OK, I get it. The literalists in the room likely read the title of this blog and how it says, “Change Yourself,” and began to wonder if that’s really possible. After all, traits and moral character are pretty much set in stone. Most of your characteristics are also hard to change, and unless you get plastic surgery, it’s difficult to drastically alter how you look. So, at the end of the day, how much change are we talking about here?
Well, how about habits and behaviors, your attitude, and even your outlook on life? To piggyback off last week’s blog post, these are important steps to take if you find yourself in a rut during the holidays and desperately needing a change as we flip the calendar.
Simply put: if you choose your thinking, you can change your life — and hence, change yourself!
“You can change all things for the better when you
change yourself for the better.” — Jim Rohn
Overcome the Overwhelm to Change Yourself
When we start thinking about making positive changes to ourselves, a good first step — besides committing to the idea that change is possible — is to look deeper into what we really have control over. Why? Because many of us worry and fret and are anxious about things we really can’t control, to begin with. We know that we don’t control most situations or circumstances, right? In other words, we don’t control the weather, COVID, politics, or even our children. How do we change the current thoughts in our mind so we don’t focus on things we really can’t do much about? What’s left?
?What can I influence, manage, or make deliberate choices for?
Answer: Me, myself, and I. You control your own thoughts, attitudes, feelings, and behaviors.
So when it’s the holiday season, and you’re faced with overwhelming things, don’t fall into the same tired trap of faulty beliefs, fear, and automatic negative thinking. This only blurs the boundaries between legitimate concern over the uncontrollable and what is actually in our control. Instead, we need to renew our minds (head), restore our courage (heart) with faith, and do what God directs us to do (habits).
HEAD — The Confidence Factor:
Chronic negative thinking contributes to feelings of hopelessness. To change yourself, change negative patterns and replace them with truth from scripture (scripture reading, meditation, memorization). In Romans 12 Paul encourages us to not think like the world does, but to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
HEART — The Courage Factor:
Cultivate courage; “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). Courage is based on God’s promises (read Joshua 1:6-9).
HABIT — The Commitment Factor:
Responsible behavior is biblical. To change yourself, continually walking in God’s ways leads to healthy habits and the ability to respond better to difficult situations. Its really too bad so many have believed that God’s commands are punishing. They are not. They show us how to live in peace and freedom.
All we are saying here is that we engage life from two distinct places — a circle of concern and a circle of control. Most anxiety and despair have roots in the circle of concern and include issues that are important to us but may be beyond our ability to change. The danger is spending our time worrying and obsessing about those things we cannot control to the point where we reach emotional, spiritual, and physical exhaustion.
?What CAN we do?
Allow God into the process and pray! He cares for you!
Assess your situation or circumstance from many thought perspectives. How can you think about the situation in the most positive, productive way? Can you find a better solution? How do you want to handle it in the most productive way? Manage your emotions and change yourself by not letting your behavior override your thoughts and actions. You CAN choose your thinking and thought processes!
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Did we leave anything out? What are a few behaviors and attitudes you think have helped you change for the better? Did you enjoy the suggestions above? Please send us a quick email and help us keep this conversation going at Mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com.