Overcoming Over Capacity
These days I quite often feel overwhelmed and stressed. Maybe it’s the 3 kids or the 3 different jobs – who knows? What I do know is that I was created by God and mostly likely God is the only one who knows the full extent of my capacity to handle life’s many stresses. So, I had the thought… what would I say to someone who felt overwhelmed with life, work, relationships etc? Then I would have some good ideas for helping myself figure out what to do when I feel over capacity. Brilliant 😉
For the purposes of this discussion, “capacity” may be understood as… the greatest possible amount of something. So to be “over” capacity is to have too much of something which could result in a negative outcome. This concept also involves the law of diminishing returns, which simply means that the more you add one aspect of production, while holding all others the same, will at some point produce a lower rate of return. Or in very simple terms, too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing or produce a better outcome.
The best example of this idea has always been eating pizza. The first slice is awesome, the second is equally great, however the 6th or 7th piece… well, you know the rest. Even good things have their limits.
So what is capacity? In all the pages of God’s word, this word capacity, is not mentioned one time and yet it is a concept that we are very familiar with in our present day culture.
The real question that has to be answered by us Christians is, “What is God’s capacity?”
The reason why the bible says, “God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle” is that to be overly tempted leads to sin and the abundance of sin produces death, something of which we mere humans cannot withstand. However, there is no condition or circumstance(s) under which God is over capacity. Not even the cross was more then God could handle!
To be over capacity is a bit of an oxymoron for people of faith. The fundamental purpose of faith is to trust in what is beyond sight and our capacity to handle or control. Does this mean we take on more and more and just pray that God takes care of the rest? Not at all, in fact it might just mean the opposite. We take on less and less, realizing that what we need in life is not satisfied by achieving or striving for more.
The only way personal capacity is increased is through faith. Adding more to an already overwhelmed life/person does not produce more or better fruit. What is does produce is less effectiveness and creates bondage to whatever it is you have allow to over burden you. So, what can we do about it?
Here are 3 things that I have to revisit time and time again in my life. I have to remind myself and sometimes remind others that there is only so much I can or will handle before I become less of the person I’m called to be.
3 Keys to Overcoming Over-Capacity
1. Let Go!
- Let go of your need to perform and please people through what you do and what you achieve.
- Let go of unnecessary commitments. This involves letting go of control, trusting others and God. Accepting that you possess finite resources of time, energy, passion and knowledge/expertise.
2. Accept Help!
- Accept the fact that God wants to be your source of strength and that He will produce fruit in your life according to His plan and purpose.
- Accept the fact that others can and may do a better job at whatever it is you have been doing. Or, accept that you may not even be good at what you are doing and your investment of time will never payoff in the ways that you expect.
3. Narrow Your Focus!
- Yes, saying “no” to one thing does mean you can say “yes” to something else. However, make sure that something else is not just another wrong or harmful thing. I can’t tell you how many times in business I have said “no” to something on the basis of principle and then turn right around and say, “yes” to something very similar. We have to be very convinced in our minds to stick with what matters most and that which we have given greatest priority.
- It is better to be great at one thing then mediocre at 5.
Well, there you have it. My attempt to help myself overcome over capacity. Now I will just have to write a post about listening to yourself.
How do you deal with stress and over capacity? I would love to hear from you.