Truth: Real, genuine, authentic, sincere, and not deceitful. To hold honesty, integrity; to be in line with reality. Uncompromised belief, immovable standards
Truth is a hard place to start. In a world filled with so many voices; it’s nearly impossible to know what’s true anymore. How do we line ourselves up with reality when we’re not even sure what is “true” in the first place. Every source stands for something different and speaks their “truth” over us whether we like it or not. Moving standards and unreachable heights fester into the frustration of us not knowing what to do, how to do it, or why. From there, it’s easy to speak over our lives incapability, insecurity, indecisiveness, and blame.
One of the most detrimental things I myself do is play with negativity for too long. I internally decide that I dislike a characteristic about myself (or another person), and eventually, it’s all I can focus on. In different seasons I jump to the conclusion that I am stuck or in a place without meaning, to soon lose sight of the greater purpose within my process.
I want to propose that no matter what our previous beliefs and experiences say, we have the choice to find goodness in all situations by simply shifting the way we think. For as we speak positivity over ourselves, others, and the present moment- we have the ability to control our thought life and end up on top within other parts of our life too.
As we point out the flaws in our thought life and take intentional steps in renewing our minds, Jesus will meet us in providing new strength and changing our perspectives.
Break the Victim Mentality
The worst place we can place ourselves is in the position of a victim. For when we view ourselves as inferior to others, we give up the authority we have over ourselves to be victorious. If we constantly blame our “lower rank” on the decision or character of another person, we need a reality check. No one on the outside can define your value – except for you, and if you allow them to, it will only continue to produce instability within your own identity. If people in your life feel entitled to defining your worth, that is something they need to recognize in themselves. Those people may need to have less say in our lives, which again, is in your control.
So, when we take feelings of not being loved, cared for, or needed enough and place that responsibility on everyone but ourselves; we need a heart change; the thing is, you must change your mind before you can change your heart.
Claiming in your thought life that you have the ability to make decisions, and enforce obedience in your own life in a step into a victor’s mentality.
We aren’t fighting against people who make us feel crappy or needing to control how people view us. Instead, we internally need to view our own lives in a light that says “I am victorious. I am beautiful, worthy, cared for, loved, and capable of controlling my own thoughts, emotions, and reactions.”
It is always uncomfortable to break out of old thought patterns. If you’ve struggled with worrying about what other people think, it can feel incredibly unusual to let that go. But, it’s only going to get harder the longer you do it, so break out now! If you’re used to self-hatred, or perhaps the opposite-pride, it’s going to be uncomfy thinking humbly of yourself (“Not thinking less of yourself, but thinking about yourself less”), but totally worth it.
Whatever your game plan may be in order to shift your thoughts from negative to positive, and your position from pauper to prince/princess; it should be outside your comfort zone. New habits feel weird, but choosing to press into the discomfort of change will be so worth it in the long run.
Investigate the Root
Why is it that you think the way you do? Is your habit caused by a past relationship, experience, or habit that’s stuck with you for too long? The deeper we can get in digging up negativity in our lives, the more understanding we can have of ourselves, causing proactivity towards the future.
God can so clearly reveal to us where the roots are. Spend time in prayer seeking God in why you view particular situations or people in a certain way. Then, seek out what He thinks, and commit to taking that view until it becomes more real to you.
Sit down and seek out even one thought you have throughout the day that isn’t helping you or others. Start right there by altering it in a way that is beneficial. Focus on that small piece and don’t allow room for compromise. It could be telling yourself you are beautifully and wonderfully made the second you begin to self-hate. Perhaps it’s claiming tasks that you once saw as “difficult” as still difficult, but following it with saying you’re capable of that take. In work that you view as pointless, declare it as valuable in your mind.
If self-control towards your thoughts is too great of a task, don’t be discouraged. Make the change in something smaller. It could be committing to 30 minutes less of social media a day, reading a good book before bed, cooking one meal for yourself daily, or sending an encouraging message to a friend every week. These are all choices we get to make that are tangible! The process of realizing your ability to make these will help you step into breaking bigger habits, such as negative thought life.
Keep Goals Simple
We don’t need to stand in the mirror for an hour and recite an essay about how great we are. It’s not necessary to listen to five encouraging podcasts a day or remove every person from our lives who tend to be negative. Make realistic boundaries that are simple. It truly is the small, consistent, care-filled (and realistic) things we practice in our day to day life that shows stable progress over time.
I have recently enjoyed setting three “escape thoughts/prayers” that I can recite in times of mental drowning. They claim what the fear/worry/negative emotion that repeatedly clouds my mind, and then state a counter clause which fights for positivity. For example, if I’m in a season of uncertainty regarding my next step I may speak over myself: “Yes, I am unsure what’s next; but I will know when the right time comes. It will be marvelous, exciting, just for me, and worth the wait.”
At the end of the day, it’s astonishing to be free from the bondage negative thoughts create: and you are worth that freedom. Even if you’re starting small and keeping it simple, this is a valuable practice to implement in your life. Plus, with time, it will become more and more natural.
No matter how weak you feel, you still have the power to change your mind and in return to change your life. If you are seeking that life change, I just want you to know that you are worth it.
Philippians 4:8 says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (NIV)”