How To Stop Being Dysfunctional And Become Highly Functioning

Photo by Nick Harris1

We Are All Dysfunctional

At some level, each and every one of us is dysfunctional. As human beings, we all have issues.

We all have a past. We all have hang-ups that have the potential to drag us down in life.

At a certain point, though, something has to change. We need to grow up. We need to stop letting life control us. We need to get in the driver’s seat of where we want our lives to arrive in the future.

If you desire to move into renaissance living, then you must first move out of dysfunctional living.

Moving Beyond Dysfunction

Yes, we all realize and agree that we live with a certain level of dysfunctional behavior. But, how do we move beyond our dysfunctional patterns and move to a higher level of living? In order to move beyond dysfunction, you need to be “functioning” at certain levels in order to even begin the process.

I would like to offer the following steps in moving from dysfunction to highly functioning:

  1. Recognize your dysfunction. This probably seems like a “duh” statement, but you can’t change something in your life before recognizing you have a problem. This is similar to a family doing substance abuse intervention on another family member. Those who struggle with substance abuse aren’t going to change unless they are forced to recognize that they have a serious problem.
  2. Decide to change. Again, this may seem overly simplistic, but there is power in making a decision to change. As soon as you decide to make a change, the change process begins. It’s like pressing the start button!
  3. Set a new standard. Once you’ve come to the place where you have decided to change, it’s time to establish a new standard. Your old, dysfunctional behavior is no longer acceptable. You’ve decided to “rise higher” in your life. Seek out high functioning role models you can pattern your life after. I believe this one step is where massive change begins to take place in all of our lives.
  4. Employ the “rocking chair” technique. This technique is so simple. Pretend you are in your 80s or 90s, sitting in your rocking chair on the front porch of your house. As you sit there, you’re thinking back over your life. You envision what your life would look like if you continued living in your dysfunction; and you can visualize what it would look like if you made massive changes and became highly functioning. How do you feel? Is it really worth it to continue in your dysfunction? Is this really what you desire your life to become when you get older?
  5. Seek the services of a professional counselor. If you suffer from moderate to severe levels of dysfunctional behavior, then you really need to unpack your issues with a professional. They’ve been trained to assist you into better living.
  6. Establish new habits to replace the old dysfunctional habits. Old habits truly don’t die until we have replaced them with new, better habits. Get clear on your new habits immediately.
  7. Establish better goals. Write down exactly who you want to become. Then, establish goals that will get you from where you are today to where you desire to be tomorrow.
  8. Take massive action. You can write down all of this stuff. You can be crystal clear on the direction you desire to go. But, in order to make the changes you desire, you have to take massive action. One step at a time. One day at a time.
  9. Rinse and repeat. Each day when you get out of bed, you need to put one foot in front of the other and continue with the changes you have decided to make. It’s all about the choices we make each day.

Dysfunctional or Highly Functioning?

So, after reading this post, where to you see yourself? Are you in massive denial? Are you highly dysfunctional and need some major help?

Maybe, you’re in the process of making some of the choices and changes I outline above. That’s great! Start wherever you are at today, make better choices, and move beyond dysfunction to highly functioning. Embrace renaissance living at the highest levels possible.

This entry was posted in Emotional Health, Intellect by Larry Jones. Bookmark the permalink.

About Larry Jones

Larry Jones is the Generosity Pastor at First Baptist Raytown in Kansas City, Missouri. He blogs regularly on the topic of extraordinary stewardship with maximum Kingdom impact at He is the author of BEYOND DAVE AND FINANCIAL PEACE: ACCELERATING PAST AVERAGE WITH YOUR MONEY PLAN available on Amazon Kindle.

One thought on “How To Stop Being Dysfunctional And Become Highly Functioning

  1. Im a highly functioning individual as measured by my current college success. However, I am now at a University and my mental illness is preventing me from forming fruitful relationships. I am having a hard time being a functional person for someone to want to date. My social skills have been damaged from a dysfunctional upbringing and no strong leadership to reference as a kid. As a result i am now suffering as a leader and a lover. I cant deal with my anxiety in healthy ways because it controls me and finding a source of control is eluding me. I have made a lot of progress on my own but it seems there comes a point where i need help. I no longer go through psychosis or manic episodes, but im struggling with the aftermath and emotions i cant seem to get rid of…

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