Every new year I evaluate my last year and see what has been the value of what I contributed. We always want to highlight the successes and take note of our failures so we won’t be continuing to live out the defeats from that year. But I am wondering, are they really defeats?

Are they ways we really succeeded to rid ourselves of faulty patterns that we don’t want to continue living out? Were our failures showing us a way to gain spiritual growth and freedom that wouldn’t exist if we didn’t fail at something physical? Most importantly, was it a way to draw closer to God for spiritual strength and the good feelings we were hoping that the successes would give us.

As the New Year begins we may start getting revved up again about what we can achieve physically. What I have come to believe is that many new years resolutions don’t seem to work—and research is quick to agree. Perhaps it’s because we may have not changed anything on the inside. We may self-sabotage our goals due to fears that come from our subconscious which we not even aware of.

The challenge I find is to do some digging to see what we are really believing that is causing one to continue to go down a well-worn path. Have you been able to deal with some unresolved issues like forgiving someone who has really hurt you? Or it might be holding onto emotions that continue to plague you that you can’t seem to shake. It’s not the path that most want to take, but it can hinder our growth if we continue to hang onto them.

1. Find a supportive person, counselor, or group that can allow you to be real and honestly examine yourself. The scripture teaches “Confess your sins one to another so you will be healed.” There is something powerful about being able to share with others your inner struggles and discover what you are really feeling. In speaking them out and being vulnerable you give yourself permission to heal.
2. Let go of victim mentality –Stop blaming others for your pain. When triggered by something emotional take responsibility to examine the deeper roots. It takes some courage and investment of time to focus on yourself, but many times the outer problems can change when we change. I have seen this principle repeatedly played out with marriage or work conflicts where the outward problem resolves itself because we show up different.
3. Experience sustained breakthroughs– A breakthrough will open up new territories as you let go of hindrances. It might look like things on the outside don’t change, but you have more good feelings internally. Or it might look like there is less conflict in your relationships which would bring great relief and peace.

Make this New Year one for getting off the beaten path and finding the freedom to move into new territories!