Last week we finished the Culture Making series and it’s time to get back to earth and do something practical. I have an easy way to start!
“Only a small group can sustain the attention, energy and perseverance to create something that genuinely moves the horizons of possibility – because to create that good requires an ability to suspend, at least for a time, the very horizons within which everyone else is operating. Such “suspension of impossibility” is tiring and taxing. The only thing strong enough to sustain it is a community of people. To create a new cultural good, a small group is essential.” -Andy Crouch
Suspending disbelief is hard work. In the home it’s hard to look at the good and not the bad in our family life. It’s hard to envision where children are heading and not dwell on where they are lacking (kitchen mess and tantrums anyone?).
Yet training our kids has everything to do with our ability to envision an unseen future of our kids as competent, confident, and caring adults. We believe they can grow, so we guide them with our expectations that they can do and be more.
Stuck in a rut
In the first years of parenting we were figuring everything out and I felt forced to be creative in my techniques just to keep up with my child’s growth.
As the year pass, I increasingly realize I get stuck in a rut of what’s possible. The kids wipe their faces and hands after meals because they always have, not because they can’t use the sink.
I helped my third child with putting on his shoes much longer than I did with the others, simply because I didn’t have a baby to take care of as well.
Our kids absorb our expectations and our limiting beliefs about them. How do we notice where we’re stunting our family’s growth because of a poor imagination?
One great way is to notice other families and have our idea of what’s possible at a certain age to be shattered, but this can also lead to tremendous guilt and frustration rather than inspire us to action.
Another way is to replace our limiting beliefs with liberating truths.
Limiting Beliefs and liberating truths
I learned this idea from Michael Hyatt and have found it to be a powerful and almost effortless idea.
First, here’s an example of how the idea of replacing limiting beliefs helped me get better sleep with no effort at all.
I used to go to bed each night and scold myself for not going to bed earlier. I’d wake up and think, “Ugh, I didn’t get enough sleep.”
I decided to try to change my limiting belief about how much sleep I needed. Maybe seven hours of sleep (even with kid interruptions – but I don’t have a newborn) is enough for me.
As I went to bed I would tell myself “seven hours of sleep is more than enough for me to have the energy to do everything I have to do tomorrow.”
I probably get about the same amount of sleep, but I’m not constantly stressing about the time I get to bed and I have more energy than I have in years (but remember, I’m coming out of the baby years!).
At this point in my life, replacing my limiting belief about sleep was just what I needed.
Ready for an almost effortless way to improve your family culture?
I thought so!
I know that I have plenty of limiting beliefs about my family that if replaced with liberating truths could have a significant positive impact on my family culture.
I bet you do, too!
Let’s take 15 minutes to brainstorm all the many “impossibles” we believe about our families. Grab a pen and a cup of tea and shut yourself up with a “back in 15 minutes” sign and write down everything that comes to mind.
After a few minutes the ideas will flow and you’ll be amazed how liberating it is just to name the many negative and limiting thoughts we have about our families.
Pick one or two to share in the comments and we can help each other come up with liberating truths.