If you’ve ever attended a kid’s bowling party you are probably familiar with the bumpers that are put up on each side of the lane. The purpose of these bumpers? To keep the ball from going in the gutter, ensuring that every kid has success by knocking over pins. The bumpers promise a win for everyone playing the game.
Wow. How how would you like to transfer that over to your life and put up “bumpers” to ensure that you get a win?
Well, you can.
I like to call these bumpers safeguards.
And where do you set up safeguards?
In areas where there is the possibility of you getting your ball in the gutter – in other words, your areas of weakness.
When we implement safeguards, we are setting our self up for success. We are doing for our self when we are strong what we cannot do when we are weak. And be sure of this – your moments of weakness are coming and when they do, if you have not prepared for them, you are probably toast.
This is not being negative, but realistic. That is just the reality of it.
So what are you going to do to prepare for those inevitable moments?
Proverbs 22:3 (NLT) tells us,
A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
So how can you create safeguards in your life?
Let me share with you some safeguards I have established in my life. Use them to get you thinking about safeguards you can implement.
As a natural idea generator, I have ideas pop in my head constantly. And that’s not all! My emotions are so excited about those ideas that I am ready to act! Couple that with a personality that lends itself to being impulsive and BAM! – you have a problematic combination! This use to get me in trouble. I would constantly tell people about my many ideas, but would rarely follow through on all these “brilliant” plans. (Yet another characteristic of my personality!)
I was getting a reputation for not following through on my plans. Being a starter, but not a finisher.
That’s what our weaknesses do – they compromise our integrity, which is why safeguards are so important.
After I began to learn about myself and my personality, along with my strengths and weaknesses, I began to put up “bumpers” to help me get wins.
One of the safeguards I have implemented is what I call my 24-Hour Policy. Now, when I get a “good idea”, I make myself wait at least 24 hours (more if possible) before I commit to doing that so-called-good idea. If the idea still sticks after 24 hours, there is a chance that it may be one worth going after. But because I have realized that many of my ideas have a short shelf life, this safeguard protects me from prematurely committing to something that I won’t ever follow through on.
Another safeguard is having a friend that I can share my many ideas with – unfiltered. This friend knows that when I share ideas, I am just processing my thoughts. She is not overwhelmed with my geyser of ideas and she understands that I may only act on 5% of them. Not everyone can handle this kind of brain dump. For some people, hearing your truckload of ideas, is overwhelming and draining. In this case, putting up safeguards is knowing who the appropriate person is to share your ideas with.
What are your weaknesses? Once you have identified them, then you can create the appropriate safeguards to minimize each weakness. And when you do, you’ll find that you begin knocking over the pins.