Today we continue with Part 2 in this two part series about how to break free and live your dream in a practical way. So let’s get straight to it…..
Practical Steps to Start Moving Towards Living Your Dream
As mentioned before (in Part 1), this whole process starts during childhood.
Does that mean that if you’ve developed a negative thinking pattern during your childhood that all is lost? No, it is never too late. It is a matter of making a conscious, determined decision and then taking action.
Contrary to popular belief, the mind changes the brain.
Warning: It is simple and straight forward, but it is not easy.
Jesus has often summarized it in one word: Believe.
You need to have faith, and your faith is based on what you believe. Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) says “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
In Matthew 9:28-30 we see how Jesus is very direct about having faith as a requirement for getting results. Let’s have a look at this scripture as it is found in the New International Version of the Bible: “28When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.”
What do you believe, and what do you have faith for? You may believe everything the Bible says. You may be praying for the healing of other people and get your prayers answered. You may see other people living to their full potential and see God working in their lives.
But do you believe that God will do it for you? You may know that He can do it for you (you believe), but will He do it for you (do you have faith)?
So how do you change from negative to positive? How do you change from doubt to certainty? How do you develop what you believe into unshakable faith?
This is where the challenge comes in. I can tell you it’s easy. I can show you the results of your thought patterns and just tell you to start thinking different thoughts and believe it will come true. I mean…. Jesus just said ‘believe’.
But it’s not that simple. It’s not just about changing your thoughts for a week and thinking your life is going to change.
You need to start replacing your current thoughts with the truth which you find in the Bible. Then you have to persevere and meditate on these thoughts day after day after day….until you not only believe these thoughts, but you have enough faith to actually put your money where your mouth is and you can start acting according to your faith.
Let’s be honest, it’s not easy. Easy is telling someone else how to do it. The minute you have to do it yourself, doubt creeps in. Suddenly you start to fear….”what if God is not going to come through for me?” You see, the minute it touches your own skin, it becomes a different ball game all together. It’s easy to tell me what you believe. But do you have faith?
So What Is The Process and How Can You Change It?
The difference between being successful or failing to live your dream is often caused by what I call….your ‘belief system’. It starts with the words you hear as a child and what you start associating with those words.
As a child, you are naïve and you tend to believe everything an adult tells you. You act upon those words which then has results. By associating those results with the words you have heard, you start forming a ‘belief system’.
If your mental attitude is negative, you tend to perform negative (or at least doubtful or half-hearted) actions. This will most likely produce negative or no results.
If the words you hear are constantly telling you that what you do is just a game, you will always be playing games and never take it seriously. The other danger of this scenario is also that it might start creating an image in your mind of what is expected of you to get recognition. You start living up to those expectations, yet it’s totally opposite of your true identity. This often ends up in people becoming people pleasers, instead of giving expression to their own true inner-identity.
On the other hand, if you hear positive and encouraging words, you will take positive action and become determined to see the results that you are after.
In both cases, these results will have words in response again. Such words as “see, I told you so….it will never work.” Or “well done. You did it once; you can do it again and even improve on it.”
These results confirm the words that have been spoken in the first place. Getting confirmation now, you start believing it and this is where the self-talk starts. Now you start telling yourself you can or you can’t. And whatever you tell yourself is what you really believe. That will determine your actions again which will produce the same results, which will confirm what you believe, which will cause you to repeat the same kind of words.
I have created a diagram that demonstrates this process for an article I wrote some time ago. I include the diagram here:
So if this process started during childhood, can you change it now? The answer is a very definite ‘yes, you can’. But what you need to realize is that you will be up for a challenge and you will have to persevere. As a child, you were not exposed to anything contradicting the words when you started hearing them for the first time.
By now you have been exposed to those words (and their results) for 10, 20, 30 or 40+ years. You are not going to change those habits (and what you have believed to be true up until now) within the next week.
As an adult though, you can now make a conscious decision to change your thinking and you can decide what you are going to believe. You have control over what you feed your mind with.
If you want to develop your faith, make the quality decision of making God’s word the final authority in your life. It doesn’t matter who says what, or what happens in your life, if it doesn’t line up with the Word of God, it’s a lie. If God says in His Word that you are an overcomer and a conqueror, then that is what and who you are and with that it is settled. If God’s Word says He is for you, then who can stand against you? As long as your actions are in line with God’s will (and that is made known to you in His Word), you can act in confidence and be bold while building your faith from strength to strength.
You also need to practice patience. Don’t set a goal or try to have faith for a highly successful, established business within the next two months. You will have to work at it, just as you have to work on developing your faith.
Start with little baby steps and take one step at a time. “But isn’t that limiting God?” No, you can’t limit God even if you tried. But God knows your limits, and as a loving Father He meets you where you are. He needs you to start right there where you are, and start growing.
But we read about all the miracles God has performed in the Bible. Doesn’t God work miracles anymore? Sure He does – when and where needed. But if you were to receive everything by a miracle, what are you going to learn in the process?
Follow the same process as described above, starting with your own words, followed by your thoughts, what you believe (developing your faith) and your actions (based on your faith). But this time you have control over what and who you are going to listen too. You can decide what you believe or not.
You don’t have to accept everything that gets sown into your life. It’s your life, take control by practicing self-control.
I highly recommend you read the full article about the thought process as well.
The Proof Is In The Pudding.
I have mentioned that it’s easy to tell someone else what to do and how to do it. But when dealing with threats, obstacles and challenges, feeling it on your own skin, it becomes a different ball game.
Normally I am a relatively private person and I don’t walk around discussing my private life in public. I would maybe talk about it with some close friends or family, but those are the limits.
But recently I received a word from one of the groups that I receive daily messages from which I like to meditate on during my time with the Lord in the mornings. I received this word from SPIRIT of PROPHESY on 19 May 2016 to be exact: “Examine yourself to see where you need to make adjustments. Your standard is My word, says the Lord. And, you must not only read and hear spiritual truth; you must become an example of what you know is right and good. Walk in the light. Live in the Spirit. James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
Thus I decided to share the following with you:
Over the last few months, my family and I went through some testing times. By the end of March 2016, our oldest daughter ended up in hospital due to burn-out for two weeks after working for an extremely abusive employer.
During this time our car also broke down, setting us back a couple of thousand South African Rand, causing quite a serious shortfall in our budget due to the sudden excessive, yet unexpected expenses.
Also our youngest daughter has fallen victim to a smash-and-grab robbery while stationary in her car at a traffic light.
As my oldest daughter got released from hospital, and she wanted to negotiate her workload, she got informed that she no longer had employment. She literally went from being the star of the company, to being unemployed in less than a month. Although by law we could fight the case, we all decided (together with her and her husband) to rather let it go for the sake of her health.
These are just some of the highlights, but it should give you a good picture that things got somewhat out-of-hand in our lives.
The good news:
- Our oldest daughter is not only recovering well, but has already started new employment with another company under much better working conditions.
- Our car is repaired and the repairs are paid for.
- On the evening of 13 May 2016, we went to visit our youngest daughter and her husband. As we came back out of their house and unlocked the car, we found an envelope neatly folded and placed underneath some stuff my wife has left on the passenger seat. Inside the envelope we found a typed message from Philippians 4:6,7 and 19 (NIV) “6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Neatly folded within this message was a cash amount which exactly covered the shortfall in our monthly budget. Firstly, we did not discuss our financial situation with anybody. Secondly, the vehicle was parked behind a locked gate. Thirdly, the vehicle itself was locked and the windows were closed, and finally, nobody besides ourselves has keys to the car. Up until now, we cannot explain how anybody could get access to the car (let alone the inside of the car), or who God used to do this.
- Our youngest daughter is facing the world head-on without fear and standing in faith for her safety and protection.
As mentioned, these are some of the highlights which have happened to us over the past few months. We are still facing some other challenges and standing in faith for prayers to be answered, but I am excited, because God says in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Have I had any failures in my life? Yes, plenty. Have I felt it on my own skin yet? Yes, and I still do. But I’m still breathing, so life is not over yet, and God will not leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
Over To You Now.
I hope this 2-part post has been helpful to answer some questions to be practical and start your journey to live your dream life.
It clearly starts with your thinking and then developing what you believe into unshakable faith.
Did you have any breakthroughs by achieving goals that you can share with us and how did you do it?
Can you testify about how God came through for you to overcome any obstacles or even achieve a goal?
My aim is to do more posts on this topic. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them.
If you have any testimonies or experiences related to this, why don’t you share it with us? We would love to hear from you.