Recently Phyllis Jenkins with Powerful Journey asked me to be a contributor to her book, From Vision-2-Victory: 26 Successful Strategies to Take your Visions and Dreams to Victory.
She asked me to share one successful strategy that has helped me take a vision or dream from beginning to end. I’d encourage you to check out the rest of the strategies. Vision to Victory is available on Amazon.
Phyllis assigned me the letter “N”. Here’s what I wrote.
Networking with other women who are successfully doing what I aspire to do is one of the most important things I do outside of allowing God’s truth to mold me.
When I first began speaking about seven years ago, I longed for someone to give me insight and wisdom, but I didn’t know anyone personally who did what I wanted to do. In desperation one night, I did a search on the internet for “Oklahoma Christian speakers.” The first link took me to a website for Jenny Broughton. When I clicked on her website I was amazed to discover that she lived in my same zip code.
Would she take the time to mentor me? I wondered.
Fighting off thoughts like, She’s probably too busy and successful to have time for a newby, I decided to shoot her an email. She answered the very next day inviting me to meet for coffee at Starbucks. That one single risk and ask has resulted in a chain reaction of so many speaker and writer friends that I would never have met otherwise. Jenny and I later went on to create a speakers group, Common Ground 5, and have done several events together, as well as built a wonderful friendship.
Today I intentionally surround myself with women who share my values and passions and who will challenge me to become a better me. I have mentors in my life that have achieved what I aspire to achieve. I embrace every opportunity to meet other ministry leaders, writers, speakers and life coaches for coffee or lunch. Making myself available to these divine connections has opened so many doors. Networking to expand my circle of influence not only benefits me, but gives me the opportunity to pour into others as well. Shared wisdom and influence increases both.
If you think you don’t have time to network, may I challenge you to reconsider? You will become like those whom you spend the majority of your time with. Proverbs tells us that those who walk with the wise and become wise.
When you make time to meet with others, you’ll be amazed at how God to shows up.
What is one action that you perform daily that fuels your momentum toward fulfilling your visions and dreams?
Maintain vision and focus—literally. God gave me a vision over twenty-five years ago of Jesus and I standing on top of a mountain. Wrapping around the mountain as far as the eyes could see was a single file line of women.
When I asked the Lord what those ladies were doing, He replied, “Those are the women you will help.”
I didn’t share that vision with a single soul for almost two decades because I felt so inadequate and unworthy. But now I realize that God gave me the vision to give me direction and the power to fight off discouragement. It’s up to me to keep the vision before me.
Recently, my daughter painted a picture of the vision for me. It hangs in my office and I use that to remind myself daily of my calling and assignment.
What is one habit you said goodbye to because it hindered you from moving forward?
Allowing discouragement to fester. I have to be intentional about immediately discarding any toxic thoughts that try to cause me to compare myself to others, criticize my performance or abilities or prevent me from taking action. Discouragement does one thing. It stops me in my tracks and keeps me from moving forward.
The Hebrew word for discouragement or dismay means to look away or turn your gaze away. When the Lord commanded Joshua, “Do not be discouraged,” He was giving Joshua the key to his victory. He couldn’t enter the Promised Land by allowing discouragement to hinder him. In order to arrive at our own promised land, we must keep our eyes fixed straight ahead and refuse discouragement the opportunity to take root.
What would you say to a woman who is about to give up on her dreams and visions?
Evaluate whether you are trying to make things happen in your own strength. Chances are that your frustrations are due to your own inadequacies to lead. But don’t despair. That is exactly how God designed you—to fail in your own strength. Your true strength comes from Him. You may be able to succeed in your own strength temporarily, but you will never be able to accomplish His plan for your life in your own strength, because any God-given dream requires God-given strength. When your strength fails, don’t distress. His power is perfected in your weakness.
If your dream is a God-given dream, your only responsibility is to do your part. You don’t have to do God’s part. So don’t run ahead because of ambition or lag behind because of fear. God moves and you follow. The pressure is off because you don’t have to lead.
In addition to the Bible, what is one book that you would recommend to our readers that has helped you?
The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson
The Dream Giver is an allegory about Ordinary who dares to leave the Land of Familiar to pursue his Big Dream but must first conquer the Border Bullies in order to enter his Promised Land.
How can our readers find out more about you, your ministry or business?
As a former love junkie who used men like a drug, I became tangled in several toxic relationships and later a ten-year abusive marriage. Shattered dreams and the death of our youngest son in a tragic car accident (my ex-husband was driving under the influence of several drugs) brought me to the end of myself. It was in the midst of my brokenness that I found God’s overwhelming grace to forgive.
Today I am passionate about empowering women to experience emotional freedom and relationship satisfaction. I have video teaching resources online and a free ebook available, How to Live Soul Healthy in a Toxic World, at www.christyjohnson.org.