even the most simple of tasks, even if we typically enjoy doing them.

The importance of well-rest can never be overstated, as it is easy to lose sleep when stressed. Take care of your body regardless of the circumstances surrounding you. Your body loves you, so love it back even when it seems out of reach.

If sleep isn’t what you feel you need, then get outside in whatever capacity (be it a picnic or exercise) and be at peace with nature. Even if it’s just for a moment to appreciate the sky, remind yourself that there is so much freedom outside our walls of stress or anxiety. 

Don’t forget to thank God for another day to refocus yourself and move forward.

When you think of recharging, what do you think of? Do it.


4. Unplug from social media

An already stressful week can be made worse by social media. Sometimes the internet can make us feel like we are behind or not doing well enough compared to others. 

The internet is a highlight reel of others lives, but even with that knowledge it can bring more anxiety than one needs.

Turn your time to focusing on you instead of others.

Use time doing that reorganizing you’ve been putting off, or start that book you never got around to. Potentially even starting a new hobby, like gardening. The possibilities are endless. You aren’t missing anything online, trust me.

Taking breaks from social media when you are prone to anxiety and stress will make you more fulfilled. Get comfortable with putting yourself and your needs first.


5. Talk to God

He wants to hear from you, He wants to make you feel whole in His presence. 

There is nothing the Lord gives you that you can’t handle. As you feel anxiety and stress creep in, remember that you can handle whatever comes your way.

It can seem easy to step back away from the Lord when times get tough for us and we don’t understand the greater plan in store for us. In these times leaning on our faith in God allows us to grow and overcome challenges. 

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1: 2–4

I hope that these tips are of value to you in your daily life. Whether it’s a stressful day, week or year I hope you learn to pick yourself up and push forward even stronger.

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