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Uprooting the Weeds in Your Life.

If you are like me, you probably hate weeds! My neighbors probably think I am a little Obsessive Compulsive when it comes to eradicating my lawn and flowerbeds of those pesky little weeds. I’ve even been known to pull weeds in my neighbor’s yard, rationalizing that if I don’t they could produce seeds which will spawn more weeds back into my yard.

The term “weed” can mean different things to different people. As with anything, one man’s weed is another man’s garden. In a broad sense a weed is really any plant growing where it is not wanted. In order to get rid of the weeds, we must attack them at their roots. This can be accomplished by way of herbicides, friendly insects, and good old fashioned hand pulling. If we leave even the slightest piece of root, the weed can very likely return, sometimes stronger than before.

Because weeds are found where we don’t usually want them, controlling them in those placed becomes a serious matter. Many of us spend untold amounts of time and money to eradicate unwanted greenery. Weeds are invasive and, in many ways, noxious to our garden. Typically weeds destroy the habitat they dwell. They reduce the opportunities for the grass to grow and cause displacement of plants. Weeds usually reduce options and diversity in the garden by over taking the entire area with one species of plant (them). Thus, weeds can disrupt the natural flow of an area and can ultimately be costly. In essence, a weed can suck the life out of your garden if kept unchecked.

As with our garden, we have weeds in our personal lives – bad habits, inappropriate or misguided opinions of ourselves or others, procrastination, or even lack of organization. Such weeds can manifest themselves through lack of motivation or passion and can be found in our belief system in how we see ourselves or even God. They can suck the joy out of our lives and cause us to live in an environment that is otherwise foreign and uncomfortable. Like weeds in the garden, our “life weeds” consume valuable resources, energy, and emotions that are otherwise essential to living a joyful and productive life. The choke out our ability to live life as God intended for us. In order to get rid of the weeds, we must uproot them and replace them through a reliance on God, accountability, resources and opportunities that will ultimately help us blossom into a productive and joyful life.

Weeding out our lives can be as time consuming and costly as weeding our gardens however it is far less expensive to weed our lives than to allow our lives to become overgrown with “life weeds” that may choke our relationship with our Lord, and the unbelievable opportunities he has laid before us. Wedding our lives begins with a relationship with Jesus, daily and constant prayer, and reading God’s word.

One must keep in mind that uprooting a “life weed” may take time. After all, we are replacing bad habits with better habits. A garden takes time for healthy vibrant plants to take hold and grow. So does your own “life garden” – you are replacing your “life weeds” with sustainable, healthy habits that will require nourishment to grow. Change is never easy and sometimes our gardens must go through a state of awkwardness before we can see the true beauty and rewards.

Isn’t it time that you surveyed your garden, uprooting the “life weeds” and replacing them with healthy habits? Here is an easy process to consider:

1) Replace bad habits with good habits by having a mental picture of what the new habit will look like. Also, understand why you are replacing the old habit.

2) Practice the actions required over and over again so that the new habit becomes natural.

3) Next you will enter into the transition phase where you have an old behavior that has become comfortable, like an old pair of comfortable shoes (they may look ugly to the eye but oh-so comfortable!). Resist slipping back into the old habit – remember, you are working on getting out the entire root of the “life weed”, which takes time and energy. Your new habit may feel uncomfortable at first because you are not used to it yet. Practice, practice, practice and don’t give up just because it’s uncomfortable – the end result is worth it!

4) Finally, the new behavior will become automatic – a new habit is born! Congratulations!

Weeding your “life garden” requires persistence, patience, and most of all, a commitment to change. Although you may find success on your own, it is recommended that you find an accountability partner. Once healthy positive changes occur, you can maintain your beautiful new “life garden”…less those pesky weeds.

 Dr. Philip A. Foster

The Success Coach

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