Sunday, November 4, 2012

How to Stop Your Hobbies from Overtaking Your Life

Hobbies – from golfing or hiking, to researching stocks or rebuilding old cars – can bring lots of enjoyment into your life. But if you devote more attention to your hobbies than God intends, the rest of your life will suffer. Spending too much time and energy on your hobbies could lead to your estrangement from family and friends, and even from God.

It’s possible to enjoy your hobbies without losing sight of what matters most in life. Here’s how you can stop your hobbies from overtaking your life, and start enjoying the life God wants for you:

Examine your life. Reflect on your life honestly, and ask God to show you how you may be devoting too much attention to your hobbies at the expense of what’s more important (such as your marriage, parenting, or job).

Recognize where the problem lies – not with your passion, but with your priorities. It’s healthy for you to be a passionate person; God made you that way. So it’s okay to feel passionate about your hobbies. What’s problematic is getting your priorities out of order from God intends them to be. It’s unhealthy to run after your hobbies with such intensity that you neglect the other things you should be pursuing. Ask God to show you which of the relationships and activities in your life truly deserve to be high priorities for you. Decide right now to make your relationship with God your highest priority by placing it at the center of your life and revolving everything else around it.

Identify what’s motivating you to devote so much attention to your hobbies. Consider if you’re hoping to get closer to any of these from pursuing your hobbies: respect, fun, self-validation, challenge, rewards at unpredictable times, a sense of belonging, happiness from fulfilling dreams. Then consider if you’re using your hobbies to try to get away from any of these: shame, loneliness, chaos, boredom, or disappointing others. Then ask yourself two key questions: “Does my energy for a certain passion spring out of a healthy, ordered heart?” and “Does my passion signal that there is a problem inside?”

Hanging In Your Comfort Zone? 3 Steps To Help You Jump Out - Connie

Taking steps out of your comfort zone is pivotal for your own evolution and growth. You cannot become a bigger and better version of yourself unless you are willing to stretch beyond what you already know.

Growth facilitates happiness. We experience fulfillment when we grow in ourselves. When we feel that we are progressing, evolving and becoming more, we develop a higher level of confidence and pride. This is what makes us feel alive. This is where the magic happens.

WHAT STOPS US FROM STEPPING OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONE?

Our comfort zone is familiar. It is what we know. We can predict how things will unfold, and we have a sense of certainty about our ability to do what is required. It is where we feel safe, secure and not at risk.

When we are outside of our comfort zone, we are in the realm of the unknown. It is uncharted territory and we often have little ability to predict or control what will happen.

The main thing that stops us stepping out of our comfort zone is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what will happen. Fear of losing control. Fear of what people might think. Fear of losing security. The list goes on.

The other thing that stops us is the stories we tell ourselves. We often go in to ‘worst-case scenario’ thinking. We tell ourselves stories of previous experiences where we have failed or looked silly, and convince ourselves it is much safer to just stay where we are.

3 STEPS TO HELP YOU JUMP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

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