Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ready to make a lasting change? Remember these 4 truths!

by Valorie Burton

There is nothing new under the sun, King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes
1:10, but every now and then, we need to be reminded of what we
already know. This month, I'd like to gently remind you of a few
divinely-inspired principles that will make the process of creating
change in your life easier.

1. People can change (but you can't change them).
We all have the capacity to change, but lasting change comes from
within. External pressure may create a temporary shift, but true
transformation occurs from the inside out. Out of the heart flows the
issues of life (see Proverbs 4:23) . Until one's heart changes,
transformation is impossible. It requires a personal commitment to
facing truth and walking through fear in order to step out of habits
and behaviors inside your comfort zone. So don't waste your time
trying to change others. Focus on changing yourself and praying for

2. Change is a process.
Occasionally, change happens "suddenly." There's the cigarette smoker
who stops cold turkey or the person who becomes fed up and makes a
major life-changing decision. But most of the time, change does not
happen overnight. Give yourself permission to fail, learn from
mistakes and try again. Eventually, just as you learned to ride a
bicycle or read, change will take root and won't take as much
concentrated effort. Adjust your expectations so that you give
yourself the space to improve over time.

3. Fear is inevitable.
Expect it and keep moving forward. In my book, What's Really Holding
You Back?, I wrote that fear is the emotion that threatens to keep us
from our dreams – if we allow it. One of the keys is answering your
"what if?" questions: "What if I fail?" "What if I'm wrong?" "What if
they say 'no'?" "What if I'm not good enough?" Answer the questions
that conjure up fear and you'll begin pushing through your greatest

4. Baby steps will get you to the finish line. Getting stuck is a
vicious cycle. Fear keeps you from taking action. Not taking action
leads to poor results. Poor results convince you that you cannot
succeed. Consider your vision for this year and identify a simple step
you can take this week to move you closer to it.


Challenge This Month

Embrace the change you are trying to make in your life as a process.
Don't beat yourself up for not changing perfectly, succumbing to your
fears or taking baby steps. Allow it to be a process – with ups and
downs – until you get to your finish line.


Journaling Assignment

With regards to a change you want to make in your life, what is your
biggest fear? What baby step could you take forward despite your fear?

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