-President Ezra Taft BensonI was walking back to my office thinking about the conversation that I just had with one of my clients.
He was doing so well and had experienced such profound change and transformation that it was a little overwhelming to think about it all.
By this time he had dropped about 60 pounds. His A1c (diabetic risk marker) had dropped from being very high risk to no longer being in the risk category and was now at an extremely healthy level. He was way more energetic and present with his family. He was a completely different person in every way. He was just flat out happier.
However, what I was most impressed with and proud of, was his complete transformation in his mindset. Not only was his body transformed, but his heart and mind were too.
Over the years, I have found this to be the true indicator of change.
I have also found this transformative pattern over and over.
I have found that if you are wanting true transformation that lasts, it can't just be change in what you do, but your beliefs need to change as well.
You can't just go through the motions and eat differently, exercise, and push until you get your result. Sure, you can do that and probably see some great results, because after all, those behaviors will lead to a healthier body. But, if you want those results to stay, you have to change your heart and mind.
That is where true transformation lies.
In fact, this exact client was a perfect example of this.
I had been working with him for a little while with mixed results. He had decided he needed to make some changes and wanted to make them, but wasn't fully in. In essence, he was testing out the water. He would put his foot in the water, wade around in it for a little bit, but he would only go up to about his waist. He never really committed to jump all the way into the deep end.
However, that changed one afternoon. He told me the specifics of this in my appointment with him earlier that day, and this was what was on my mind as I walked back to my office.
Now, in respect of patient confidentiality, I obviously won't share the details, but I can share the most important lesson of what he shared.
He told me how he was standing in front of the temple and had gotten off of the phone with someone. He told me how he realized that he needed divine help in order to truly change. Sure he could go through the motions and do the behaviors of eating less, eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising each day, and successfully lose weight.
But, he had realized that if he really wanted to change--truly change, he needed the help of his Father in Heaven and his Savior Jesus Christ.
He became very aware of his current standing and the vast gap between where he was and where he wanted to be, and he knew he couldn't close that gap without divine help.
So, right in front of the temple, he offered a sincere prayer asking Heavenly Father to change his heart. In essence, he "cried out" just like Alma, Enos, Lamoni, or Lamoni's father did.
As we were walking and talking earlier and as he was recounting this experience to me, he turned and said, "I felt the change in my heart as I said that prayer and my heart has been different ever since."
He told me that was what made all the difference. It was because of that change of heart and help from Heavenly Father and enabling power of the atonement of Jesus Christ that he was able to successfully and consistently implement all of the other stuff we had been discussing.
The change in behavior naturally came after the change of heart and mind. He now believed he could fully change and the process of behavioral transformation followed the lead of his heart and mind.
Now, this doesn't mean that he was perfect after that prayer. By no means was that the case, but he fully believed that he was already that new person and all that had to happen was for his behaviors to more fully align with that change.
He had fully adopted the identity based approach and had changed his beliefs around how he viewed those behaviors. He now looked forward to them, instead of dreading them.
In essence, he saw them as gifts. (see video below)
The more and more I work to help people reach their goals, the more I realize the power of our beliefs.
Faith and belief is such a basic and foundational principle.
You can't achieve anything of real worth if you don't first have faith that you can do it.
Our beliefs dictate our feelings, which then lead to how we act.
We cannot change without divine help. We cannot fully and completely change without the enabling power of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
However, we can't tap into that very power if we don't believe the Savior can change us. We might believe He can change others, but that belief won't be enough. We must believe He can change us.
We have to see the gap of where we are and where we want to be. We have to recognize that there is no way we can close that gap on our own. Then, we must believe that the Savior's power can and will help us to close it. Then, we must pray with the faith necessary to receive that divine help--even if all we have is just a particle of faith. We simply need to exercise all the faith and trust we have. Lay it all on the alter and let the change of heart begin.
True and total transformation doesn't happen overnight, but a change of heart can. It is the first step. One that must be taken.
So, if you are wanting to make change in any area of your life, I would invite you to ask yourself if you believe He can change your heart. If you do, then let that belief lead to taking action.
Ask Him to help you change your heart. Ask with all the belief you have, because after all, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." - Mark 9:23
“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”
- President Ezra Taft Benson
Dedicated to your success,