Change Your Thinking
How we think has a massive impact in our lives. Our thinking determines how we experience life and directly affects our quality of life.
One of the easiest things to do for many of us is to plummet into the "zone of negativity".
Just a few seconds of looking at the news headlines or listening to TV news is all it takes for most of us to feel discouragement, fear and even depression wash over us. And if that's not enough, the pessimism and worry of people around us is contagious, threatening to infect us to the depths of our being.
Negativity and negative thinking is one of the easiest things we can do and the reason it’s so easy to do, is because we have developed well-ingrained habits.
Many, if not most, things in our world tempt us to develop a negative outlook and attitude about life. In seeking to make a career change, negativity sabotages our efforts.
When we get caught up in negative thinking, we lose…We lose momentum and energy,
we lose our ability to think creatively,
we lose opportunities to make positive connections with other people, and
we lose our ability to have faith and trust in God.
Negative thinking is a "calling blocker" because it hinders us in living the life God calls us to live.
One of the keys to living our calling (doing the things God is calling us to do with our life), is learning to control our attitude through learning to change our thinking.
We condition ourselves to think in particular ways. Our thought patterns become ingrained and habitual and even though we don't "feel" like we are making choices in how we react to life experiences, we are actively choosing.
If we want to fulfill our God-sized calling, we will need to master our attitude through changing our thinking.
Our thinking and therefore our attitude has massive impact on our life. Attitude is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill....
On the other hand a positive outlook and attitude open up opportunities, possibilities and life-giving experiences for us.
However a positive attitude doesn't "just happen". We have to create it intentionally on a daily basis and even moment by moment.
Developing a positive, optimistic attitude is challenging. We have to work at monitoring and changing our self-talk, yet we do have the power to change our lives by changing our thinking.
More than anything else, our attitude - how we think- will impact how far we go in discovering and living our calling.
Here are two strategies to help us change our thinking:
- Intentionally choose what we think about. We need to think on, weigh and take account of things that are honorable and decent, all that is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind, winsome and gracious, and anything which we can praise. We must think on and fix our mind on them. This is what scripture exhorts us to do according to Philippians 4 verse 8.
- Intentionally work on changing "limited thinking" habits we have developed. They won't change by themselves. To get rid of a bad habit, we have to replace it with a good habit. For example:
- Ask yourself "How CAN I...?" instead of thinking "I CAN'T..."
- Ask "In what way CAN I make this work?" instead of "It will NEVER work." Respond with "Let's figure out how I/we CAN make this happen!" instead of "Yes, BUT (here are all the reasons I can't do this thing)."
- An excellent way to get out of the habit of saying “yes, but..” is to learn the habit of saying “yes, and…”
Trying to think this way may feel foreign to us, especially if we have ingrained negative thinking habits yet change is possible and the sooner we start, the sooner we’ll develop a new, fresh way of thinking – thinking that brings us life instead of death…