Small Steps

Getting Better Each Day: Too many times we put too much pressure on ourselves to be or do something exceptional — immediately. Most people tend to over commit and underperform. Often times, strong statements like, “I am going to cut out all sugar from my diet for the next 3 months!” or “I will read my Bible for 2 hours every morning” are the battle cries of people who sincerely want to institute a positive change in their life. However, the likelihood of failure is so high for these extreme endeavors that even if there is some small measure of success it will likely fade away and a person will be right back to square one. But, instead of the all or nothing approach, it would be far more effective to simply start small. If person wanted to read their bible and pray more they should start by spending two minutes each day. What, only two minutes!? Yes, two focused minutes reading the bible and praying. Start with two minutes each day the first week and then add two more minutes each following week. By doing this you are setting a pattern of too small to fail. Who can’t pray and read their Bible for two minutes each day? If you only maintained this pattern by adding two more minutes each week, then by week 15 you would already be up to reading and praying for 30 minutes a day. Small steps = Big results. This type of system can be used for anything you want to get better at or goal you want to accomplish. It is lasting and takes out the overwhelming fear of failure because it’s so easy to start. Unfortunately, the taboo nature of the small step approach makes it embarrassing for many people to implement, but would you rather see an actual lasting change in your life or blow yourself out by overcommitting and giving up? Getting better each day and staying the course can build a life that reaps many rewards. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” — Galatians 6:9

Dream Big, Start Small: Starting small doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dreams, in fact, it’s the opposite. By starting small you are fast tracking your path to make your dreams a reality. However, many times people get stuck living only in the dream phase of life and never actually starting. This mindset is especially crippling to Christians who fall into the trap of thinking that God must do everything and they must never take action. As believers, if we construe faith as inaction, we are unwise. Rather, faith is action. You believe, then you act on that belief. If you have a dream or a plan the Lord has planted in your heart — start moving to accomplish it. God will help you when challenges arise and be with you every step of the way, but it is you who must believe God and act upon His Word. Start small, but do start. Think about all the things you have accomplished so far in life. They were all from a series of small steps that bloomed into something bigger. If you are faithful in accomplishing the first small steps, then you will also be faithful in accomplish the bigger steps when they come. "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much.” — Luke 16:10

Overcoming Change: Change is something that triggers fear. The more unfamiliar something is, the more fear a person will have. Think about it for a moment, what are your fears? They are related to something that has changed in your life. Here is a list of hypotheticals: You feel sick (change), and now you are fearful it is something more severe. Someone you work with recently got fired (change), and now you are fearful you might be next. You moved into a new house (change), and now you are second guessing if you made the right decision. You just had a baby (change) and now you are afraid you don’t know everything about being a parent. You just won the lottery (change) and now you are scared you don’t really know how to manage the money.  No matter if it is a positive or a negative, change triggers fear. It’s why people are afraid of the dark, they don’t know what’s out there and the change of losing a sense is dramatic. It’s why people fail to follow their calling, because the change is too much and fear wins out. Jesus was constantly having to reassure people by saying, “Fear not” in many situations. The mind will constantly default to fear of change and thus produce paralysis to take action. But to those who don’t fear change, they will live a bold life of faith. From the arts to business and all aspects of life, people who change the world are those who view change as something not to be feared, but rather something to embrace and utilize. (It is important to note, change has also been harnessed in vile ways to undermine the commandments of God. So we as believers must stand strong and “Fear not” even when the world continues to change for the worse. We have the inner witness of who and what we are in Him. But, we also need to change the world around us by sharing the light of Christ and stand upon the foundations of truth, for if we do not, slowly but surely the enemy will infiltrate the church and change it to look like the world.)

So how can we learn to accept changes in our life and overcome fear? The best way is to start small. When you put yourself in position of small changes you bypass the triggers of massive fear. For example, you wouldn’t take a student driver on their first day of learning to a busy freeway and say, “Okay, drive!” No, they would likely freak out and wreck the car. Instead, you take them to an empty parking lot and let them learn step by step. Then, after a while, once they are skilled, they can pull onto the freeway and drive comfortably. When you start small and build step by step, your fears abate and your life changes quickly. Plus, we know we have a God who will never leave us nor forsake us and will be there to strengthen us. “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10