Welcome to the fifth habit in the #GiveMe30HabitProject!!
See this post for all the details and backstory!
This month’s habit is on thoughts!
Specifically, to focus on taking every thought captive and making sure that the words you speak are those of life and truth.
Why is this so important? Several reasons:
1. The person that you talk to the most often is you! Those words have influence over what you beleive about yourself. For better or for worse, you slowly become what you tell yourself you are, which like a rudder, sets you on a course in life.
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” -William James
2. Our thoughts become words, our words become actions, our actions become habits, and our habits become who we are. With that in mind, we must guard our minds more than anything.
3. God tells us in scripture to do this and it is clear about how powerful words are!
“Brothers and sisters, think about [focus your thoughts on; fill your minds with] things that are true and honorable and right [just] and pure and beautiful [lovely] and respected [commendable]. If there is anything that is good [morally excellent] and worthy of praise, think about [focus your thoughts on; fill your minds with] these things.” Philippians 4:8
“…we tear down every proud idea that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We also capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
“The tongue has the power of life and death.” Proverbs 18:21
Think about how you talk to yourself. What are the things that you say? Are they true? Are they kind? Are they edifying? Would you let someone else talk to you that way?
No seriously… How about what you say about yourself:
- When you stand in front of the mirror?
- When you make a mistake at work?
- When you forget something important?
- When you snap at someone you love?
- When you don’t meet an expectation?
- When you know you have to do something that challenges you?
Contrast that with how we are intended to speak about ourselves and others.
“God gives us guidelines for how to powerfully use declarations. Always declare in the positive, I am strong and courageous.” -Cathy Morenzie
- Be clear and specific (James 1:6)
- Believe (Matthew 17:20)
- Say them out aloud (Psalm 119:13)
- Say them consistently; memorize them (Psalm 119:9, 11)
- Don’t beg or ask, but boldly declare (Proverbs 28:1)
Now that you have an idea of what the habit looks in practice and the benefits of practicing it, it’s your turn!
For the next 30 days:
- Every time you find yourself thinking or speaking something negative, regardless of whether it is technically true, I want you to capture it, rewind and then speak the opposite.
- Practical Tips: Even when you think a negative thought, work on catching yourself and then speaking *out loud* the opposite positive statement. The truth is that when you tell yourself these things, even if they aren’t true yet, you will start to embody the qualities desired. What would someone else’s response be if they heard you say these things? Would they agree or say something different that is more kind and loving?
- Make note of the most common situations which are likely to trigger you to think or say something negative about yourself.
- Practical Tips: Can you identify why these thoughts come up? For example, do you feel insecure about a specific issue, or are you thinking something that you have been told previously? Search God’s word for encouragement and truth that you can begin to repeat in your mind and out loud when the circumstances come up. Write them out and carry them with you if need be so you can speak them over yourself when needed.
- Make a note of some of the harmful thoughts that come up repeatedly.
- Practical Tips: Try to identify the root of their source and what narrative you play out that keeps you believing the thoughts. Search for an alternative meaning behind the event that triggered the story you keep playing so that you can rewrite it. For example… Current narrative: My parents were hard on me because they didn’t trust me; current thought story: “I can’t trust myself.” Search for alternative meaning behind the narrative so that you can tell yourself the truth. New narrative: Perhaps they were hard on me because they cared so much about me and loved me, but they didn’t know a better way to show it. New true thought story: I should love myself.”
- Make a mental note of how the re-writing of your dialog actually changes how you think and feel about yourself after you try it a few times.
- Practical tips: Call these benefits to mind whenever you don’t feel like following through on your habit.
🚨Don’t forget to share this project with others! You can share the link to this blog post as a status/post on Facebook. Feel free to save and use the image from this post, or use the ones I’ll have on my Instagram page. Whatever other means you have to get more involvement will make this more fruitful! Tweet, email, pin, etc.
Also, I encourage you to keep track of your journey and use the hashtag #GiveMe30HabitProject on social media. Please tag me in your habit progress and insights! I’ll also be glad to troubleshoot sticking points. I’m Kaci M Byrd Cheeseman on Facebook and @CheeseGirlPA on Instagram.
If you want to check in daily for accountability, you can post either a photo and/or status and use #GiveMe30HabitProject #Day1, #GiveMe30HabitProject #Day2, so on and so forth. I’d love to see how it goes and repost—only if you give me permission, of course! I’ll be searching the hashtag to see who is joining in.
Remember: What is it you want to achieve? Who do you want to become? How do you want to serve others? You may not know how to get there, or even how to get started. I just ask that you trust me and help spread the message to others so they can become involved. Keep showing up, and together we will get you there, one 30 day habit at a time!
Are you ready? Let’s get growing!!
P.S. If you are interested in working on a specific habit and need someone to help you troubleshoot, keep you motivated, and hold you accountable, I offer coaching a variety of ways, which you can learn more about here. My specialty is habit change and my approach is to work on mindset alongside the habit, so that it is healthy and sustainable. Whether it involves your health, finances, nutrition, exercise, relationships, or personal growth, habits are the key to success. We are the outcome of what we repeatedly do. Without addressing that, there can be no change. Learn more here!
1/ Do you struggle with thinking or saying negative things about yourself?
2/ Do you recognize when others do it and how limiting it can be?