Some people embrace change. More power to them! For many of us, change is challenging, frightening, overwhelming, or just downright uncomfortable. Babies cry when they need a “change,” and so do we. We are creatures of habit and receive comfort from things familiar, even if they are not healthy and even when we know they are not good for us. The fear of the new can be greater than the discomfort of what we know. That’s where courage steps in. You may be like me and not be a naturally courageous person. Wow do I embrace the comfort of what I already know and do! In the time I have lived on this planet, I have learned that change is part of a healthy life. Things that are not changing are, in essence, dead.
So how does a natural coward deal with change?
Where do we get the courage to change?
How do we join God in this process?
First, change doesn’t mean you close your eyes and jump out of the airplane of life. It does mean you are willing to take a first step to becoming the person God intends. Courage does not mean you are not afraid; it means you take positive steps while afraid. Don’t focus on the fear of the change; focus on the benefit of who you will become. There are some practical things to remember and steps to take as you begin to address things needing change. Stepping forward, even when afraid, is the most important.
Intentional change never happens without effort and a first step.
If you miss this step, intentional change is unlikely to happen.
You may not hear this from anyone else but let me tell you, “It’s okay to fail.” What, don’t we all want to be successful winners? If we are honest, we probably do, but success is not microwaveable or instantly achievable. Not everything in life can be “nuked” and instantly ready. When you first started to walk, you most likely “dusted your diapers” for a while. It’s likely you fell a bit and skinned some body parts. I suspect you did a fair amount of crying during that time. But you didn’t give up. Just look at your life now! You’re reasonably competent at walking (or at least most of us are). Fear of failure will keep you from changing. Give it a try. If you fall, get up and keep trying. Yes, you may not be instantly successful, but perfect practice will increase your likelihood of successful change. Don’t let the fear of failure hinder you in developing into who God has designed you to be. Keep going!
A word of advice, practice makes permanent.
Practice good things for a healthy change.
Next, start small. Often, we want to make big changes. You are new at this and will be able to make great strides in the future. Start with something smaller and for which you have a greater likelihood of success. Nothing builds confidence like success. Starting small will give you the skills and confidence to take on bigger things in the future. God may be revealing many needed changes in your life. Work on the smaller ones first. Get them out of the way, and then you will be ready to tackle those really big changes.
Remember, you are not in this alone.
There are safe friends in your life who will be glad to help. Find them and give them a chance to help you in the process. God is one of the best friends we have! He has a plan for your life, and being dysfunctional is not part of His plan. Pray, lean hard on Him, learn truths from His Word, and look for biblical examples of people who have made similar changes. Some of the greatest heroes of the Bible had great challenges in life. Learn from them.
Find yourself a round “tuit.” For years I carried a round wooden disk in my pocket. “Tuit” was printed on that disk. It served two purposes. When I pulled it out of my pocket, it reminded me to check my priorities and to minimize delays. When someone talked of needing to do something but indicated they would when they “got around to it,” I pulled out my round “tuit” and gave it to them. I would tell them, “Now you have a round tuit, what’s stopping you?” Change needs to become a priority in life, not something you do when you get around to it. A professor once told me, “It’s easier to act yourself into a new way of feeling than to feel yourself into a new way of acting.” Don’t wait until you are ready or the time “feels right.”
Becoming who God intends must be a top priority in our lives.
Becoming the new you must be a top priority.
Here’s my round “tuit.”
Becoming all God intends you to be will always be a work in process. As God chips away at our rough edges, He will help us to become ready for even further refining. Don’t be defeated as the list of things needing change continues to grow. Embrace this journey with God. Remember He loves you and wants only the best for you. Lean on Him, trust Him and allow Him to continue to shape you. He will do a much better job than anyone else.
Click here to sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay updated on Courage For Life news, events, & giveaways.