When You Realize You’re Nuts (And What To Do About It)

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” ~ Albert Einstein

It’s not January, but parents everywhere are celebrating the New (school) Year. The gym is overflowing with women I haven’t seen in months. Kids don new shoes and strut to school with backpacks that don’t yet wreak of rotten sandwich.

Now that the organized chaos of summer is over, what needs your attention? Or, if you’re like me, what still needs your attention since last fall or before? Is it that box of photos you’ve been meaning to put in an album? Or that last few pounds from your pregnancy 5 years ago? Or something bigger – something that would change the way your family does things …or even the way you see your life?

I faced a very difficult decision this week. Would I keep doing what all the professionals have told us to do for years with one of my girls, or would I take a huge step of faith and change the course of her care? Einstein’s quote has long been a favorite, and as my husband and I discussed options, we knew it was time to reject the insanity. We had to make a change.

Why is change so hard??
As Bruno Mars sings in his “Lazy Song,” some days we just don’t feel like doing anything, let alone something productive. But mostly it’s because change is hard.

It’s tiring
It’s scary
It’s uncertain
It’s unpopular
And it’s frustrating

Change is hard, but when we stay put and don’t grow, life is harder still.

How to stop being nuts
Einstein got it right: we’re nuts if we change nothing and expect something new to happen. So how can we stop the madness and get going on that lingering change we need to make?

  1. Outsmart the fatigue. work on it when you have the most energy in the day. Schedule it so it becomes part of the routine. Do it for 2 minutes – you can do anything for 2 minutes! Get enough sleep so tired isn’t an excuse :).
  2. Press through the fear. Feel scared about the change but keep doing it anyway if you know it’s what is best. Lean on your support people. Get that anxious adrenaline out with a brisk jog or by punching a pillow, or dancing really hard to your favorite song. Feel it but don’t let it decide your fate.
  3. Cling to what you know. When you’re making a change, it’s unfamiliar territory, but hold tight those things you know with certainty as an anchor while an area of life is shifting. Write these people, phrases, Scriptures, quotes or other reminders down someplace where you can access them when uncertainty tempts you to turn back.
  4. Find your team. If you’re scared of the change that needs to be made, you’re not alone. Change rocks the boat and makes everyone uncomfortable to some level. Get a change buddy to help you stay the course and stay focused. Someone who will be with there to help you on the extra challenging days, especially those when your decision to change makes you unpopular.
  5. Be kind to yourself. Change of any kind brings stress. Give yourself permission to be human, to take a few steps backward, to be frustrated, to feel whatever feelings you need to feel. Frustration comes when we expect something different. So resolve to have high standards but low expectations of yourself as you step into change.

And above it all, “Be strong and very courageous for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). That’s what I’m trusting as I step into uncharted territory with our family’s decision. Will you trust that as you step into the change you’re facing today too?

-Laurie

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