“Don’t become a victim of yourself. Forget about the thief waiting in the alley; what about the thief in your mind?” Jim Rohn
When you work from home, the four walls of your house can acquire a voice of their own.
I work from home most of the time and in an effort to widen my exercise routine and silence my speaking walls, I took up running.
But recently, I had a particularly rough day; felt suffocated, I was questioning my dreams, generally having a neat melt-down.
I knew going out for a run would get me out of the funk.
But I didn’t feel like exercising (what, ruin the perfect pity party?) I just wanted to hang out with God indoors. To pray or listen to music. Or couch away.
But eventually, I managed to lace up and stumble out of the door. Barely five minutes into the walk , the funk began to lift.
The thief in your mind
Sometimes we allow ourselves to think that things can get better without our involvement.
The attitude shows in our actions or inaction.
There is no other place responsibility-phobia manifests itself more than when it comes to making big life changes.
Like me, we seem to have this idea of what can work, but instead of taking action, we defer it to another day, another person, another time.
Most of us leave the scene entirely and decide that it’s not our problem.
To find solutions that last, to make changes that stick, we need to start at the beginning – Acceptance.
As kids and when my father wanted to remove a tree permanently from our fence, he dug out the tree from its roots.
Sometimes he’d want a tree to grow back later. In that case, he’d cut off the trunk from the base and in a season or two, the scarred stump would begin to bloom again.
Sometimes in life, we need to start a new chapter/make permanent life changes/create new habits. In that case we need to permanently get rid of the tree.
However, instead of meeting the challenge from its roots, we hack a few branches, maybe even bring down the tree – but never get around to digging out the roots.
We then stand back amazed as the ‘tree’ blooms back to life.
You wonder why you are not making progress at work. You wonder why your relationship with a colleague is still sour. You wonder why you always tick off your wife. You wonder why you can’t seem to find a person to settle down with you.
It begins with you
Jeff Goins says
“I hope you realize the “somebody” we’re all deferring to (to do the right thing) is you.
Two insights to make changes that last
1. Begin by accepting where you are at.
Honestly evaluate yourself and your current position without shifting blame, minimizing the problem, being sketchy about your responsibility.
If it’s a zebra, call it so, don’t dress it up as a donkey.
For example, if you are stressed out and desire a more peaceful, intentional life, swing by your heart first, instead of trying to work on your plans and schedules.
You can ask yourself – what adjustments do I need to make, what boundaries do I need to create, what expectations do I need to let go of, am I equating performance with value, how is my relationship with God e.t.c.
2. Change your lenses.
Accepting your current position takes courage because some of the things you face are scary.
So you must don fresh lenses in order to overcome. See the possibility of change, instead of being cowed by the magnitude of your challenge.
It’s amazing the number of people who begin a new venture with a failure mindset. Their bodies are seemingly present and involved. But their minds and hearts are cynical bystanders.
Most of us are not cynics or negative for the fun of it. It may be that you tried something and failed.
Or others doubted your ability to change. There is nothing you can do about the past besides learn from it. Others cannot live your life for you, so let them believe whatever they want.
Just choose to believe that change is possible.
Your situation is not hopeless. Adjustments can be made. An intentional life is possible.
It doesn’t matter how yesterday was, but this particular time, you will do things differently.
Question – What other ways can we make life changes that last?