As a passionate student of transformation, I love observing the patterns, habits and mindsets that move people into dynamic change for their life. Observing people overcome huge odds is what I live to see. Over the years, I have found some common traits that help all overcomers get victory.
At the same time, there are some key factors that work against transformation; keeping people from experiencing the blessing of life-change. These factors can be subtle, yet over the course of time, will hinder us from going to the next level in our journey.
1. Knowledge Alone
People perish because they lack knowledge (Hosea 4:6) but gaining knowledge alone does not bring change. In fact, having a knowledge of something can be a bad thing if you don’t do anything with it. Knowledge without experience leaves us thinking we possess something we actually don’t.
Knowledge alone just puffs up (1 Corinthians 8:1). You can know what the problem is and what to do about it, yet do nothing to change. Millions are stuck, because they know what to do but do nothing about it. Their lack of action drains motivation, faith and hope. When we act on what we we learn, we develop a momentum that moves us effectively through stages of growth.
2. Shaming People into Change
One of the greatest things I have learned about change is that people will never change unless they really want it. They have to see it for themselves. This is challenging, because healthy relationships know how to speak honestly, to sharpen each other and grow. Yet if we are not careful, our desire to propel someone into transformation can override the simplicity of loving them.
Well intentioned preachers and teachers have shamed others in an attempt to stimulate change. Yet their shaming caused people to hide in their issues. In order for any transformation to activate, shame has to be removed from the atmosphere.
3. Just Talking About Change
Studies are showing that people who declare to the masses their plan to change decrease their odds of actually changing. The feeling you get by telling everyone you are going to change gives your brain the same signal you get as if you actually achieved the goal. That is why after people declare their intention to change, they end up losing the motivation to continue on their growth path.
This is why talk has become cheap. People get a great feeling when they talk about change, but don’t do it. The best option is to only tell a few people who will cheer you on and hold you accountable to your goals. Most of the time, the best thing to do is to put your nose to the grindstone, stop talking about it and just do it.
4. Focusing on Outside Circumstances Changing
This one trips up millions of believers today. We hold on to waiting on God, when God is often inviting us to step out and execute the change He has provided. In addition, we make the mistake of thinking that if our circumstances were more favorable, our personal change would be more possible. Whether this is true or not, focusing on circumstances changes will trip you up.
Overcomers have to move from “God change my circumstances” to “God change me and grow me up!” Whenever you make growing yourself the focus, no circumstance can take you out. We cannot control what happens in life or what circumstances come our way, but we always have the ability to chose our attitude and decisions we will make. If we focus on growing from the inside out, then many times circumstances begin to bow to the powerful atmosphere we carry within.