Eat less, exercise more, go to bed earlier, be accountable, do the 12- steps, connect, pray, take naps, turn off the TV, go to a workshop, read a self-help book, take a class, manage time better, go to counseling, breathe, forgive, draw, take vitamins, go on a vacation, go to church, hire a personal trainer, set boundaries, love, save money, read the Word, write in a journal…

You have a plan.  But you don’t do it.

So you call yourself names like lazy and undisciplined.

You feel bad.  So you overeat, drink, spend money, watch TV, stay up late, work too much, get angry, gossip, smoke, lay in bed.

Then you get tired.  And you make another plan.

It works for a while, but then it doesn’t. So you call yourself names like stupid, lazy, and undisciplined.

And you feel bad.  So you overeat, drink, spend money, watch TV, stay up late, work too much, get angry, gossip, smoke, lay in bed.

Eventually you get sick and tired.  So you try a different plan.

It works, but you don’t work it.  So you call yourself names like worthless, hopeless, powerless, unlovable, stupid, lazy, and undisciplined.

And you feel bad.  So you overeat, drink, spend money, watch TV, stay up late, work too much, get angry, gossip, smoke, lay in bed.

And you do this for _____ years.

Diets work.  Prayer works.  Connection works.  Naps work.  But if you continually sabotage plans for self-growth and healing it is clear something fundamental needs attention.  Instead of beating yourself up mentally and physically for another ___ years, I invite you to create a plan that focuses on evaluating and managing three fundamental roadblocks to change:

  1. Medical/Chemical Issues. You may have a diagnosable condition that prevents you from following through on plans for growth and healing.  Depression, addiction, ADD, OCD, PTSD, mood, personality and thought disorders can override wisdom, logic, desire and the most sincere commitment.   Medical and chemical conditions need to be evaluated and treated by a qualified doctor/psychiatrist who is willing and able to spend quality time with you. Dismissing or avoiding this step may cost you many years of unnecessary suffering.
  2. Stressful Thinking. Critical, shameful, and fearful thoughts stress out the body.  Over time feeling “stressed out” can become so normal that, like an addiction, you want more – even if it is harmful to self or others.  A part of you will see the insanity of this, but another, bigger part, will be addicted to misery and continue to view life with judgment, anger, resentment, hopelessness, and fear to get your “fix.”  Unfortunately, dis-ease in thinking can lead to disease in the body, so medical/chemical issues must be addressed concurrently. But, like other addicts, thoughts like “I don’t need medication, I can do it on my own, I don’t need help, I can fix this, I can’t afford it, It’s not that bad” can keep you prisoner in your stressed out mind and body for many years.
  3. Fear of feeling. Peace and freedom are available when you can experience all feelings – grief, joy, terror, despair, gratitude, love, passion, hate – without distraction, avoidance, denial or minimization.   Unfortunately, you might have learned at a young age to fear certain feelings.  If you have worked out any medical/chemical issues, and you are working successfully on managing stressful thoughts, but you continue to sabotage efforts to care for yourself, you are ready to address feelings.  Here are a few feelings you may be afraid of and what you may be doing to stay away from these feelings:
  • Fear of feeling good: create or focus on drama and dysfunction, ingest caffeine and sugar, fill silence with noise, hold grudges, judge critically, keep busy, procrastinate, zoom around and be late everywhere, watch drama TV shows, hang out with people who can’t/won’t help you feel good.

 

  • Fear of feeling out of control: stay with what’s familiar, be in charge, need to know details, difficulty with spontaneity, hang out with people who want/need you to be in control.

 

  • Fear of feeling messy or less than perfect: avoid messy people, fixated on being the best, focuses on appearances, hide imperfections, hang out with people who can’t/won’t notice or discuss your imperfections.

 

  • Fear of being loved: dummy down, hide, hang out with people who can’t/won’t love you unconditionally.
  • Fear of failing: let others make decisions, stay in what is comfortable and familiar, judge others who have failed, hang out with people who can’t/won’t challenge you to “step up.”

PLANS to grow and heal won’t work long term unless you are managing medical/chemical issues, identifying and working on stressful thoughts, and overcoming fear of feelings.  This requires faith in God, finding and trusting competent guides, patience with yourself, and a commitment of time, money and energy.  This week, I invite you to plan accordingly.

You can take your life back by attending our weekend intensive.  Click here for more information. 

Can’t attend a weekend intensive?  Get a good start by reading “Take Your Life Back.”  Click here for more information.

We can help at 800-NEW-LIFE (639-5433)


But if you continually sabotage plans for self-growth and healing it is clear something fundamental needs attention.

Do you need help getting connected?
Join us at one of our Weekend Workshops.
You will laugh, learn, and by God’s grace be transformed.
800-NEWLIFE | newlife.com


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New Life Ministries, founded by Stephen Arterburn, is a nationally recognized, faith-based, broadcasting and counseling ministry offering hope and healing since 1988. Our radio show, New Life Live!, is #1 nationally syndicated Christian counseling radio talk show heard and watched by over 2 million people each week on nearly 200 radio stations nationwide, on XM and Sirius radio and on NRBTV. Our newest launch is TV.NewLife.com, an internet-based television channel offering over 1,000 teaching segments by highly respected psychologists and therapists on topics relevant to navigating the challenges and struggles we all face in life.

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