4 Steps To Calm The ‘I’m Freaked Out’ Storm

Photo by Cellar Door Films (Creative Commons)


You want me to do what?

No way, not me. You want anyone but me.

I’m not ready to give a presentation, write a book, or start a business.

Does this sound familiar?

It may not your boss asking you to do something, it could be your own heart moving you—which is often much scarier.

So how do you respond when you are a freaked out, stressed out, resistance-filled mess?

1. Take a deep breath. Seriously—just breathe. You’ll make it through this, I promise. The voices in your head will tell you terrible things. Ignore them and move forward.

2. Have faith. You were chosen for a reason. You have talents and abilities which are obvious to others but might not be clear to yourself. Don’t believe me? Try this free Strengths Finder assessment here. God has bigger plans for you than you can imagine.

3. Prepare as much as possible. Use the time you have to prepare. Whether it is five months or five minutes doesn’t matter. Don’t procrastinate, just dive in!

4. Realize you’ll never be 100% ready. It’s completely normal to be nervous. If you have followed steps 1-3, there is really not much more you can do. Some might call this “fake it ’til you make it” but the truth is you have to start somewhere.

Be encouraged. You have more support than you think you do. If it feels like you don’t, ask some of your friends for encouragement and accountability. I have some friends who are flat out AMAZING and challenge and encourage me all the time.


Have you been in the ‘I’m freaked out’ storm? How did you respond?


  • http://www.chrismorriswrites.com/ Chris Morris

    Dude, I hate the “I’m freaked out” storm! Thanks for the advice here

  • Craig Harmann

    I’m there right now in the realization that my full-time church music position will be cut to part-time if I stay through June 1st. I’m not staying, so it’s the “now what” and the “I’m trying to stay calm, but HOW DO I FINANCIALLY PROVIDE FOR MY FAMILY AND DO WHAT GOD WANTS ME TO DO” freakout. It’s a joyful feeling…..really

    • http://jimwoodswrites.com/ Jim Woods

      Sorry to hear that Craig! I personally would say to call,phone,tweet, text everyone in your network to find job leads. Your network is how you get jobs IMHO. Hope this helps. Just going through your linked in or Facebook would be a great place to start.

      • Craig Harmann

        Thanks Jim. I’ve known it was coming for 3 years. Not too fun being at a dying church. So I’ve got a couple of possibilities, the strongest one being less than 5 miles from my parents who are 77 and 74. So that would be good for my girls and my parents. But time will tell.

  • http://www.crazyenoughtotry.com/ Ryan Bonaparte

    These are great points, and I would add one more which would be to consider how important this task is in the grand scheme of things. I’m working on a post myself about how stress plays a role in our lives, and how it really helps to put things into perspective. What are the consequences and how bad is it really going to be to fail? Most times not really as bad as we initially think.

    Great advice.

    • http://jimwoodswrites.com/ Jim Woods

      Thanks so much Ryan, I’m honored! I think stress/fear our really the biggest challenges we face.

  • http://randomlychad.com Chad Jones

    This is great, Jim! Practical, actionable–in short, anyone can follow these steps. Thanks for posting this!

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    Been there. Done that. Needed that advice.

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Nice new hat Larry.

      • http://jimwoodswrites.com/ Jim Woods

        Larry is also known as “blogger claus” in some circles :)

        • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter


      • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

        Hah! Thanks Matt!

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    Funny I just got an email that I replied to with similar advice. Now I am sharing this with her and saying “See, Jim agrees with me”

    • http://jimwoodswrites.com/ Jim Woods

      Nice!!!!!! Haha. Love it!! Thanks Matt!!!

  • RenaBurgess

    Great post, Jim. I had one of those experiences when I agreed to speak to six classes of 8th graders in one day about a writing career. Before it started, all I could think about was how it would all be over in less than 8 hours if I could survive it. But by the third class, I was loving it. It amazes me as an introvert how I am beginning to enjoy public speaking. :)

    Also, I’m a huge fan of StrengthsFinder. I’m curious, Jim, what are your strengths?

    • http://jimwoodswrites.com/ Jim Woods

      Thanks Rena! I keep moving toward public speaking myself! So awesome and exciting!

      Everytime I take a Strengthsfinder a couple answers change but activator, belief, connectedness, developer, and ideation are some that have popped up for me. Thanks so much for asking!

  • David Mike

    Bookmarked this and then read it AFTER I was video interviewed. Telling my story for next Sunday’s evening service. Good to know for next time. Thanks Jim.

  • http://thoughthouse.org/ Micah

    I have sooo been here. These are really good tips though. 2 and 3 in particular. It can be so easy to lose sight of the fact that the opportunity or challenge has usually arrived due to your having something of value to add. Being able to recognise it and work on that basis I think is just so key.

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