We tend to look outward for the ‘bad guys’ that are sabotaging our happiness, fulfillment and advancement in life. It is easier to cast the blame on others or on unfriendly circumstances. This may feel good at the time, but does little to move us towards God’s best for our lives.
Our greatest enemy is our mindset. A mindset that is encumbered by insecurity, fear, doubt, dread or defeat will sabotage every good effort that we are putting forth. On the other hand, when we have a mind that is empowered and reinforced by truth we are able to overcome any adverse circumstance that we face!
I am reminded of this every day. I can focus on the hand that has been dealt to me or I can choose to daily create the conditions for achievement by mastering my mindset. I am learning that this is the place where the greatest battles of life are either won or lost! It has not been an easy road, but I am making steady progress towards mastering my mindset.
Here are 7 ways to ensure that your mind is serving you rather than limiting you:
- Challenge Every Thought– We are accustomed to having our thoughts directed by the suggestions of others, our desires, the news or whatever is trending on social media at the time. 2 Cor. 10:5 says that “we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ”. Whenever a thought or pattern of thinking runs through our minds we have to ask if that thought is being obedient to Christ (i.e.- it is true) or disobedient to Christ(i.e.- it is not true).
- Restructure Your Worldview– Everything that comes at us from the world, the flesh and the devil is going to undermine a Biblical worldview- a worldview in which God is the centre, God is good and God’s plan ultimately prevails. Your view of the world either protects your sense of well-being or leaves you subject to the latest scare, threat or downturn.
- Reject Self-Pity– It has been determined that the greatest detriment to our emotional and mental wellness is when we choose to allow self-pity to dominate our thought life.* When we indulge in self-pity we are focuses on past injustices, and this always leads to a sense of defeat. When we look forward to a brighter future and take actionable steps in that direction there is a corresponding surge of confidence.
- Get Rid of Destructive Emotions– We can always choose we allow to spend our mental energies on. Are you feeding your mind with cancerous attitudes that need continual feeding? Eph. 4:31 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
- Beware of Your ‘Upper Limit Challenge’– Your upper limit challenge is a ceiling in your thinking that tells you that you do not deserve better, that you will never accomplish more and that you are not worthy of greater opportunities. This is simply a barrier that needs to be broken through so that you can enjoy the good gifts that God wants you to enjoy in life.
- Get Around Uplifting People– C.S. Lewis recognized how priceless it is to have people around you that you enjoy, that reinforce your God-given potential and help you to have a positive perspective on life. He said, “Friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life. If I had to give a piece of advice to a young man about where to live, I think I should say, ‘sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends’.”**
- Choose To Take Right Actions– If we wait until we feel like taking action in any area of our lives that benefits ourselves and others- we may be waiting a long time. Choose everyday to take actions that others are not willing to take. Make the tough phone call. Get off the couch. Build the friendship. Launch the initiative. Do not consult your emotions!
I would love to hear from you on this- what have you done that helps you to master your mindset?!
*This is the main premise of Tim Lahaye’s in ‘How To Beat Depression’
**The Selected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 2
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