Sometimes you want it. Other times it comes rudely barging in your front door.
Change comes whether you’re actively searching for it for not . . .
It can be scary. It’s vulnerable. The outcome is uncertain.
When my oldest son, Max, was three years old he needed to make a change. He had a bad habit of tipping his chair back on two legs during mealtimes. He’d then balance on the seat in such a way that one little movement backward or forward would cause him to be either sitting in the chair with all four legs on the floor, or tumbling off the chair backwards.
Despite many warnings from his mom and dad to keep all four legs on the floor, he continued to tilt the chair back on two legs while delicately tittering on the seat edge. One day, his chair totally slipped out from under him, and he whacked his head hard as he fell to the floor.
That bump on his head helped him became a determined and self-motivated young boy. I watched him over the next several weeks as he changed his chair tipping habit.
Certain I could learn from his success, I closely observed several stages in his transformation.
He gained the personal awareness that something needed to change.
He saw how he could benefit by “turning over a new leaf”.
Still on auto-pilot; he habitually tipped his chair, but stopped himself when he realized what he was doing.
He stopped himself increasingly sooner in the tipping process.
He got to the point where he was just about to lunge back when he stopped and recalculated ten kept all four chair legs planted firmly on the kitchen floor. * It was the coolest thing to see his countenance light up when he conquered this step. *
The thought to spring back on his chair became decreasingly prominent, and finally disappeared.
… I watched my three year old son change his chair tipping habit.
If my three year old son could transform his ways then you and I certainly can too. Even though it’s uncomfortable and may feel vulnerable.
After all, if we are not moving forward and growing then we are slowly ebbing away and dying on the inside.
Remember, we cannot change anyone else but ourselves. And thatchange comes by God’s grace, not by our own efforts alone.
Stages in transformation
First you gain the personal awareness that something needs to change.
You get to the point where you see your life isn’t working for you.
You experience sadness, loneliness, and fear. Remember that your negative emotions are God’s holy messengers.
He planted deep within you the ability to feel sadness and joy, pain and relief as an inward channel through which He can whisper His wisdom to you.
If you allow your negative emotions to simply inform you they will bless and serve you by letting you know something needs to change. If you hang on to your negative feelings they will become toxic.
Second know how you’ll benefit by “turning over a new leaf”.
Third catch yourself in the midst of doing that which you want to stop doing.
Fourth recognize you are making progress when you stop yourself increasingly sooner.
Fifth you’ll catch yourself just in time to stop that annoying habit you’re trying to break.
Sixth you’ll need to put less and less effort into stopping yourself.
You will move through these stages when addressing simple habits that you want to change. * You will need more than this if you are struggling with an addiction.
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