Transformational Change: Tackling Symptoms v. Causes and Doing v. Being

  • 21 June 2021
  • Angela Miccio-Harris


This month’s writing that I have written for you will be different than my normal monthly blog I send out as its more of an article so I will send it as Part 1 this week for the next 3 weeks.  Such a huge, exciting topic, and chosen from my life journey as a Coach and as a Christian what I’ve observed read and experienced plus in helping people get from A to B, and the result being truly sustainable so one can achieve future growth attempts and change in oneself or to achieve a goal in the future themselves or continually going for help to overcome the same challenges.

I know we are not here to stay stuck, frustrated, overwhelmed, and just survive.  I know we are here to thrive, to do and be all God wants to do through us in all areas of our life.

Our potential is bigger than we realize and to live a life of joy is going to be more effective for us then we think. Bear with me as I proceed further. Enjoy!!

Looking externally to solve problems treats symptoms, not causes

To tackle problems and challenges we often first go to address the external, the symptom we see to solve the issues. For instance, an effort to address a healthy work life balance to and therefore obtain happiness and do life well and how we go about this.  

Lets back up a moment. What is the most important thing in life? What would you say?


For me one which would be tops is being accountable for my time in a day.

This is not time management as we all have same amount of time in a day and some achieve heaps in ten hours some achieve very little and we can’t change time nor manage time, it is what it is – exactly 24 hours.

However, we could be changing our spoken word to our time, so that is how we choose to spend it, what are we filling our day with to be so we can be well balanced whole people, free, productive, and full of joy and health? What gets in the way of our time? Distractions, deception, toxic or disabling thoughts and so on.

The Achilles heel of time management

Many people seek to achieve this through time management techniques.   They work hard on a healthy work life balance in the four main areas of life, we feel we are lacking in – money, work, family and health. After all, when the day is done we don’t want to be still busy, experiencing stress, feel unproductive, or be full of anger and regret.  This is all good stuff.  Time management has been hammered, and you can occupy a lifetime of study on it via the internet! 

However, the results?  Yes, there are some great testimonies.  However, lasting and sustainable change that brings us what we want, brings us the outworking of the techniques.

It is useful of course but in dealing with external areas of our life it is secondary.

If you want true change, look inward first

Having self-awareness, “knowing” yourself and how you operate and your triggers, your values.  Are all of great benefit.  A recent buzzword is “emotional Intelligence”, however what has happened is people are rediscovering that knowledge, which we have now infinite access to today is not “knowing” and it is the “knowing” that counts.  

The crucial area in my opinion which is overlooked and neglected is the truth that we all have a body, soul, and spirit. Understanding the total “self” as a human (holistically) all three areas is vital in my view to doing life well and been happy whatever that is for each of us.

Our Triune Reality

We must understand that we are a triune being… SPIRIT, SOUL and BODY. We look at our WHOLE person all three areas.  We have spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional needs which affect our behavior – called our soul.  When one need of the three is not being met, it can affect MANY different areas of our life as they are subtly connected - especially the four main areas of life I mentioned earlier (last week) of money, work, family and health.
So why are we not addressing first our inner stuff and those around us even (holistically)?  As the outworking of this will achieve a healthy “work and life balance”.  I would say we do well on the whole regarding our body, and people are becoming more aware of importance of having a healthy “soul” which is our thinking, our will and our emotions.
What is your scorecard?
How are you doing in each of the three areas in the diagram? Its important to be “knowing” our own self and how we are doing in each. Then I am sure our external world will improve in leaps and bounds as we then will be led to make better choices and decisions in each of the four external areas.

Diagram with three columns, listing the needs of the body, soul and sprit. The holistic approach to treat the cause not just the symptoms of our entire being

Soul: mind, will and emotions

1. If you don't make time to address areas of your soul then your emotional and mental health can manifest anxiety, depression, anger, fear, control⁠ plus more. Taking time to focus on your mental self-care regimen is important, people who are emotionally healthy will have tools to be less stressed, having sense of mental toughness and resilience will enable you to cope better with life’s challenges and difficult times. Our thoughts, feelings and behavior determine how we react respond to situations and people around us.  When you think well, you keep problems in perspective and bounce back from setbacks. You feel good about yourself, joyful and at peace, have healthy relationships, and are naturally joyful. Your health and money and work situations are in good shape. Being emotionally healthy does not mean you are happy all the time!  It means you are aware of your emotions and know how to manage them, so it doesn't leave you with thoughts and feelings that are disempowering you or negative. Taking care of our Soul will help in contributing to us achieving success in every area of life, from surviving to thriving. This is a huge topic which I won't get into fully now but know that our mind is incredibly powerful and capable, we can take our thoughts captive and change the way we think, speak and act. 


Body: physical wellness

2. If you don't make time for your physical wellness looking after your body, you may end up with an illness that hinders you from doing everyday things. Even relatively minor health issues such as aches, pains, lethargy, and indigestion take a toll on your happiness and stress levels. ⁠Evaluate your own rest and sleep time, are you eating the right food and doing some form of exercise? (a simple mantra so often heard today) Those who do well in these 3 areas which require discipline and self-control well have better physical wellness.  So how are we doing here? Do we value and place importance on our physical body?  Especially as it ages and slowly begins to weaken to look after well.  


Spirit: core connectedness

3. If you don't make time for your spiritual wellness- your spirit, you can miss knowing that we are individually connected via our spirit to and one with God, someone bigger than ourselves who truly loves us. Your spirit is the “real you” the spirit is the “heart of the man” it is the core and the center of our being; it is the life of the body. It has a voice, if you learn to be still and listen and recognize it’s a still soft voice, excample the hunches and leadings you sense, realise it is not a feeling but a "knowing" that you get or even a nudge saying "ring Kim... take a cake round...etc... Often the thought or feeling may not appear logical or make sense which is why it is easily dismissed. Know that your emotions/feelings (soul) will betray you they can change daily depending on your feeling or external situation and people around you. Its learning to tap into your 6th sense more and relying less on our mind, our training and even at times what seems to be the "facts". What we should do and what we would love to do may not always be the same.

Aim for a knowing rather than knowledge

When we don’t understand, or we are not connected to our spiritual side and rely solely on self, our thinking (knowledge rather than a knowing) and experiences from the past dominate.  When the tests and challenges of life occur, it will not take much to trigger familiar habits and patterns.  These emerge and we fall into once again into the very things we wish to be eliminating from our lives.  Anxiety, fear, procrastination, doubt, sorrow, hopelessness, not good enough come back for another visit and underpin our decisions.  This is the long winding road to change.

When we look out at our communities, we see terrible things.  Money stress, depression, drug use, self-harm, suicide.  Knowing how to connect and fuel yourself spiritually and investing in your mental and behavioural self-care is vital. 

Our complete wellbeing

Looking after ourselves holistically as a “triune being” we then, as an outworking from this, will change for the better our work life balance.  The four areas mentioned in the earlier messages - money, work, family and health.

The alternative is doing same old things which we are not happy with, and we shouldn’t be doing.  These fuel us to be anxious, cloud our ability to think clearly and process information.

This is the major roadblock to success that I have seen.  It opens the door to other toxic thinking, habits and mental health issues.

Nor is the answer solely to put in a new strategy which looks and sounds good and should work, but in time is not sustainable.  Personally, I find working on the Internal self and understanding our uniqueness and how our own soul and spirit work is authentic and imperative. This of course is a choice. 

If you're unhappy with your life, try this exercise

Do you know what hinders or blocks you in your walk to thrive?  How do you self-sabotage your efforts?

Tools to shine a light - here is one:

  • Begin by having a quiet time alone and ask God some questions and journal the answers.

God, why do I keep tripping up? Lots of questions can come but start with one question listen and see what comes, what you see, sense or hear. This takes practice!

Then you can dig further. What holds me back? Why am I annoyed and stressed all the time? Why do I keep……? What are my thoughts on money? Show me.

Going down this path is not for the faint hearted.  It takes determination, perseverance and self- control and often healing and great deal of letting go (submission) is required to hear from our “spirit” and to work on our “soul”.  These character-building traits are crucial for revelation, growth, and then moving to spiritual maturity.

Remember spending time focusing solely on our physical health be it going to the gym, to a Pilates class or a morning jog and forgetting to work on our mental health and tapping into our spirit being with the same focus or our life will be unhealthy regardless if you work out seven times a week and eat kale every day!

I encourage you to take a moment to reflect — are you currently living a life that you love that you are “called” to?  Do you desire to seek and go after and cultivate a life full of passion, peace, and faith and supernatural things? What is one way you can step out of your comfort zone that would make a positive difference and into a life of adventure within your Spirit.  Do not stick a band aid on your life issues by addressing only those four external areas, or treating the symptoms you see popping up only or doing nothing but wishing or complaining, for a different result.


I challenge you to go deeper internally and the external will become an outworking of your new internal state. If you need to ask for help, then do.






About Angela Miccio-Harris

Angela is Speaker& Coach. Passionate about helping busy, motivated people who wish to live their best Life Now! with changes that lasts around actions or mindsets that last. She is strategic and goal focused with a range of tools in her toolbox that she can pull from. So you get things in place gain insight and are moving ahead, creating greater joy and satisfaction instead of staying stuck or frustrated with your life, well-being, finances or work. She is a Results Certified BBC Coach from the Neuroleadership Group and a qualified member of the International Coaching Federation. Take advantage of the wealth of experience she has to offer with her Complimentary 30 minute “discovery session” at email She works with clients throughout New Zealand via Skype or face to face.

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