Or that of all the thoughts a person thinks on any given day, 80% of them are negative?
So when we think about living our God-inspired dreams, what role does our thoughts play, especially when we are not actively engaging with our dreams and purpose?
What holds us back from living in the fullness of our dreams?
Is it is time or money? Is it the dream killers who have no problem telling us they think we are crazy for wanting to follow our dreams? Or is it is the full-time job, the kids, the spouse?
What is it that stops so many of us from taking the necessary steps towards changing our lives?
Perhaps time, money or people are the reasons why you are sitting on the sidelines of your dreams.
Or... maybe it is because of your mind, the thoughts you hold about yourself, your dream and your life.
Another interesting fact is that out of those 12,000-60,000 thoughts we have each day, 98% of them are the same ones we had the day before. So what we are doing is just simply replaying over and over again in our minds the same thoughts. Just think about it, I know since I have been up this morning I have already thought about some of the same things I thought about yesterday.
Our thought life is powerful. Everything begins in the mind. If you take a moment and look around where ever you are right now, nothing in your immediate area came into existence without it first being a thought. As I write this, I am sitting on the couch in my living room and everything in this room the tv, the coffee table, the pictures on the wall, the windows everything only came into existence after someone had the thought, the idea to create it.
The things we think about and the way in which we think about them directly impacts our behavior. What we think, we then do. Checking in on what we are thinking, what we are saying and what we are feeling is important because they all influence our actions. When it comes to pursuing your dreams, what you think and the behaviors you exhibit as a result of your thinking will determine the level in which you engage with your God-inspired dreams or if you engage at all.
Challenges Are Real
Now money, time, people, life experiences are all real challenges and obstacles that can get in the way of us making the changes to our lives we desire. But how we view them, the perspective we hold about the challenges is what makes the difference in the pursuit of our dreams.
Let's say that you know your purpose, you know what you were created to do and yet you do nothing about it. Perhaps it is money or time that is preventing you from moving forward. But then the question becomes how are you looking at the issues of time and money? What types of thoughts surround the way in which you see these barriers? Are you putting them in a framework that produces a mindset and a perspective based on limitations? Do your fears outpace your faith?
When we shift our perspective about any given challenge, we open the door for creative brainstorming to take place. We are then able to look at whatever we are up against with fresh eyes. We can look for creative solutions to help us address what was originally perceived as something that could take us off our paths. But we also must look at our thoughts and see if they are aligned with those of God, the one who gave us our dreams and purpose in the first place.
Check Your Thoughts
Our thoughts not only affect our dreams but also every area of our lives. The way we think and the things we think about impacts our financial, spiritual, relational, physical and mental wellbeing because each area is connected to the other.
The things we think about ourselves, people, money, and life in general, is a reflection of what we believe. For example, when we think of things like fear, doubt, or a lack of self-confidence; these are all directly tied to the thoughts we have in our minds about who we are. So for example, if you are plagued by insecurities about your body, then take a look at the thousands of thoughts that play over and over in your mind and see what types of words you are using. What are you saying to yourself whether silently or out loud that is shaping how you see yourself?
Here are some other ways negative thinking affects us:
Relationships- A constant negative outlook on yourself and life can cause relationships to suffer or end. People simply do not like being around other people who are negative all the time.
Physical Health- Negative thoughts impact our physical health. Stress is the way in which our minds and bodies react to toxicity. Stress affects blood pressure levels possibly leading to other health conditions such as strokes. Research has shown that many of the health conditions people experience are directly tied to their thoughts.
Mental Health- Negative thinking creates negative feelings such as unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, sadness, and anxiety.
Limits Our Blessings- Thoughts that are negative block good from entering our life. And even when wonderful things do happen, negative thinking prevents us from fully enjoying and appreciating those experiences.
Check Your Thoughts
Here are some ways to check what you think:
Pay attention. Become an observer of your thought life. Increase your awareness and listen to what you say to yourself and to others. Are the words you think and speak more positive or negative? Notice how you speak. What tone of voice are you using when you speak to others? Are you passing judgment on other people and yourself?
Ask questions. Ask yourself what is at the root of your thoughts? Are your thoughts aligned with those of God?
Write it down. In a journal for several days free write. Put all your thoughts out on the page without censoring them. Whatever comes to mind write it down. After several days, go back and read what you have written. Notice the choice of words you use, if you see any patterns in your writing that point to a negative thought life.
Challenge what you think. For all the reasons you come up with why you are not able to do something, replace it with a reason why you can. For example, you want to start living in your dreams but have not done anything to get started, take a blank sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side write all the reasons why you can not pursue your dreams. On the other side write a reason that counters each can't. This will help you begin to engage in creative brainstorming and start to shift your perspective.
Working on your thoughts is not easy but it is necessary especially if your thoughts are hindering you from moving forward in life. Whatever your God-inspired dream may be, there is someone who is waiting for you, they need whatever it is you were created to bring to the world.
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