Nothing lives in your head rent-free! Your thought life is either enriching or debilitating.
Want to know how to keep your thoughts in growth mode?
How are those resolutions you made for 2022 going?
One of the keys to keeping those goals and increasing positive change in your personal life is managing your self-talk based on what thoughts you allow to take up valuable real estate in your mind.
Here are some fascinating statistics from a study done in 2020.
According to this insightful study, humans average around 6,200 thoughts a day, and they tend to be on the negative side for most of us. No wonder you and I seem to be in a constant state of dealing with damaging “thought worms!”[i]
I love the way Tommy Newberry puts it in his book, The 4:8 Principle.
“The secret conversations you hold in the privacy of your own mind are shaping your destiny, little by little. With every thought that races through your mind, you are continually reinventing yourself and your future. This is either good or bad news because every thought moves you either toward your God-given potential or away from it. No thoughts are neutral.” [ii]
You and you alone have the power to change your thoughts, alter the path you are currently on, and delete or reduce your limitations. Understanding this secret power can dynamically impact your future and boost your motivation.
Do you ever hit a mental replay button when you make a mistake or take a wrong step? Sometimes over and over? Below, I’m going to share some proven tips you can use to turn those thoughts around and get your mind going in the right direction.
Here is an important truth: nobody else will do this for us. Of course you can choose to change your thoughts and change your life. But you can also choose to stay stuck, and if you make that choice, don’t be surprised at the outcomes.
Let’s pretend for a second that you have to grade your current ability to manage your thoughts and move in a positive, edifying direction. How would you grade yourself? For those of us who score a “Needs Improvement,” there are four simple, practical things we can do to boost self-esteem, increase confidence, and bolster our faith. If you want to see a significant shift in old habits, change your thoughts and change your life, give these tools a try.
Tip # 1 – Supervise your self-talk. Right now, whether you realize it or not, you are having a running conversation with yourself. Here is the question: Is it a productive conversation or an energy-stealing one? If the discussion is positive and hope-filled, you create and sustain a favorable view of yourself. If you are negative, you undermine your self-worth. You diminish the fact that God says you are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
In their book The Answer, businessmen-authors John Assaraf and Murray Smith talk about the negative messages children receive growing up. They write,
“By the time you’re 17 years old, you’ve heard ‘No, you can’t’ an average of 150,000 times. You’ve listened to ‘Yes, you can’ 5,000 times. That’s 30 no’s for every yes, creating a powerful belief of ‘I can’t, so why even try.’”[iii]
Wow! That is a lot to overcome. But, if we want to change our lives, we need to change the way we think about ourselves.
It would be best if you learned to become your encourager, your cheerleader. Every time you do a good job, don’t just let it pass; compliment yourself. Every time you choose discipline over indulgence, recognize how much you are helping yourself. When you make a mistake, don’t bring up everything wrong with yourself; tell yourself that you are paying the price for growth and learn to do better next time. Every positive thing you can say to yourself will help.
Tip # 2 Stop comparing yourself to others. Brené Brown puts it this way, “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.”[iv]
Comparing yourself to others is a needless time- and energy-sucking experience that only makes you feel bad. Instead, your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday. You do that by focusing on what you can do today to improve and grow. Do that enough, and when you look back and compare the you of weeks, months, or years ago to the you of today, you should be greatly encouraged by your progress.
Tip#3 – Stretch your limiting beliefs. Some of you might be saying something like, “When it comes to believing in myself, I am an agnostic.” I know. I’ve been down that path a few times.
Sadly, too many people think this way about themselves. As a result, they fail to believe they can accomplish great things. But the most significant limitations people experience are the ones they impose on themselves.
“Remember: We all get what we tolerate. So stop tolerating excuses within yourself, limiting beliefs of the past, or half-assed or fearful states.” ―Tony Robbins.
For Christ followers, there is the promise of Philippians 4:13, “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (NLT)
Tip # 4 – Build up others. People with low self-esteem often see themselves as inadequate or feel like victims (which usually starts because they have been victimized in their past), and they over-focus on themselves. As a result, they can become self-protective and selfish because they feel they have to survive.
If this sounds a little close to home, one of the best ways you can combat those feelings is by serving others and working on adding value to their lives. Making a difference, even a small one, in the lives of others lifts one’s self-esteem. It is hard to feel bad about yourself when you’re doing something for someone else. Also, adding value to others causes them to value you more. It creates a cycle of positive feelings from one person to another.
Hoping you will choose to have a Great Day! Looking forward to hearing from you and how you are learning to change your thoughts and change your life.
[i] Anne Craig, 7/13/2020 https://www.queensu.ca/gazette/stories/discovery-thought-worms-opens-window-mind.
[ii] Tommy Newberry, The 4:8 Principle: The Secret to a Joy-Filled Life, Nashville: Tyndale House Publishing, 2007, p 11.
[iii] Assaraf, John and Smith Murray (2008). The Answer (Kindle version) p 50. Retrieved from Amazon.com, February 2020.
[iv] Brené Brown https://everydaypower.com/brene-brown-quotes/. Accessed December 2021.