_^ Change _^
A definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over, expecting to get a different result.
If you don’t change your exercise habits and eating plan, how do you expect to lose weight?
If you feel stuck in your job, evaluate what you’ve done differently to earn the job change.
If the only action your Bible is getting is as an ornament on your bookshelf or nightstand, why are you still calling out for help when your life plan is sitting right there?
If you’re still single or unhappy in your relationship, what are you actively changing and working on yourself to be the best version of you that someone else would want to partner with?
This has become such a personal topic in the last few years and even more so in the last few weeks. I’ve often looked around and felt all the emotions I’ve described above. I wondered what was wrong with me that as hard I was grinding, I couldn’t find the success I was desperately craving in all areas of my life. I was guilty of the Marsh Land Trap.
What’s the Marsh Land Trap you ask?
It’s where you try something, thinking you’re getting off on the right foot only to get stuck. It might be right out of the gate, the very first step you take or it might be further along, when you’ve taken just enough to have developed this false bravado, confident you can handle it that you take the wrong step.
You immediately start flailing, unable to hoist yourself out of the mess. The only way to get out was to ask for help. I was hunting recently in an area that much of which is land I have access to roam is marsh land. I try to avoid stepping on it. For those unfamiliar with marsh land, it can be very dangerous for a couple reasons. Marsh land is often covered with tall stalks of different plants so that you can’t really see what might be on the ground if the vegetation hasn’t been maintained. Alligators love marsh land. I’ll leave that one right there. Second, marsh land is unpredictable in its sturdiness to support weight. Some of it is baked hard from the sun, allowing you to jump around. Other and even more dangerous parts are like quicksand; with wrong step, you’ve been sucked down in. The weekend I was down while we were sitting around one evening, I heard stories of marsh land attacks. In one story, the guy that had been sucked in, used an oar he had from having been paddling in the water to pry himself out. The second one was in so deep, he had to be levered out by two guys and an ATV.
In the first, he used the resources he had at his disposal while the second one was in so deep without resources to be self-sufficient he had to ask for help.
As I reflect on both scenarios, I have to ask myself, in what parts of my life am I the one with the paddle and in which do I need to go as far as to ask for an ATV lift?
It’s not shameful to ask for help. Our society has taught that we have to be independent, self-sufficient, learning how to do things on our own. While that’s great, it’s created this shift of mentality that asking for help can be a sign of weakness. It doesn’t have to be. The first step is recognizing the need for change. Step 2 is actually implementing change and the third is accountability. That accountability might involve asking for help when you’re stuck. That’s okay. Just be specific and choosy when deciding who to ask to be that person. They will be the one to speak reason and reassurance into you. I have some thoughts around that but for now, I encourage you to be strategic in who is speaking into you and ensure what they are saying speaks truth and life, not doubt and discouragement. In reality, it’s much easier to pull someone down then lift someone up.
Change doesn’t start tomorrow. Change starts today. It’s active, constant, and requires discipline. No one will say it will be easy. No one will say the right path will always be evident. Recognizing if you need help might be the first step though. Ask. There are people in your life you know will support you if you just turn to them.
At the end of the day, we all have a desire to improve, grow, and learn. We all have those opportunities. What are you doing to take advantage of them?