Changing Behavior vs Changing Who You Are

Photo Credit: greenwoman46

Changing Behavior vs Changing Who You Are

I was talking with a friend recently and they mentioned I can be brooding. First, I had to look up the word to make sure I understood what they were saying. The only time I’ve heard the word used is with regards to teenage vampire movies. I googled the definition and my heart stopped.

Showing deep unhappiness of thought

Their assessment was spot on. Others have made similar assessments. I see the glass half-empty. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. I can see the 50 different ways an event will fail.

Let me be clear. I don’t like being this way. I want to see the joy and goodness in life and people. I don’t want the rain cloud following me like Eeyore. I espically don’t like that this is affecting my friendships.

I also know that this outlook is tied to my personality. The bonuses of my personality are I’m thoughtful of others, creative, and a thinker. One of the negative excesses of my personality is the fixation on doom and gloom. I will never escape these tendencies because they are part of who I am. Just as an addict can never escape the cravings of their addictions. A junkie or an alcoholic can stop the expressions of their addictions, but they fight each day with the addiction. The same holds true for me. I can create mental exercises and memorize scripture, but I will fight each day to think about the good things and not like Chicken Little.

I came across @ChrisBrogan’s article You Are Your Own Superhero. I agree that my decisions impact my future. If I want to start my own business I can’t rely on someone else to start it for me. I can’t rely on a personal trainer to get me in shape. That requires me getting off the couch and putting rubber to pavement. I also agree that I can’t wallow in my mistakes. I have to admit them but move on.

Where I don’t agree with Chris is in the identity and spiritual sense. Regardless of your worldview, there are things in our lives we have tried to change and failed. Behavior modification only gets you so far. It cannot change your core identity, your soul, your essense, how ever you describe the inner parts of you.

I have lived a relatively short life but I know I can’t fix myself. I need a superhero to save me. Better yet, I need a Savior. I need someone who has the power to change me because he is the one who created me. I’m not who I want to be. I never will be, but I am a work in progress. I can look at the last seventeen years and see how Jesus Christ has changed me. There are areas where I still struggle. There are days when I may not see the progress, but I know that God is still at work in me. So that’s what I should focus on. I am in the process of becoming the man God desires for me to be. And it’s my hope that one day I will be less brooding.

So what is a personality quirk or flaw you have worked to change? How did you succeed? Let me know by leaving a comment below.