Does your family have a negative history? What about your job? Is there something that it seems you inherited or as “always been that way?” If so, you are the one to break the cycle.

Break the cycle
If you don’t break a cycle, it may never be broken. It will haunt future generations. It will be your fault. (Click to Tweet)

That’s right, you are a cycle breaker.

You can break the negative cycles of your father, your mother, your grandparents, your predecessor at work, or your team’s performance. You are capable of putting an end to anything you put your mind to.

That means though that you have to take responsibility for doing so. You can’t blame your parents or family history. You can’t blame the team leader before you or your boss. You can’t blame God.

A warning

If you aren’t the one to break a cycle, it may never be broken. It will come back to haunt future generations. And it will be your fault.

A 500 year cycle…broken

I never made the connection until recently, but in the Bible account of Esther a cycle was broken that started more than 500 years prior.

In approximately 1025 BC God told King Saul to completely destroy the Amalekites. But Saul disobeyed. 1 Samuel 15:9 says “Saul and the army spared Agag .

His failure to obey started a cycle that lasted more than 500 years to the time of Queen Esther. “Haman, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast the pur (that is, the lot) for their ruin and destruction.” (Esther 9:24)

Yes, Haman, the enemy of the Jews, was a descendant of Agag. If only Saul had killed him as he was commanded…

Thankfully, Esther and her cousin Mordecai broke the cycle.

Surely they knew the stories from the ancient Scriptures. They knew who Haman was. They could have blamed Saul, who was long dead. They could have cursed God. They could have abdicated responsibility to someone else. But they didn’t. They stood up and became cycle breakers.

Just like you can do.

What cycle do you need to break?

Was your dad an alcoholic? And his dad and his dad, too? And now you struggle with it. That cycle that needs to be broken. And you have the power to do so.

Did your parents divorce? And all of your other family members as well. “Divorce just runs in our family,” you say. Now you are on your second marriage and it is falling apart. Be a cycle breaker.

Perhaps you just started a new job as a leader only to find out that the previous four leaders were all fired for poor performance. The team is in disarray. It seems hopeless. But you can break that cycle and be an outstanding leader.

Or, perhaps your family has always been poor. They’ve never known abundance or financial freedom. All you’ve ever heard is how the little man can never get ahead. All you know is struggle, pain and lack. I’m calling on you to stand up, grow up, and change your family’s trajectory. Be a cycle breaker.

Perhaps you have more than one cycle that needs breaking (I know I do).

If you have one, two, or two hundred, here’s how to break them:

  1. Identify the problem as a problem. Don’t push anything under the rug. If it bothers you, write it down.
  2. Take responsibility for it. Do not blame another person for your situation.
  3. Resolve to change one thing. I suggest picking the smallest thing as it will likely be the easiest to change.
  4. Get help. Get professional help if needed, but definitely get help from friends. Tell others that you are resolving to make a change. But focus only on those who will not drag you down. Which leads to step five.
  5. Remove everyone caught up in your cycle. Yes, I just suggested that perhaps you need to stay away from your pessimistic, alcoholic brother or your gossipy friends for a while. You are not abandoning them. Remember, you will never be able to help others until you help yourself.
  6. Fill your mind with the right stuff. There are thousands of ways to do this. Try them all. Make declarations every hour. Spend more time with God and memorize Scriptures relating to your change. Read every book you can get your hands on (they are free at the library!). 

We all have cycles in life that need to be broken. You can break yours.

Have you broken a cycle? If so, how did you do it?

9 thoughts on “How to be a Cycle Breaker

  1. Lily Kreitinger says:

    Wow, Matt. This is very powerful. I’ve seen it work just as you describe it. My parents both broke the cycle of broken homes and poverty and built a solid marriage and a loving environment for us. Psychotherapy culture taught us to blame all our issues on our parents. I like positive psychology and personal accountability better. I can’t change the past or other people’s actions, but I can change my response to them.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Way to go parents!

      Proof that cycles can be broken.

  2. Mark Sieverkropp says:

    Awesome post my friend. So true! It’s easy to blame others for our circumstances. It’s REALLY easy to blame relatives, especially dead ones.
    The hardest cycles to break are the ones that aren’t necessarily bad, but aren’t necessarily the best either. These are the cycles I’m trying to break! It’s tough, but certainly been worth it so far!

  3. I am in the process of breaking the cycle of abuse and addiction in my family. As a matter of fact, at a low point in my life I was wondering what was wrong with me that I was born into a family like mine and I received a very strong, spiritual impression that I chose to be born into my particular family to break those particular cycles. I am discovering that not only do we as individuals have a specific purpose to fulfill in our lives, but our families have their own “missions” as well.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      I definitely agree with that last statement. Families have missions for sure. Just look at the family names we know from history. The Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Kennedys, etc. They all had missions for their entire families.

  4. BrinaHarwood says:

    Great post! Timely as well. I’ve been doing some personal inventory and identifying the things in myself that have been passed down. I don’t want to wait until my children are out of my household to break these cycles. Thanks!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      That is so great to heat Brina!

  5. Jon Stolpe says:

    My wife and I have been working hard to break the cycle of debt that was modeled for me. We’re off to a great start!

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