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How to Get Out of a Rut (2)

Rut (def): a narrow or predictable way of life, set of attitudes, etc.; dreary or undeviating routine

Last week I started talking about how as an individual you must rise to a level of awareness where you take deliberate steps about life. I addressed the state of mind and the elements of the human makeup that makes it possible to be proactive rather than reactive in life. A person who is constantly reacting to the events of life is not different from a mammal. This post is a continuation to address how we need to look at the situations we deal with in life.

Confronting your boundaries

If you want to get out of a mess you must confront boundaries. Boundaries are set in our lives by thought patterns that have become internalized as a result of exposure and experiences. These boundaries of life are usually formed unconsciously. This is why it is important that we deliberately control what we are exposed to because they are recorded by the mind and are fed to the subconscious.

 “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” Proverbs 4:23, NKJV

Exposure and experiences have dictated what’s “normal” to you, as well as what can be done, and what cannot be done. If left unattended, our minds would be limited, so also will our ability to believe for bigger and better opportunities. A human being differs from an animal in that humans can ‘reprogram’ (or recondition their minds) for wider boundaries. But before reprogramming can be done, which would lead to breakthrough in life, the old boundaries have to be confronted and done away with.

A few examples of limiting beliefs are:

“Some people are just lucky and they succeed”

“There is no God”

“I am not qualified”

“It’s difficult…” (whatever “it” may be to you)

The need for someone or something to make you feel complete

Confronting limiting beliefs can be very challenging because they are internalized and they run a person’s life subconsciously. Without any conscious objectivity, they dictate what is accepted as true. Like the baby circus elephant, a person may have fought to break free a couple of times and was faced with resistance. So in order to cope with their view of reality, the mind develops a mechanism that keeps the person comfortable with what’s being experienced and seeks other experiences to reinforce the belief.

An interesting parallel can be drawn from the movie The Truman Show, which starred Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank. Truman was a man who had lived his entire life unaware, in a TV studio. The set was populated with TV crew and actors that worked towards controlling Truman’s behavior and his sense of reality within the studio set. His life is beamed 24 hours a day and broadcast live around the world, capturing his emotion and human behavior when put in certain situations.

To prevent Truman from discovering his false reality, the show’s producers conditioned him to remain contained through certain experiences, “killing” his father in a storm while on a fishing trip to instill in him a fear of the water, and making many news reports and ‘adverts’ about the dangers of travelling, and featuring television shows about how good it is to stay at home.

During the 30th year of “The Truman Show”, Truman begins to notice certain aspects of his near-perfect world that seem out of place. This was like an awakening for him. In his attempt to make meaning of what was going on, he attempted to get away from his “hometown”. As a response, the TV studio set up resistance for Truman by the inability to arrange for flights, bus breakdowns, spontaneously heavy traffic, a forest fire, and an apparent nuclear meltdown.

However because they had conditioned Truman to fear water, they didn’t pay much attention to him getting out of town through the water. Eventually Truman has confronted and is found to be sailing “out of town” ironically in a small boat named Santa Maria (the name of the ship in which Christopher Columbus discovered the New World). The producers then turned up the resistance by creating a large storm to try to capsize the boat.

Despite all this, Truman is determined to break free. Eventually Truman gets to the edge of the TV set, and then discovers a flight of stairs nearby, leading to a door marked “EXIT”. I’m guessing you can figure out the rest of the story from here.

Truman’s initial life is typical of the way many people have lived their life. There is a ‘new world’ out there, and a moment of awakening is what is needed. To break free from your current circumstance, you must realize that you have within you the power to breakthrough. Let God fill your heart with vision for your life and begin to see life beyond where you are.

“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.” Isaiah 54:2, NKJV

Can you identify some thoughts or beliefs that you have that are keeping you from really attaining to your highest and best? Write each one down and evaluate them. They are really not much of a challenge if you think about them carefully. You were created to live a life without limits. You ought to dictate the course of your life and not let routine or circumstances tell you what you can or cannot do.

Rise up to the challenge and confront the things in your life that limit you. Don’t just float to wherever the currents of life take you, but if need be swim against the current to your desired destination. What would you attempt if money were not an issue, and if failure were impossible? The good news is that in Christ you have limitless ability and you are beyond being defeated (1 John 5:4). So begin to believe it, and act like it is impossible to fail.

Breaking out

“Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]” Ephesians 3:20, AMP

Your ability to breakout starts with you first recognizing that you are in charge of your life (Psalms 8:6). You realize that there is a purpose for your life, and you are not where you need to be in relation to the fulfillment of that purpose. Like the apostle Paul you can say “I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do…” (Philippians 3:13). This refers to deliberate actions that you need to take. The first of which is confronting the limiting beliefs that you may be holding. Next you must make a decision to step out of your comfort zone.

Everything that you truly desire in life is just outside your comfort zone. You may have made it as far as the edges, but an extra step of faith is needed to breakout. If you look to your own strength you are limited. But I’m not asking you to judge based on what experience has told you is possible. Rather, access the unlimited wealth of resources that God has placed within you. The power of the risen Christ is unlimited, surpassing and inexhaustible, and it is available to you (Eph. 1:17-19).

Within the believer is the power of God. It is available in you to carry out His purpose for you. Ephesians 3:20 reveals that this divine power within is able to carry out God’s purpose for your life infinitely beyond your highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams. In essence, what your mind can conceive (i.e. visualize, conceptualize, design, create, or see) the power within you can carry it out.

Begin to visualize your life as you fulfill purpose. Write your answers to each of these questions down: As you conceptualize your fulfilled life, what do you need to pray for to make it a reality? How would you be thinking if you were living this new life? What do you hope to achieve as you fulfill your purpose? What are your dreams in living a purposeful life? Now read Ephesians 3:20, AMP again; God is able to far exceed what you dare to think ask or imagine.

This exercise is to create a new image in your heart of reality. You have confronted the limiting beliefs, now you are reconditioning your mind with new thoughts (stretching the boundaries). Bombard your heart and mind with pictures of the new experience you desire in life.

Write your dreams, hopes and visions down. Write the corresponding Scriptures beside them. As you meditate on the Scriptures your heart will be strengthened in faith. You will begin to see possibilities. You must constantly affirm that you are in charge of your life and that you have all it takes to make a change in your life. As you meditate on the reality of your new life, you will be inspired with ideas and habits. This is what Joshua 1:8 says, “Meditate…that you may observe to do…”

What would you be doing differently if you were truly living the life you imagined? Begin to imbibe those habits in your current life. Cultivate habits that are consistent with the new experience. Your thoughts form your habits which eventually get you to your destination.

Be deliberate about your life. You must take action. It’s not enough to be inspired, to visualize and meditate. All those condition you for the most important aspect which is to take action.

The following are 5 tips that should help you in taking appropriate action.

1. Start now

Today is always the best day to take action. If you are waiting for a perfect time to start, you probably will not have one. There will always be a feeling that all the conditions are not quite right.  As you begin to take action you will face challenges, but you are well equipped with the wisdom to overcome them.

2. Be accountable

You can make yourself accountable to others or to yourself. When you openly say that you will do something, it makes it more difficult for you not to. By committing yourself with your words you are making yourself accountable. Look for someone who can consistently challenge you when you seem to be falling short of your commitments.

3. Begin to act

The best way to get something done is to begin. Don’t spend too much time planning and strategizing. Begin to do what you have read and along the way you will perfect the areas in which you’re lacking. When an idea stays long in your mind without it being acted on, it becomes weak. Your dreams and goals begin to be actualized the moment you act, and more ideas will be stimulated.

4. Execute without inspiration

Many people believe that before they can get the best results from anything they must be inspired. The problem with this is that inspiration usually comes unannounced.  It is good to be inspired, but it is better to be inspired while already in action. Inspiration is like a speed booster of a racecar, it works best when there is already some momentum.

5. Resist fear and act

The feeling of fear paralyzes people from taking action, but its grip can be broken by courageously stepping into the unknown. If you are afraid that things may not turn out as you expect, you will never know without acting. However the sure way to fail at anything is to attempt nothing.

You probably are smart enough to figure that these five tips were simply act, act, act, act and act now! Action is  most important if you need to break out from a rut!

Check back next Monday 😀

2 Comments

  • tcavey

    July 02, 07 2012 10:14:08

    So much of who we are is in our subconscious, we don’t even realize. By asking God to reveal these things to us we can begin to take control over our thoughts, patterns, behaviors and attitudes.

    I heard someone once say to an unbeliever that they needed to be honest with him. Later I realized that man couldn’t be honest with the Christian because he wasn’t being honest with himself.

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