Picture this. You’re in line at the grocery store and you overhear this conversation between the two women in front of you. (Just for fun, let’s call them Lisa and Pat):
Lisa: “I’m stocking up on healthy food because I’m starting a Fitness and Nutrition Challenge tomorrow. I’ve decided to get serious about eating healthy so I can lose the extra 20 pounds I’ve been carrying around since my child was born.”
Pat: “There’s no way you’ll be able to do that on your own. That goal is too big. I don’t think you have it in you. If you haven’t lost the weight by now, it’s just not going to happen. You may as well not even try. You should quit now and save yourself the trouble of failing later.”
You’d be appalled, right? Who is this person to be able to talk to Lisa this way? How dare she tell her she’s not capable of achieving her goal!
Yet, we all talk this way from time to time…TO OURSELVES! We tell ourselves that we will never be able to get our pre-pregnancy body, energy, or identity back. We’ll never be able to lose the weight, reach our goals, and be the person we want to become. We tell ourselves we will always be (insert LABEL here).
Those uncontrolled negative thoughts are what hold us captive from “just getting started” and taking that first and most important step to achieving our goals.
When we doubt ourselves and think negative thoughts, we put ourselves at an immediate disadvantage and limit what we can accomplish. We can only achieve what we truly believe we can achieve.
“Power Thoughts” by Joyce Meyer Ministries made a profound impact on how I began to view myself and my daily situations. It helped me realize that we become what we think and the way we talk to ourselves is one of the most important things in our lives because we can never get beyond what we think!
“For as he thinks in his heart so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
The key to overcoming negative thoughts is to start thinking “power thoughts.”
You can’t live a productive life by thinking unproductive thoughts. You can’t have a positive life and a negative mind. When we talk down to ourselves, our emotions and our actions follow. When we allow other people or circumstances to dictate our mindset, when we constantly compare ourselves to others, and when we focus on what we don’t have we become “Negative Nellys” who are always complaining and in a bad mood.
“In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of people who are crooked and stubborn. Shine out among them…”(Phil 2:14-15 TLB)
For a long time this verse was the lock screen on my phone. I’d complain that my husband got home late from his job instead of appreciating how hard he worked so that I could be home with my children. I’d complain about how difficult my day was with an infant who wouldn’t sleep and toddler tantrums instead of being grateful for having three healthy children that are the joy of my life. When we adopt an attitude of gratitude and focus on our blessings we leave no room for negative thoughts. When we focus on the possibilities instead of our problems, new doors of opportunity open up. When we make a conscious effort to shift our focus from negative words to God’s Word we can reframe our mindset and “shine out among them.”
How could our daily life be different if we made the conscious choice to take control of our mood and re-frame our mindset by thinking positively? How can we replace negative thoughts with God’s Word? When we start feeling down on ourselves, we need to LOOK UP and keep our eyes fixed on HIM!
REPLACE: I’ll never reach my goals.
POWER THOUGHT: I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Phil 4:13
REPLACE: I am not strong enough or do not have enough energy to follow through with my plan.
POWER THOUGHT: My hope in the Lord will renew my strength. I will soar on wings like eagles. I will run and not grow weary. I will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
REPLACE: I don’t have enough self-disciple to resist the temptations distracting me from my goals.
POWER THOUGHT: For the spirit God gave me does not make me timid, but gives me power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
REPLACE: I am going to fail – again.
POWER THOUGHT: The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though I may stumble, I will not fall, for the Lord upholds me with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24
REPLACE: I am not worth it OR I’m too busy taking care of others to take care of myself.
POWER THOUGHT: For God so loved the world that he gave us his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
An object’s value is determined by who it belongs to and what someone is willing to pay for it. You belong to God and Jesus paid his LIFE for you! Serving others is important, but you also have to take care of YOU!
Thinking power thoughts gives us a fresh perspective. It changes our outlook on life, prepares us for positive action, and spurs growth. When you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to do the same.
What does thinking power thoughts look like for you? How do you focus your thoughts and actions on things that are good and deserving of praise? Things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable (Phil 4:8-9)? There’s no doubt that in the midst of our trials this is incredibly difficult to do. But, God does not allow anything in our life that is too much for us to bear. He might let us bend, but He won’t let us break. When we rely on Him, He gives us the strength to persevere and will allow us to discover our true purpose.
“It’s only when you’re tested that you truly discover who you are. And it’s only when you’re tested that you discover who you can be. The person you want to be does exist, somewhere on the other side of hard work, belief, and faith and beyond the heartache and fear of what lies ahead.” – Unknown
CALL TO ACTION #1 (Comment below): How can you “shine out” in a world full of negativity and reframe your mindset to prepare yourself for healthy, positive action? How will you replace negative thoughts with “power thoughts” that will propel you forward towards reaching your goals? It could be something as simple as surrounding yourself with others who lift you up and encourage you, posting an inspirational quote or Bible verse in a visible location, filtering the information that enters your mind on a daily basis (TV, music, people), or celebrating each step along the way in your journey to reach your goals. Please share!
For more info on how to align your thoughts with God’s word, check out Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer at www.mypowerthoughts.com