Ask for Help

Something Has to Change: Episode 23

Meggan Stephens

5/22/20247 min read

low light stage microphone photography
low light stage microphone photography

Getting Guidance

All throughout the book of Proverbs, getting guidance, taking counsel, and acquiring wisdom are reiterated. Written by King Soloman, who was said to be the wisest man to ever live, this book gives deeper insight into the characteristics and practices that make one wise or foolish. As said in recent episodes, we should make a practice of reading a Proverb a day with the mindset of seeing yourself as someone who is wise rather than foolish. However, if you've defined yourself as foolish based off of your own realization of personal behaviors, you are not condemned to continue on living foolishly. Redefine yourself and choose another way to live. You can begin by seeking counsel.

Getting guidance has been shown to have great benefits. From improved communication and interpretation skills to greater self-acceptance and self-esteem, from relief of stress and mental health conditions to better management of emotions, guidance offers a different perspective to the struggles we encounter emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Whether you need advice before starting a new diet, accepting a new job position, or making a move across country, taking counsel from those holding wisdom in these areas can greatly affect your decisions, success, and ultimately the course of your life.

Those who are more apt to get guidance are those who crave transformation. If you've been tuning into this Something Has to Change series, it's likely you are someone who is seeking transformation in one or more areas of your life. There are many other reasons to seek advice as well. Perhaps you want to reduce stress, avoid feeling overwhelmed, or learn to stay motivated. Or maybe you're considering making a move that is so drastic, some would consider you to be going through a mid-life crisis. Whatever your reason may be, the book of Proverbs declares the dangers of trusting in our own understanding and following our own foolish, arrogant hearts.

Avoiding Guidance

Because there is such a stigma to follow the heart, despite the wisdom of King Soloman who advises against it, we often avoid guidance. One will refuse advice because in reality, the recommended instruction will influence one to change, and secretly there is no desire to actually change. Other reasons for avoiding advice include an inflated ego, a fear of what others will think, or a desire to manipulate or confuse other people. If we're being honest, most, if not all of us have at some point avoided guidance. It is something that starts as early as childhood. Many of us have found ourselves counting down the days to be grown and out from under our parent's guidance. However, as we come into adulthood, maturing out of our foolishness, we begin to realize the wisdom that was spoken into us throughout those adolescent years.

As for me personally, experiencing mental illness such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, I've seen my fair share of counselors and behavioral therapists starting as early as elementary school. Though I was offered some temporary relief, I found myself feeling similar to King David in Psalms 13:1-4. It seemed like multiple years that I was desperately crying out to God for help and feeling as though there was no answer or end to the emptiness that I felt. In December of 2020, it was made clear to me that prior to that moment of complete transformation, I was distracted and driven by my own fear of change, which is ultimately the enemy that keeps us all from seeking guidance from not only counselors, but from God Himself.

Who can I turn to for guidance?

We tend to look to friends for advice rather than to our pastors or certified therapists, counselors, or life coaches. This is due to the fact that our friends' advice typically caters to the desires of our heart. They know us, right? So they unintentionally persuade us to make the decision we already wanted to make, despite the outcome and effect it may have on others. Our relationships with our friends and family members are quite different than those relationships we have with someone who holds a position of counsel. A counselor, life coach, advisor, or pastor is going to guide you to make the decision that is right universally. However, the guidance we receive and implement from man must always be in line with the Word of God. Counsel that is not backed by the wisdom of God can and will inevitably leave you feeling stuck or in a worse mental state than you were initially.

Though God has placed wisdom in man, it also goes without saying that He Himself holds all wisdom. Different translations of John 14:26 name the Holy Spirit as the Counselor, the Comforter, the Intercessor, the Advocate, and the Strengthener. The job of the Holy Spirit is to tell us of things to come as well as remind us of the wisdom we've already been taught. It's crucial to remember that in our most desperate times, through the Holy Spirt, we have direct access to guidance from our Father.

Body Language

Stephen moves on to speak about body language and it's direct relation to acquiring wisdom. Ecclesiastes 8:1 states that wisdom brightens the face and changes a hard appearance. I personally know this Scripture to be true. Prior to meeting the Messiah, I was often told how mean and unapproachable I looked. For years in school, many assumed that I was stuck-up and unfriendly. I carried myself in such a way that made others want to avoid me, though I did not realize it at the time. Once people got to know me, they saw this not to be true and classified me as having something the world has given a name that I won't mention, but is pretty commonly known. Upon receiving deliverance from my sin, my entire demeanor changed. My face literally softened and those whom I'd known for years physically saw and felt the difference made by freedom and enlightenment within my spirit.

3 Elements of Communication

When having a face to face conversation, three elements are unequally communicated. The first and most truthful element is 55% based on body language. At 38% is the tone or frequency of the voice, while our words are just 7%. If anything, these percentages prove that our words and voice can lie, but our body language cannot.

Jesus says something interesting in Matthew 12:34 as he refers to the Pharisees as a brood of vipers. He questions how they're able to speak good things though they are evil. This is body language. There is an innate ability within us all to see through people's empty words when we take notice of what the body and the actions are saying. This is why we are called to love God with all of our body as well as our heart, mind, and resources. Christians can proclaim their love for God all day with their mouths, but ultimately the body and actions will prove this love to be true or false.

Facial Incongruence

We've all heard, "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." Well, I've often heard, "If you're happy and you know it, tell your face." Your face will always tell on you, leaking out the truths of the heart. This was the case with me. Though I desired to have friends and didn't necessarily have ill-will towards anyone, my face displayed the pain, loneliness, and emptiness I felt within my heart. We all carry frequencies and there is no doubt that those around you can sense and feel the frequency you're putting off.

Science has shown that the face can reveal multiple competing sentiments at once. You may have looked at a person smiling but felt as though the smile was insincere. This is due to facial incongruence. The left side of a person's face, the right when looking at them, is said to show a person's true emotion. The competing sentiments within a person will make themselves known on the face, despite the words they make speak.

How to Feel Better Using Body Language

Your body language is controlling how you feel inside and affects your self-esteem. Those who wake up in the fetal position or sit too close to the steering wheel are known to be more anxious. You can combat this anxiousness by stretching out into a starfish position before getting out of bed and by giving yourself more space between you and the steering wheel.

Your posture plays an important role in your self-esteem and confidence. You may have heard of the super-hero pose. This is done by placing both hands on your hips and standing in a victory position for a few minutes a day. Brushing your teeth with one hand on your hip can also improve self-esteem and confidence. Your main concern should be what kind of impression you're making on yourself rather than the impression you're making on others. Positively affirming and internally speaking to yourself will change the way you feel about yourself.

Another way to improve self-esteem is by keeping your promises to yourself. The body craves consistency in all areas whether it be diet, exercise, relationships, or productivity. Look at it this way. If you have a friend who is constantly bailing on you, it's likely you will lose trust in that friend. The same is true of yourself. If you're committing to something and consistently falling through on your commitments, you're crushing your own confidence and creating low self-esteem. You are essentially making yourself your own worst enemy. Place more value on yourself by believing in who you are and your capabilities. As said in previous episodes, quit quitting. Don't quit on yourself no matter how hard or painful things become.

Something Has to Change

The "something" that has to change is our actions. We are consistently receiving information yet doing nothing with it. We say a lot that we have no intentions of doing, ultimately creating pathological lying ways within ourselves. We try to fake it until we make it rather than taking the time to practice it until we become it. This week, let us take what we've learned and look for opportunities to implement these practices, knowing confidently that we have a Helper, a wonderful Counselor to lead and guide us in the way of positive change. In doing so, we may experience challenges, but let us not be too prideful to ask for help and guidance.

2 Action Steps:
  1. Say less. Do more.

  2. Practice it until you become it.

In another episode of Something Has to Change, Contemporary Speaks is helping us out by tackling some often overlooked topics. The mental health-focused podcast takes us on a new journey this week into the world of guidance. The host, Stephen, explains exactly why guidance is so necessary, though often avoided. He then peaks interest in the topic of body language explaining how the way you carry yourself is either helping or harming your self-esteem and confidence.

Want to dive deeper?

Watch the full episode