We’ve all heard the old adage, “You are what you eat”, and honestly, the phrase rings very true. When I fill my body with nasty, my body somehow (yelp!) feels nasty. When the stuff that’s supposed give me nutrients makes me sick, well, I should probably rethink my food choices.
Here’s what’s crazy.
Just like bad food makes me sick, bad thoughts – on repeat – begin to change how I see myself. Some of the most disciplined people I know, disciplined in their exercise, their diets, and their work, are the most undisciplined with their thoughts. They fill their minds with worry and negativity, and the more they capitalize on these thoughts, the more they become those fears.
We can’t control initial thoughts when they pop in our heads. But we can control if we allow those thoughts to control us. Learning to replace negative thoughts with positive ones is a practice that, over time, will help you believe the TRUTH about who you really are.
A sweet friend of mine first introduced me to the “hamster wheel” a few years ago. Basically, the idea is that we all have thoughts that just hang out in our heads, and they are running on a forever hamster wheel. It never gets us anywhere but stuck, especially when we just allow ourselves to keep thinking the same lies. It might be that you can’t move past your past. The thing is, we have the ability to stop – and remove – the hamster wheel from our heads so we can move forward into the wild plans God has for us.
If you read the Bible, you might be familiar with Phillipians 4:8. It says to think on things that are excellent – true, pure, admirable, honorable…and honestly, I would bet that a majority of our thoughts don’t fall into those categories. And our thoughts – the way we think about ourselves – often become our beliefs, even though those thoughts are absolutely not true.
Let’s say you really believe negative things about yourself already. We need to get you OFF THAT TRAIN! Let’s replace those thoughts with positive ones. Whether your thought life is young or years in the making, let’s change the negative stuff to better stuff.
So, here’s a practical way to start the new habit of REPLACEMENT THINKING.
1. Get a journal (I keep everything in journals – and writing down stuff is just another physical reminder you can refer to over and over).
2. Designate a page for your thought life (I even fold that page over so it is private in case anyone decides to nose through my journal).
3. Start by writing your most prevalent negative thoughts on the left hand side of the page in bullet format.
4. Then, on the right hand side, write a replacement thought. Something positive, pure, excellent and honorable.
5. Then, every time you think that negative thought, replace it with the positive one.
You might not believe the replacement thought at first. But changing your thought life is a discipline. The more I continue to practice replacement thinking, the more Jesus helps me see myself the way He sees me. If you have trouble figuring out how He sees you, check out this page for some scripture.
This same practice can be used for actions. We can replace old actions with new positive ones. Wanna quit eating sugar? Replace sugar with fruit.
We have the opportunity to live the BEST LIFE EVER. But my thought life can keep me from great experiences when I have fears and lies floating around in my head. Have you ever avoided going somewhere because of what someone might think?
Have you ever stayed lonely because you felt you weren’t good enough to ask someone to hang out?
Our worth isn’t determined by other people. Our worth is determined by the One who died to give us that worth. Believing those lies is like saying He didn’t do it. And He did. So we have worth.
Let’s begin believing the truth about who we are: His.
Guess what, friends? I recently wrote a book – and it’s available on Amazon & Barnes and Noble! The book is about the CHOICE we have to LIVE THIS BEST DAY EVER ADVENTURE! It is a 21 day challenge to make 21 choices to change. Join me. I dare you.