Playing tennis is something I enjoy. It’s social, competitive, and teaches me a lot about my patterns of thinking which goes way beyond my tennis game.
One of my coaches taught that if you do something three times, it’s considered a habit. Meaning that if I mismanage a stroke three times, then I need to create a new habit. That would be up to me. When I asked my coach how many times it took me to practice the new habit to get rid of the old habit, and he laughed a bit and replied. “Till the old habit is gone and the new habit comes second nature.” Great, I thought, that means I’m responsible for the change.
Our patterns of thinking are not limited to one area of life. It’s my belief that someone who drives like a maniac to work does not go home and act cool as a cucumber. On days when I’m frazzled, I tend to be frazzled everywhere, not just at work or at home. It becomes a pattern for that day. So changing patterns means creating new habits. That produces growth deep in our soul.
We all struggle with bad habits. My tendencies are to over think things to avoid mistakes. Right. Overthinking does not help avoid mistakes, it actually creates more. Another tendency is to shut down when I’m feeling hurt or angry to avoid conflict. That only makes me feel powerless and passive and get angry with myself. Double whammy—not good.
You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. (Thanks Dr. Phil) Accepting bad habits is the very way to over come them. To overcome the temptation to shut down, I must think less and trust myself more, while trusting that God has given me the wisdom I’ve asked Him for. Over time– and it’s taken years, I’ve learned to assert my opinion when needed, stand up for what I know to be right, and to listen when I need to listen. I’ve grown and have more growth ahead.
Anything you want to change? Strength and confidence comes in the process of change. Recognizing, accepting, and changing patterns. It’s today’s pick of the day.