Seven Steps to Greater Self-Awareness and Joy
For the last month or so, I’ve been giving you specific actions that lead to greater joy. We’ve focused on different elements of the M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan. We’ve addressed creating MARGIN to do these recommendations, concrete steps to ABIDE with God, and practical approaches to ENGAGE in your Calling. (Or at a minimum, engage in the issues that break God’s heart.)
This week I want to give you a simple (but not easy, if you get my drift) process for freeing up your soul via greater SELF-AWARENESS. (For the record, I know some of this may sound like self-help dressed up with a little Christianese on the side. The last thing I want to do is remove the Spirit of God from the equation. At same time, there are actual behaviors we can do and attitudes we can assume to engage the Spirit that will lead to transformation and joy.)
So grab a pen and paper and dig in.
1. Write down what it is in life that you really want? Deep down inside, what is it exactly? If you keep coming up with something material or practical like a new car, new job, a bigger house try to go one level deeper and write down the feeling or state of being you would hope to experience if you got that.
2. Next, what’s the number one thing getting in the way? Be honest with yourself. Think deeply: What’s really and truly the number one thing getting in the way?
3. What’s the positive rationale for taking action to break down that barrier? (Don’t get wrapped up in the strategy about how to break down that barrier.) Write down the most compelling reasons for why you should go for it.
4. On the flip side, What’s the negative reason holding you back? Be thoughtful and write down what the risk-averse, fear-based, negative thinking is that is the counter argument to going for it?
5. Next, and pay attention here, this part is tricky, What’s the “voice” of the negative argument saying specifically? Imagine there was actually a voice to this negative rationale. For instance, “You’ve failed every attempt before.” Or, “You don’t deserve this.” Or, “What will so-and-so think?” You get the picture. Close your eyes and think of the voice and write down what it is saying.
6. Now here’s where your time in the Word comes in handy: What’s the lie/untruth that resides in that negative voice? Pull out your bible or get online and start researching scripture that proves that this negative message is false. Where in scripture does God’s Word say the opposite of this lie? Put that lie to death with the truth of scripture. Otherwise, it’s going to kill you.
7. Lastly, build a strategy to overcome the obstacle getting in the way of what you really want. Memorize your “Truth Verse” and lean on it whenever the lie slips into your thinking. Pray that God will ordain your steps and bless your efforts. Most importantly, give Him all the glory and thanks as you chip away at this obstacle.
I want to give a shout out to one of my favorite ministries. I built this little exercise off of a much more robust process I learned from them. www.thecrucibleproject.org They are seriously improving peoples’ lives. Check ‘em out.