Major life-change tips I have learned during my six years of counseling are the power of willingness and attitude as they relate to the change process. The Cambridge Dictionary defines willingness as “the quality of being happy to do something if it is needed.” I like this definition more than others I have come across because it includes the words “being happy to do.”
I have encountered many people entering our recovery program. The difference between those who were successful and those who were not was their happiness level and their attitude towards the programming. I recall this particular participant; to say they were less than happy to be there is an understatement. Their attitude was horrid!
The first phase of our program is six weeks. I had to review their file as they were heading into the second phase. Surely they had been held back at some point because of an infraction. Nope! They were right on schedule.
This was very puzzling. When something puzzles me, I talk to my best friend, the Holy Spirit, who knows everything and can share it with me.
I was like, “Holy Spirit, what is up with this? Why does it feel like they have been here for so long?”
The answer? “Their attitude.”
My response. “What! Attitude?”
Then it dawned on me. The participant’s negative attitude and unwillingness to try made it seem like time was stuck.
Several reasons cause people to not be happy to do what is needed (willingness). One that comes to mind immediately is when people believe they are being forced to do something they are not interested in doing. My dad would say a lot when I would complain about not having a choice. “You always have a choice. You may not like the consequences of the choice, but the choice is yours to make.” I didn’t fully understand what he was saying then, but I fully comprehend it now.
You are the only person, along with help from your maker (Father God), that can change the course of your life when you choose to do so. Willingness to do what seems hard in the moment produces the right attitude and lasting change. You need the willingness to examine, admit, accept, deconstruct, learn, and act.
You have to be willing to examine where you are in life to determine where you want to go.
You have to be willing to admit to yourself and others things that may be difficult.
You have to be willing to accept where you are without getting stuck there.
You have to be willing to go through the process of deconstructing the thoughts, beliefs, fears, and lies that are keeping you from living the life you want.
You have to be willing to learn the truth concerning the thoughts, fears, and lies that have kept you from changing. This is the process of renewing the mind that Romans 12:2 speaks about.
You have to be willing to act on, do, and put into practice the truth you have learned to produce lasting change.
The moral of this story is Isaiah 1:19. “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.”