There's a leader of a nearly 30-year organization who was heard telling his team, "I'm not trying any more change. I got this far doing things the same way." He was frustrated because his industry (from his perception) had drastically changed, but every time he tried to change something, it failed. He was burned out on change.
While that frustration is not what I'm talking about, that leader is who I'm talking about. That leader represents millions of people every year who try change only to fail.
Here's a simple idea for you: CHANGE WILL DESTROY YOU.
Coming out of 2020, change is no longer an option. Change will cause more anxiety, depression, self-harm, self-deprecation, negative thoughts, and more this year than ever before.
1. Change is temporary.
Think about it. What's something you change every day? Think harder. Harder.....ok! I'll give you the answer.
You change your underwear every day. Well, at least you should.
Why? Because the new pair you put on gets worn, dirty, sweaty, all in the span of a day. So, you change them again.
When your mindset is to change something about yourself, it's like putting a fresh pair of underwear on. As long as it's clean, you wear it. The moment it gets dirty, messy, uncomfortable, you change right back.
Change is temporary because:
2. Change is about behavior modification.
I'm going to wake up earlier.
I'm going to spend less.
I'm going to work harder.
I'm going to eat less.
We make the change. We modify our behavior. It gets too hard. We change back. And the cycle continues.
Change is temporary because change is about behavior modification. The greatest danger of these characteristics is:
3. Change gives you permission to go back.
I'm going to wake up earlier, but then I realized I'm exhausted by noon when I get up at 5am, so I give myself permission to go back to sleeping in until 9am.
I'm going to eat less, but then my friends want to go out to eat, and, of course, it's a better deal to buy the lard burger with an extra large french fries and a Dr. Pepper when it's the same price as a salad, so I give myself permission to overeat again.
I'm going to spend less, but then my car starts acting up again, so I give myself permission to go get a new car with its $400/month car payment attached.
Change knows what you want, so it always gives you permission to go back.
So what is the antidote in 2021? Growth.
CHANGE WILL DESTROY YOU.
GROWTH WILL RENEW YOU.
1. Growth is consistent.
When my focus is growth, the purpose is always greater than the pain. Even when it gets messy, I remain consistent. Growth is not about what's going to happen now. Growth is focused on consistently taking action on simple ideas to consistently move forward. Once you know that you want to grow, change won't even be an option.
2. Growth is about transformation.
While change is about modifying your behavior temporarily, growth is about transforming you from the inside out. When you want to grow, you don't modify behavior, you transform your thinking. The moment you begin to think positively about your future, your goals, your relationships, your finances, and focus on growth, your behavior transforms because you're growing.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
One of the patterns of the world I see over and over is people attempting to change by changing their actions first. But, the Bible helps us understand that before our actions can reflect the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God, they have to be transformed. Before our actions can be transformed, our minds have to be renewed.
3. Growth requires roots.
Change gives you permission to back because change has no roots. Growth requires roots. When you decide that growth and transformation are the goals, then you are creating a roots in your mind, heart and soul that continue to nurture that growth and transformation.
Roots also prevent you from going back. Ever seen an old oak tree after a Texas storm? I have. Its leaves are gone. Some of the unhealthy branches were swept away. But, that tree trunk! Solid! That doesn't happen because the tree has grown so big. It happens because that tree's roots have grown so deep.
This year I've decided change is no longer on the agenda. In fact, I've decided that the more I attempt to change, the quicker my life will be destroyed. I don't want to face regrets because I kept going back. I don't want to feel stuck because I allow temporary changes.
From here on out, when people see you and your transformation, and they say, "You've really changed!" Quickly correct them.
No, I've grown.