Friday, February 19, 2016

Biashara Coach: 9 tips towards changing disempowering habits

By Virginia Mburu


Repeated behaviour.....cue, routine and reward... Yes something/ situation/circumstance triggers a certain routine and a specific reward is earned after the routine. Repeat this behavior a number of times and it turns into a habit.

Mwakazi thinks about our famous marathoners. A gunshot ... quite some run... and several million shillings reward on touching the finish line tape. Who would not want this behaviour repeated myriad times? What a nice habit!  

Our passionate entrepreneur Mr. Mwakazi has noted some habits that are seriously hindering goal achievement at work and even at the home front. Pendo his wife is on his case- he is sleeping late and waking up late courtesy of working late into the night.

This has to stop! In one of the evening rides, he happens to listen in to a discussion regarding cleansing of the temple found in John 2; 13-17, and Mark 11:15-18. On reaching home, he reviewed the reading again and suddenly he realized he could generously benefit from some tips found here to assist him break some of the habits he was struggling with.

Tip 1.....Identify that insidious and debilitating habit that is hindering your progress
John 2:16... “.... and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”

Cue...John 2:13 records that “The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.” Passover....A major festival in the Jewish calendar where every male Jew above 12 years had to participate in and offer a sacrifice and pay temple tax in Jewish currency.

A bit of a problem here--- they traveled from far and usually dealt with Roman currency which needed to be changed to Jewish currency.

Routine....Set up a market to sell the animals to be sacrificed and run a money exchange bureau. No problem here as this was quite convenient for the visiting sojourners.

Reward...huge profits as they were charging exorbitant prices for these must have requirements.

Now it’s time for you to dissect that habit... what is your cue, routine and reward?

Tip 2.....Get a super appreciation of where you are at and what it’s costing you
The market place was set up in the court of gentiles.  For a moment, imagine the huge crowd, loud bickering, haggling etc. in a place which was meant for solemn worship! 

Luke was categorical in Luke 2: 46 that “It is written,” he said to them, “My house will be a house of prayer; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.”

Jesus acknowledges that the merchants were robbing the worshipers. Furthermore, this market was run by the priests and their henchmen which means that the priests not concentrating on their core duty.   Moreover they denied the gentiles (non-Jews) a place to worship.

Take a deep breath and appreciate how deep this habit has sunk you. What are the financial, health, relationship, spiritual, personal etc. costs that you are now bearing? 

What else could go wrong in case you do not arrest it NOW? How does you future look like if you continue with the habit?

Tip 3.....Get a mega appreciation of where you want to be and the benefits you are missing
In Mark 11; 17 , Jesus is  crystal clear on what the temple is supposed to be..  “And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS’? But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”

The temple was a place of worship for all including the gentiles who were to worship in the gentile court now turned into a market place. And they missed out on huge financial, health, relationship, spiritual etc. blessings.

Back to your habit, how would you rather behaved contrary to what is happening currently? What new behaviour would you have to replace the current one? Now get a list of all the pluses, the financial, health, relationship, spiritual, personal etc. benefits that you will gain on adapting this new habit. 

Looking at others who have this empowering habit, what have they achieved that still is eluding you? Make it a long list.

Tip 4....Get mad, mad ...really mad at you
Seriously mad- at what you have been losing all this time you have allowed this habit to continue hindering your progress. And for allowing that small voice to whisper to you that it is easier to maintain the current situation, after all you have survived so far-question is at what cost to you, your business and significant others. Jesus was mad- at the desecration of the temple and no wonder the next is.......

Tip 5.....Fashion your war weapons
John records what Jesus did next in verse 15... “And He made a scourge of cords....” He made his weapon of choice, fit for the battle at hand.  As for you, this is a battle you cannot afford to lose- the stakes are way too high. You will need to come up with waterproof strategies that will get you to throw out the debilitating habit.

Get out all available tools to support the new habit and disable the old one. Do your research on what works best and then suit it your needs. Remember, you have to own these weapons and be comfortable using them. 

Tip 6.....Go public
Make your intention to change known to supportive people who have your interest at heart. Request them to hold you accountable. You have a better chance of success now that you have a name to protect when you go public unlike when you only had YOU to account to YOU.  Jesus made his intentions known. He spoke the intentions to the crowds following him and those in the temple.

Tip 7.....Turn the tables
It is recorded in John 2: 15 that Jesus “.....drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables;” Get the robbers out and the worshipers in!

It’s now time to disrupt every   trigger, routine and reward connected to the old habit. Turn the tables upside down. Make sure the environment is entirely conducive to the new habit and completely unfriendly to the old one.

Tip 8.....Celebrate progress
Keep track of the progress you are making and make it known to those you have chosen as your accountability partners. Sometimes you make great progress and at times you may find that you are where you were yesterday. 

You may even find that you have actually slid back. Just like those merchants at the temple---they still came back. John records his episode at the beginning of Jesus’s ministry whereas Mark, Luke and Matthew records the temple cleansing at the end of the ministry.

When you do slide and fall on those tables, get back on your feet, dust yourself and keep on with the journey. The future is bright given all those expected benefits. Remember that no child takes the first step and runs without taking a few falls in between! 

When you are down though not out, your choice of accountability partners now kicks in... will they encourage or discourage you? Have they gone through similar process so that they can assist you with success tips?

Tip 9....Be ready for the backlash
Yes... some people will not be entirely happy with the change; more so if they were the beneficiaries of the process.  In chapter 21: 15 Matthew tells us that “...... when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.”

Over to you Passionate Entrepreneur;

What steps do you take to overcome dis-empowering habits?
Share your experiences, suggestions or questions in the comments section below. Who knows- You could probably be the one to benefit from a changed habit!

Whatever you do, make sure it results in less work, more money and positive impact.


Virginia Mburu
Passionate Entrepreneurs Coach
Virginia empowers and motivates Passionate Entrepreneurs to realize their purpose and pursue it. She then assists the entrepreneurs to clarify, prioritise and focus on management and marketing strategies and action plans that will get them to work less, make more money and positively impact within one year.  Access some of her gifts- absolutely free lessons

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