How to change to a new you
Always thank God our Father for these truths so that we may learn to run a worthy race. Work these truths, everyday into our lives, so that we may persevere and overcome by his grace and his great love for us and the everlasting hope to be all that our Father wants for us in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Every waking moment involves your environment which is filled with cues or triggers. Their sole purpose is to serve as a signal to stir up your feelings & thoughts. These will produce a given behavior with certain actions and ultimately consequences.
- Look for ways to control your environment. Set up your environment in such a way that exposes healthy triggers and reinforces positive behavior. Restrict or avoid environments that are filled with cues that lead to negative behavior and unfavorable consequences.
- Challenge my thinking. Stress, pressure, anxiety and similar things are very common and most always tend to herd us into familiar and natural coping mechanisms that typically serve to numb and escape the difficult and negative feelings. Remember this escape is unhealthy and only short term. Do things like pray, practice breathing relaxation exercises, or read. Learn to increase your awareness of when you are thinking and begin to see how it is about to lead you into your normal coping mechanisms and then challenge those thoughts. Practice taking a pause, a break, take some deep breaths to calm down and use self control to develop discipline to respond with a controlled mind. Soon this will become your new nature and you will learn to catch yourself before you spiral into the same old behavior producing the same old consequences.
- There are ongoing circumstances in life that inevitably challenge our ability to stay balanced and to keep our emotions and feelings in check. Jesus felt the pressure of immense difficulty and was able to walk through the trials, even to the point of death (and resurrection) because he and the Father were together in nature. Viktor Frankl in “Man’s search for meaning” said if we know the “why” then we can bear almost any “how.” A daily stirring up of reminders to keep alive the reason of why you are here and giving effort strengthens you to bear the trials and tribulations that come your way.
- Live fully where you are. It's ok to admit weakness in difficult situations. Be strong enough to get away then celebrate the strength of getting away. Just be humble enough to use the tools that you can to achieve your goals. Someday you will be able to use other tools as well. Make the most of what you've got. As we are faithful with the small things some day you will be able to be faithful with larger things.
- When you fall short and mess up, realize quickly as possible what has happened, get back up and keep fighting. Remember that you’re not going to win the entire war at once but it is important and realistic to break things down into smaller manageable bites. Wars are won with handling one battle at a time. As the character Rocky Balboa says, “One step at a time, one punch at a time, one round at a time.” You will get knocked down many times. Get back up and do it quickly.
- Define what your fighting looks like. Don’t just grit your teeth and try to tough your way through difficult circumstances. You don’t stand toe to toe with a mixed martial artist with only knowing how to throw a simple punch and expect to be mentally and physically tough enough to overcome and win. You must train and develop specific skill sets to compete and obtain victory. Life in general and especially life in Christ is no different. Practicing self control and discipline and learning to walk by God’s Spirit are important keys to living with balance and purpose.