The title sounds extreme, but so is losing at life. We get a limited amount of time here on this earth, at some point, we have to start winning. I know that there are already 1 million lists out there that make us feel like we are doing something wrong. Pair that with us trying to “be successful”, take care of home, the kiddos, our partner, workout, the list goes on and on. No wonder we are out here look like the Kim K. crying meme.
There are some things that we can take inventory of in our life; if we are missing any one of these things on the list, we will keep losing.
The number one reason we keep losing at life:
We don’t have a firm foundation.
There’s a parable in the bible that talks about building a house on a firm foundation. The parable, spoken by Jesus, can be found in Matthew 7: 24-27, 24 Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” We have to be grounded in who we are, what we believe, and what we will stand for. One of my favorite therapeutic tools is Malow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow highlights 5 steps to growth. The idea is that if the bottom needs of the pyramid are not met then it makes growth or progression up the pyramid difficult. The five needs are physiological needs, food, water, sleep, etc. The basics; safety needs, to feel safe and secure financially, physically, and emotionally; the need of love and belonging ( a topic for a different post) includes friendship, family, and sexual intimacy; next are esteem needs, achievement, respect of others, being respected by others, self-esteem, etc., and lastly the need of self-actualization, the very top of the pyramid includes acceptance meaning and potential of self, morality, creativity, and spiritual components of self. The pyramid gives us a visual of how we reach our best selves. Pyramids are great because they show us step by step, from the bottom to the top, what’s most important. In this case, we want to take the pyramid and flip it just a bit, so that the spirituality part of our self-actualization is with us throughout the entire process. Our spirituality will sustain us, or give us faith when the rest of our life seems to be falling a part. Let’s acknowledge that this will not be easy but it is possible, no, necessary for us to start winning at life.
The number two reason we are losing at life:
We allow fear to paralyze us
In real life, we have to check our fears at the door. We all have fears, some of our fears keep us safe but others keep us from reaching our fullest potential. Watching an interview with Will Smith on YouTube, Will Smith said: “God placed the best things in life on the other side of terror; on the other side of your maximum fear are the best things in life.” It’s not that I have never heard this concept before, but when he said it this particular time something in me connected to what he said. We have to get to the point that we are tired of being where we are then BOOM! All of a sudden, things that we have always heard becomes a real revelation to us. Think about that for a second…The other side of your maximum fear are the best things in life…ON THE OTHER SIDE! We have to get over “it”, whatever “it” is! It’s so crazy how a simple phrase can spark a huge fire in our spirits.
Refer back to the first item on our list, having no foundation. Without this firm foundation and faith, how will we ever expect to overcome our fears? WE WILL NOT! It just won’t happen. If Moses had allowed his fears cripple him the Israelites may still be working away as slaves in Egypt. Moses had a whole speech impediment (a stutter) that he felt would keep him from approaching pharaoh (he actually had a list of reasons that he presented because he was scared). God still made a way for him to go before pharaoh. If you don’t believe me, check out Exodus for yourself. I can’t make this up!
Fear will have you in the same spot for YEARRRRRSSSSSSSSSSS!! No joke! Keep in mind that at every level there will be another fear or obstacle that we will have to face, but some things will become easier because we have already slain that dragon!
The last reason we stay losing at life
The environments we stay in
Listen Linda…we have to do better. This ties right into the first two reasons we stay losing. You have heard it before, you can’t share your dreams with everyone. Don’t fret, I’ll repeat it, YOU CANNOT SHARE YOUR DREAMS WITH EVERYONE! We all have those friends, Doubting Dan and Doubting Debbie, who will try to drown you in THEIR fears. You tell them your dreams, they have 1,000 questions to ask. Not out of curiosity, but to make you doubt yourself. We can speculate all day about reasons Dan and Debbie do this, I’m going to take a shot in the dark and say it’s because they, themselves, have been stuck at reason number two (fear) about a move they need to make in their own life. Dan and Debbie can sometimes become so toxic that we wish an angel could come down and shut their mouth closed like Zachariah (Luke 1:5-25) because of their unbelief!
We also have the situation where we see somebody that that seems like they are finally going to get it together. We get all excited for them, in the end, they start hanging back out with the same people that do not support their dreams or is able to see their dreams. The environment becomes a vacuum, people become lost. We have seen this in people with addictions or those coming home from volunteering their time with the state or feds (penitentiary for all of my less street savvy friends, they were locked up). We listen to them share all the plans they have for when they get out only to see them get sucked back into the same lifestyle they lived pre-volunteering time. It’s heartbreaking. The same goes for me and you. The people in our environment may not be risking our “freedom,” so to speak, but they do risk us staying in bondage to their do nothing dreams, fears, and lack of progress. 1 Corinthians 15: 33 says it best, “33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” This is so true. Consider those from which you receive advice. As a matter of fact, while you are getting that advice, look around, are they living a life you are setting out to live? If not, get up and leave. Thank them for their two cents and know that you will need to set new boundaries for that person. It is not mean, it is what we have to do so that WE can start winning and stop losing.
P.S. Per the usual, scriptures come from the New Living Translation. I have also included the YouTube video Will Smith on fear link. Listen to the whole 27 minutes. Some of it is fluff about a movie, but when the good stuff hits you, be ready for that fire to ignite in your spirit! Also, the featured image is by Austin Chan.