This morning is the first day of a new habit for me. I’ve reintroduced an old habit that I highly value, or least that I’ve said that I do. Unfortunately for me, there has been incongruence between my behavior (habit) and what I have said that my priority (or belief) really is…until today. That’s the funny thing about what we think we believe and what we actually believe: we often fools of our own justifications for when our beliefs are not in line with our behaviors. The justifications only work so long, and over time, the justifications can even alter our belief system because our belief will always drive our behavior.
Belief drives behavior. If your behavior doesn’t line up with what you say your belief (or goal) is, then it’s not a question of behavior or habit, but rather a question of belief. My challenge to you today is a challenge of reflection. Do you really believe what you say you believe and if you do, are you actually living it out?
In order to take ownership of your behavior, you have to understand what exactly is driving that behavior in the first place. Understanding your belief, that is, your view of the world and your view of yourself, is something that demands time and reflection. Your behavior and your habits will never change until you take ownership of them. (If you missed last week’s podcast on the concept of ownership and how to incorporate it more into your life, click here to listen to a great 25 minute message!) Take ownership first of your belief, and then take ownership of your behavior.
As for me, I have realigned my belief this morning, or at least have started the process of rebuilding it. I put God first in my day for the first time in a long time. It sounds like a simple habit, but it’s one that I’ve struggled with and justified myself out of a million times. The simple habit of opening my Bible before I rush out of the door for the day seems trite, but it is about more than just the habit, for me it is a matter of where my heart is or isn’t. Believe me, the wrestling match of the heart that happens when you challenge your beliefs and behaviors is not an easy match. It’s exhausting, but, if your true belief wins out, the behavioral rewards that you will reap will make you feel whole.
If your behavior isn’t lining up with what you really believe (whether that is in terms of a weight loss goal, a business related growth habit you’ve been trying to develop, or simply the belief system that drives your soul), then I challenge you to take a very raw and honest look at what your behavior is saying that you believe. And, as Mahatma Gandi famously said, “your behavior becomes your habits […] your habits become your values [… and ] your values become your destiny.”
Never underestimate the power of a small habit.