Did you ever wonder why it is hard for you to maintain new habits once you have started them? Be it an exercise routine, an eating plan or a cleaning plan, it can be hard to maintain new and we wind up cycling back to old. I have a very bad habit of not putting away my clothing when I change out of clothing, and quickly amass large piles of assorted clean clothing. It’s a habit I am capable of changing; however, the problem is my belief system. I believe I am messy with my clothing and, while organized in most other areas of my life, this one belief has been hard to change. How about you? What are the beliefs that cause you to resume old habits because the belief systems are what keeps us stuck? If we want to change our circumstances, we are going to have to change our beliefs. Maybe we were verbally abused by our parents so our belief may be that people can say disrespectful things to us and we just have to allow it. Perhaps people in your developmental years were constantly living in lies, and you were taught not to question your gut experience of things. Or maybe you were sexually abused as a child and learned to treat your body with shame by mistreating it in some way. Our worldview is formed by age 12, and many of still allow the child inside of us decide how we will behave and how we will allow others to treat us. It’s time for the adult to start deciding what they believe about themselves and acting out of that truth instead of allowing the child to drive your life. In my life, my spiritual beliefs of how God views me have caused me to change my beliefs about myself and how things can change in my life. However, there are many people who were taught God is a punishing and vindictive God, and they still live out of that belief system which keeps them stuck in a cycle of perfectionism or shame with God. There is no easy math equation regarding beliefs in life when trauma and loss enter into our lives. However, it is possible to begin to understand what your beliefs are that keep you stuck and begin to change the way you think. Unhealthy beliefs will result in unhealthy choices and circumstances. Healthy beliefs will result in healthy choices and circumstances. Choose today whom you will let drive the car of your life; the child or the adult will drive the car. The adult in my life has a clean closet more days than not because I force myself to own the belief that I am capable of putting away my clothes. Each time I do this simple habit change, I think to myself, “You are an adult who likes a clean and environment and this habit brings you peace and joy. You can put away your clothing each day.” While, you, the reader may be irritated with my analogy of cleaning up clothing, it’s a simple analogy to underscore that even small habit changes can bring life to areas that once held shame.
Romans 12:2 (MSG)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.