I heard Andy Stanley talking about an old couch. He said he and his wife had it for a long time and they just kept moving it with them wherever they went. Eventually, the couch was not worth much and basically outlived its usefulness. It ended up in the basement, just hanging around. This story got me thinking about how we keep old behaviors and ways of thinking even when they aren’t useful.
Some old things are worth hanging on to. Some are not. Some things get more valuable as they age. Others, not so much. How many times have we done something just because we always did it? Or maybe we did something the same way even though there’s an obvious better way just because it was a pattern. How often do we make assumptions that are rooted in our patterns of thinking? Are we really benefitting from these or have they just been part of the scenery of our thought for too long? Too often, we hold onto these old ways of doing things as a way of avoiding change.
At what point do we decide to make changes? I know…that’s a frequently asked question. But it’s also an important one. Improving my life requires change. Whether I want better relationships, a better job, fewer panic attacks, less depression, or more money, change is required. Here’s the thing – we can never change until we decide that being uncomfortable is okay. Are you avoiding change because it creates some discomfort?
Getting a new couch takes some break-in time. The cushions are firm and the fabric or leather does give as much as the old one. Some might even need to be put in a different spot in the room. We might want different curtains because the old ones just don’t match as well. This process is exciting when we’re talking about furniture. Not so much when we’re talking about ways of thinking.
Our thoughts, assumptions, and beliefs are just plain wrong sometimes. Our behaviors are sometimes unhelpful, and at other times downright harmful. Change is worth it when the outcome is big enough. What is it you really want in your life? Is it worth making a change? In other words, is it worth a little discomfort? Is the comfort you get from avoiding change worth sacrificing the outcome you are wanting?
Take a look around your thoughts and behaviors? Do you have any worn out couches? Making a decision to change is always the first step in doing so. Decide what thought patterns you want to change and try to get a different perspective. Decide what behaviors you want to change and begin to do things differently. Change is hard. It takes a commitment. Keep focused on the outcome and you can get there!
What things have helped you make changes in your life, either big or small? Share your comments below. We would love to hear from you!