It has been said often that how you think will determine how you feel and how you feel will determine your attitude. Admittedly, yesterday was one of those days when I allowed negative thinking to bombard my mind so much so that it started to affect my mood and eventually started to affect my attitude. When I woke up yesterday morning, without warning, negative thinking greeted me with a kiss. My mind went from one thing to another thinking about the not so perfect moments of my life. I began to think about how my life was far from how I wanted it to be and immediately I became filled with frustration. In all honesty I spent the majority of my day in frustration and feeling sorry for myself. I was unmotivated. I was uninspired. And for just a moment I started to believe the lies that tried to control my mind. You know, the lie that “You will always be where you are” or the lie “You’re not good enough”. Or what about this one “God doesn’t love you, because if He did you wouldn’t be where you are right now”.
Do these lies sound familiar?
As I found myself in a war between what was going on in my mind and what I really believed I, without even realizing it, did what I learned years ago in college was the safest thing to do in moments of doubt and insecurity. I picked up the mask again. I hid behind the mask to prove to myself that I was strong. I hid behind the mask to hide my weakness. I hid behind the mask to prove to my husband, my mom, and those around me that I was a “strong” Christian even though at the moment I felt far from a “strong” Christian. What does a strong Christian even look like anyways? I have no idea but I know that that’s what I wanted to be seen as. Negative thinking had caused me to go back to living life behind the mask, even if it was just for a moment. I started to remember how I felt those moments in college when I picked up the mask and began to compare it to how I felt on yesterday. I began to notice a trend. I begin to see that a lot of the times what caused me to pick up the mask in college was the exact same thing that was making me feel like I had to pick up the mask years later. Negative Thinking.
Every single time I picked up the mask in college was because I chose to submit to negative thinking. I chose to believe that I wasn’t good enough so I hid behind “Little Ms. Perfect”. I chose to believe that no one would understand what I was going through so I hid behind the mask of “Everything’s o.k.”. Negative thinking made me believe that the mask was the safest place when in actuality it was created to keep me in bondage. It was created so that I would never see the true beauty in just being authentically me. It was created to keep me in a box. It was created so that God could never get the glory out of my life. As long as we pretend, God can never truly reveal to us who He is. It’s often in those moments of doubt, insecurity, and despair that God uncovers another part of Himself. It’s not until we gain the courage to take off the mask and overcome negative thinking that God can use our lives to make an impact.
There are three major things that we all can do to overcome negative thinking:
1. Find out what’s causing our negative thinking and allow God to heal that area of our lives.
As I look back on those moments in college I realize that it was insecurity and low self esteem that was causing my negative thinking. I had to allow God to heal and deliver me from low self esteem first before I could ever begin to think positively. What’s causing your negative thinking? Is it insecurity? Is it fear? Is it abandonment? Is it failure? Is it rejection? Whatever it is give it to the Lord and allow Him to heal that area of your life.
2. Replace the negative thought with the word of God
This one has helped me out tremendously! Every single time the enemy tries to whisper lies to me I immediately respond with the word of God. When he tells me that I can’t I immediately respond with “I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Every time he tells me that I’m a nobody I immediately respond with “I am a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9). When negative thinking tries to bombard your mind stand on GOD’S TRUTH! You are who He says you are.
3. Focus on the positive
One thing that I’ve noticed in my own life is that the more I focus on the positive, the less time I have to focus on the negative. When we choose to focus on the positive it gives us unspeakable, unexplained joy, and ultimately allows us to glorify God in the way that we should. When we’re constantly allowing ourselves to submit to negative thinking it becomes nearly impossible to glorify, and reverence the Lord for who He truly is. Focusing on the positive allows us to see the Lord in all of His majesty. As our King, as our savior, as our peace, as our provider, as our healer, as our deliverer. Choosing to focus on the positive enables us to have the mind of Christ.
I pray that this encouraged you and most importantly that after reading you gained the courage to take off the mask and overcome negative thinking.
Did this help you in any way? How do you overcome negative thinking? Comment below to let me know
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