Quit blaming. Shift your focus away from blaming others for the problems in your life and toward taking personal responsibility. Realize that you’re not a victim; you can choose to solve some problems and trust God in situations you can’t control. Practice these skills to start changing your life for the better: setting boundaries, speaking up, saying “yes” or “no” honestly, paying attention to your feelings, taking care of yourself, confronting yourself to deal with sin in your life, remaining hopeful in every situation, thinking carefully about your decisions, and acting courageously to follow where God leads you.

Quit over-functioning. Decide to stop doing for other people anything that they can and should do for themselves. Ask God to give you the courage to change the rules of your relationships so that you’re no longer taking responsibility for others in unhealthy ways. Clearly and calmly explain the changes you’re making to the people who will be affected by your new, healthier choices. Prepare for chaos at first, as they figure out how to adjust to the changes. Stand firm and move forward with your plans, regardless of how they react to them, trusting the Holy Spirit to help you every step of the way.

Quit faulty thinking. Break the habit of thinking in faulty ways, such as all-or-nothing thinking, taking things personally, and thinking that things will never change. Read and reflect on the Bible often and pray for the Holy Spirit to renew your mind every day, so your mind will be filled with truth. Ask God to give you the wisdom to know when not to follow your feelings. Stop making assumptions about other people without verifying the facts. Whenever you catch yourself falling into faulty thinking in a particular situation, ask yourself what new way you can respond that, though unfamiliar, may be more likely to succeed. Also, consider what you’ll regret years from now if you don’t do something to change your situation, and let that motivate you to change.

Quit living someone else’s life. Don’t hand control of your life over to other people. Instead, do your best to discover and fulfill God’s unique purposes for you. Listen to your inner rhythms to figure out the best times and ways for you to arrange your activities without becoming overwhelmed. Set boundaries with everyone with whom you have relationships to keep them emotionally healthy. Let go of any ways you may be trying to control other people’s lives; give them the freedom to make their own choices in life, and enjoy the freedom that you now have to do the same.

Adapted from The Emotionally Healthy Woman: Eight Things You Have to Quit to Change Your Life, copyright 2013 by Geri Scazzero with Peter Scazzero. Published by Zondervan., Grand Rapids, Mich., www.zondervan.com.    

Geri Scazzero is a teaching pastor and director of Marriage Ministry at New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York City, a multiracial, international church with more than 65 countries represented. She is coauthor of The Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Workbook for small groups and also speaks regularly to pastors, leaders, and their spouses.

Pete Scazzero is founder and Senior Pastor of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York City, a large, multiracial, international church with more than 65 countries represented. Pete and his wife, Geri, have four daughters, are co-founders of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles. Contact Whitney at: angels@aboutguide.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.

Publication date: March 19, 2013