“It doesn’t Matter” Two Ways

Thoughts are powerful

As you know by now, your thoughts are incredibly powerful. When you understand that your thoughts create your feelings and your feelings drive your actions, you realize that if you want to change habits
that aren’t serving you, you’ve got to pay attention to what’s happening in between your ears.

Shifting one single thought can make such a difference!

Looking at our thoughts.

A lot of times we notice negative self-talk, thoughts that are really mean or lack compassion, but we miss some of the ones that sound a little innocuous. They sound like they’re not a big deal.

“It doesn’t matter” is one of those thoughts.

 

Not keeping our word to ourselves

How often have you committed to doing or not doing something, but you make a different decision in the moment? Trying to break a bad habit or build a good one but missing the mark? A great example of that would be when you have decided to go to the gym, or not losing your patience with your child, or not spending money. Do you then double down on your commitment, or do you say, “It doesn’t matter. I already messed it up, so I might as well quit”?

At that moment, the thought “it doesn’t matter” really means, “Nothing I do works. It never changes. I caved. All my hard work went down the drain.”

 

The Trajectory of Success

Imagine a line graph of your success.

Most of us believe that progress should be a perfectly straight line heading up. But that’s not what progress looks like in reality. It’s a very squiggly line with lots of ups and downs, yet it is moving upwards despite the peaks and valleys.  And this is where the thought “it doesn’t matter” comes in.

“It doesn’t matter” can be powerful

You can choose to say “it doesn’t matter” in a defeated way and throw in the towel when you feel you messed up. Or you can choose to say “it doesn’t matter” and mean that you understand that the trajectory of success is squiggly, but you are on your way up.

Your brain responds to your “it doesn’t matter”

When you make a decision that is not in line with what you want to do, your brain will respond to whichever thought you entertain.

Changing habits requires creating new neuro-pathways. Your brain is literally learning how to do something new. You are teaching yourself a new way to react and to respond.

And any work that you do to teach yourself a new way to react or to respond to your thoughts and
your feelings and your urges is never ever lost.

Crossing a bridge

Think about building your new habit, or stopping a bad habit as crossing a bridge. Now, as you start that journey, as you are crossing the bridge, if you were to fall down at some point during that crossing, you would not stand up and walk back to the beginning, right?

If you fall and say “I fell, so nothing matters. I might as well quit,” your feelings, and then your actions will respond to that thought. It’s telling your brain that all of the previous work that you did, all of the actions that you took before that moment don’t count. It’s telling you that your work doesn’t count. You think these kinds of thoughts when you think of success as a straight line going up.

 

If you fall and say, “It doesn’t matter, I can on my way,” you see success like a squiggly line with all the ups and downs, and you understand that your actions are never lost. They always count. They are never just down the drain because all of your actions matter.

Creating that new habit means changing how you respond and react to the decisions that you make.
The complete picture of changing habits includes what you did, how you reacted, how you responded when you didn’t do the thing you said you would.

Two parts to changing a habit

Changing a habit has two parts. You have to do both of these parts. If you only look at the first part, you’re only looking at the promise or the commitment that you made. But if you really want to change a habit, you have to pay attention to how you respond and how you react.

And that’s where “it doesn’t matter” comes in.

Which “it doesn’t matter” do you choose?

And if you know anyone who could benefit from this blog post, share away!

Creative Writing: Giving up Sweets for Lent

I gave up sweets for Lent this year.

When I was a kid, dessert was a “no-no” during Lent–it’s just the thing you did “for Jesus.” As I grew up, though, and built my own relationship with Jesus, I started to wonder whether Lent was a good thing. I mean, what was the point of giving up something for Jesus? Did it earn me bonus points? Since He gave it all up for me, wasn’t it kind of hypocrite to try to add to my salvation? So I gave up on Lent altogether; it felt too religious to me.

As I grew up, though, and continued to build my own relationship with Jesus, I wondered whether I might have missed something about the whole Lent-thing. It might not be a bad idea, after all, to choose to deny the flesh for forty days, use that time to reflect on His sacrifice, like a kind of a fast. It couldn’t hurt.

So I gave up sweets for Lent this year. it did not feel religious at all.

It truly was a mindset. I thought about sweets every day, right around three pm, that time where a little something sweet would have tasted so good with my afternoon cup of coffee. But I stuck to my plan until Easter dinner when we had carrot cake for dessert.

Carrot cake is my favorite.

I thought about the taste of carrot cake for the last couple of days before Easter. It was going to be yummy.

Easter came around, and someone served me a generous piece of carrot cake with cream cheese icing. I took one bite, and it tasted oh-so-sweet. I had forgotten what sweet feels like. The delight of sweet exploded in my mouth and then filled my belly.

Did I tell you that carrot cake is my favorite?

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And just as sweet as the carrot cake felt when it entered my mouth after forty days of no sweetness, that is as sweet as my redemption feels to Him after giving up His very life for me.

I am that sweet to Him.

And all of a sudden, I understood the meaning of Lent. And my joy was made full.

I believe in the power of Lent.