I finished something recently that I wasn’t sure I could do. Everything about it felt intimidating – the length of time, the commitment, the planning, the work. Before I’d even started I’d mentally decided that I probably wouldn’t be able to finish it. I set a low expectation for myself so that when I failed, I wouldn’t be surprised.
I do that to myself a lot. I choose the easy win, the project that can most quickly be crossed off the to-do list so I can feel accomplished. But the problem with stay on the easy path is that I’m never challenged. Sure, I might get a lot of things done, but I’ve come to discover that when I instead allow God to direct my steps, I experience the most change.
Did you know that 70% of people who start a fitness program never finish it? As February inches along I wonder how accurate that statistic is for other goals, dreams, and New Years resolutions? Honestly, I have over a dozen documents started on my computer full of ideas for projects, shirt designs, ebooks, and social media challenges that have never seen the light of day. Brainstorming those ideas is the easy part – but somewhere between idea and execution it all falls apart. I become part of the 70%.
Somewhere in the first few weeks of that intimidating program God began to work on my heart and my mind. While I was focusing on strengthening my body, He was working on the truly weak parts. Each day that I woke up and put in the work, God met me and whispered to my heart that He knew I could do it. Over and over again, for 60 days, my doubts and fears and expectations of failure were replaced with encouragement and confidence and a new understanding of success.
I became part of the 30%. Not because every day of that journey was perfect, but because somewhere along the line I stopped believing the lie that I wasn’t good enough and started to believe that God would be my strength when I was weak. I stopped allowing one bad day to define me as a failure and instead chose to embrace the beautiful new mercies God promises to us every morning.
At the end of that program I wasn’t just physically stronger, I was mentally stronger and knew that I wanted to surround myself with the 30%.
- The ones who keep going when the road gets bumpy.
- The ones who don’t let a bad day define them as a failure.
- The ones who choose progress over perfection and know that it is worth it to keep going.
- The ones who allow God to take them on the challenging path because becoming more like Christ is more important that their comfort.
Give God your agenda and let Him replace your doubts with His promises. On our own we will always be the 70% – we can never do enough, be enough, achieve enough, have enough will power or strength to do all the things life throws at us. But with God all things – the intimidating, the messy, the impossible – are possible.