An anonymous writer said, "Opportunity knocks only once, but temptation leans on the door bell." Temptations are those inner cravings to do something that we shouldn't do. It's a combination of our emotions, behaviors, and desires, conflicting with our overarching goals and values. We are not weak or bad because we face temptations; they are a part of life. The problem comes when we give-in to our temptations by compromising what we value and believe. We can be victorious over temptations by implementing a few things.
1. Prepared – We don’t overcome temptations by ignoring them or thinking they won't come. We overcome them by knowing what they look like and having a plan of defense to execute. Successful soldiers are always devising a plan for the enemy. But the plans are no good without being able to properly implement them at the right time in the right way. So before they are face to face with the enemy they go through simulators to give them controlled experiences of executing the plan. We must mentally prepare ourselves for the enemy - the daily temptations we face.
Giving in to temptations is your enemy. Being prepared is necessary to overcoming your temptations. Know the details of what tempts you and then create a game plan to resist. If you give in once or twice to the temptation, don't stop trying. Learn form your mess ups. Adjust your plan and try again. It is said, "Nothing beats a failure but a try." Keep on trying. With each try you are gaining strength. Remember, your temptation doesn't have to be your down fall.
2. Perceptive - Normally temptations don’t just jump out of the air. Usually, they creep upon us like a virus looking for a vulnerable spot to get in. If we're not perceptive and prepared temptations will fully infected us and take us down. We must always be on the alert!
When you find yourself saying “It’s not that bad!", or "Just this once!", or "I’m not going all the way!". These are "bait statements" that can draw you further from your goals. Yielding to temptations can take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and can cost you more than you want to pay. Overcome approaching temptations by perceiving their long term effects in the present. Be perceptive!
3. Avoid - Tim Daniels, states that, “an effective way to overcome some temptations is not to fight but to avoid them." Temptations can get stronger when trying to fight them head on. For example: A married man is tempted by a young woman who is not his wife in the store. In this case, his best option would be to avoid the entire situation if possible. It has been said many times in the medical field that, "Prevention is the best policy!" I think that would work for dealing with temptations too.
Developing an "avoidance plan" should be your number one go-to when dealing with temptations. Don't be afraid to run away from temptations that can be avoided. Be in charge of you! Don’t allow your temptations to define you and make you think and do things that you don’t want. Learn to avoid the people, places, and things that are obvious down falls to your values and goals.
Summary - Overcoming your temptations is imperative for your success. Work on being prepared to the best of your ability. Be perceptive by being on the alert for temptations that are out to destroy you. Go the other way when a temptation is optional. It's best to miss a little something and succeed than to get it all and fail. Combat your temptations by being pro-active all around!