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  • Writer's pictureJen Stone-Sexton

What Are You Thinking? The Power of Your Thoughts to Transform Your Life

Your thoughts are powerful and determine how you experience life. Read the blog to discover Five Strategies to Transform Your Mind and Your Life.


{my graphics are inspirational gifts for you}


I awaken with the dawn, roll over and try to go back to sleep. But my mind gravitates to thoughts of worry and fear…like a vortex sucking me away from peace and the present moment. Feeling irritated and anxious, I toss the covers aside and get up. After pouring a cup of coffee and stepping outside to the sounds of nature, I become aware of how my thoughts are affecting my attitude. Right here. Right now. This day I don’t get back.


I am reminded anew just how powerful worry and fear can be. I am reminded again, that it is a daily decision and act of faith, to trust God. To believe in God’s goodness, provision, promises, and timing. These thoughts of worry rob me of joy, peace, rest and being present. They push me to seek control and a sense of security in order to feel in control - when I’m really not, and God is. My doing so is tantamount to grasping for the wind...and just as futile.


This includes thoughts rooted in human fear. Fear of what people think, the fear of being misunderstood, the fear of making a mistake or looking foolish, the fear of rejection, the fear of not being good enough...or ______ (fill in the blank) enough. Without exception, every single one of these fears are rooted in the focus of self. I struggle with them as well. If I want to live in freedom, then I have to pay attention to my thoughts and bring them in alignment with the truth.


Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NLT)

We are either being guided by the Spirit of God living in us or by our own human nature. We are either being influenced by the Word or the world. In every moment, the choice is ours. Exchanging your thoughts of fear for the truth of God’s Word, God’ promises, and God’s character is a practice.


Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. … You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you.

(Romans 8:5 & 8:9) (NKJV) Emphasis mine.


When we use our minds to worry, our creative energy to self-protect from something that hasn’t even happened and imagine undesirable outcomes, we are using the gift God gave us of our imagination in a destructive way. "Worry is a misuse of the imagination."

All too often, we hold ourselves back from new experiences, relationships, or pursuing a dream by imagining a negative outcome instead of a positive one. Science has proven that the subconscious mind cannot differentiate a negative from a positive. It takes in all those thoughts as fact and then goes to work to communicate those facts to the conscious mind. So you can literally bring about what you think about most in your life.


Our minds are very powerful and what we tend to focus on is the direction we will go.


If you are driving down the road and your focus is on looking ahead and staying between the lines, you will keep your vehicle in your lane. If however, you allow your focus to linger on something else for more than 1-3 seconds, you will begin to actually steer your vehicle in the direction you are looking. So it is with our thoughts.


You do have the power to control what you think about. While you don’t control what thoughts flow through your mind, like water in a stream, you do control whether you dwell on them or let them go.


According to the National Science Foundation, 95% of our thoughts are repetitive. The average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day and 80% of those thousands of thoughts are negative.


Neuroscience research and imaging shows that these negative and fearful thoughts played over-and-over in our minds form deep, black grooves. The more repetitive the negative, anxious, or fearful thoughts, the deeper the grooves go.


The good news is that the opposite is also true. The more positive, life-giving and truth filled thoughts we think, the whiter and lighter these grooves become. In-other-words, neuroscience supports the truth of the Bible. When we replace negative, fear-based thoughts with positive, truthful thoughts based on Scripture, we literally change the neuropathways of our brains.


Our brains are neuro-plastic, meaning they are created in such a way that we can literally change our lives by changing our thoughts. Thoughts that are learned can be un-learned and replaced. We can’t just stop thinking something. We have to replace any lies and the negative, fearful, thoughts with the truth.

{my graphics are inspirational gifts for you}


5 Strategies to Transform Your Mind and Life


1. Become Aware of Your Thoughts


Whenever you feel worried, anxious or fearful, retrace your mental steps and observe what you are thinking. What thoughts led to your feelings? Perhaps even to a very real visceral experience?


It is your thoughts that determine your feelings. If you are not aware of what you are thinking, then your feelings are usually an accurate barometer or litmus test of what thoughts you are thinking.


For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NKJV)


Battles are fought and won or lost in your mind. This is not a one-and-done. This is a thought-by-thought, moment-by-moment mental discipline rooted in the courage of being free and living empowered in the authority given to you through Christ Jesus. You have to take up the spiritual armor God has given to you and use it. (Ephesians 6:13-18)


2. Choose Your Thoughts - Replace Lies with the Truth


Once you identify the negative or fearful thought, then you can choose to exchange it for a positive and truthful one. You cannot get rid of negative, fearful or anxious thoughts simply by not thinking them. Just as there are very real physical laws, such as gravity and momentum, there are also spiritual laws. The Law of Replacement dictates that you can’t replaces something with nothing. You have to replace it with something else.


Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:8-9 (MSG)


You can exchange the fearful thoughts based on lies for the truth found in God’s Word. What is your signature lie? We all have one. And that lie usually sneaks up on us when we step out of our comfort zone. Identify your signature lie. What truth statement can you replace it with?


3. Bring Yourself Back to the Present Moment


More often than not, fearful thoughts are either re-playing a past event or projecting a negative outcome into the future. If you anchor your mind in the present moment, you can begin to gain control over the fear. Notice your surroundings. What you do see? Smell? Hear? Taste? Touch?


Slow your breathing. Breathe deeply and become fully present. Ask yourself, “where am I right now? “Is there something life-threatening actually going on in this present moment? Is my safety in jeopardy in this present moment?” Sometimes it helps to speak out loud what you see, hear, touch, smell or taste or narrate what you are doing. It helps to ground you in the moment. All too often we rob ourselves of peace and joy by simply not being present.


“For where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 (CJB)


4. Observe the Signals from Your Body


Observe the physical sensations you experience along with your thoughts. What is your body communicating to you?


God created your body to function in intricate, amazing ways for optimum health and wellbeing. Your body is not separate from you. Your body is not your enemy. It is beautifully, awesomely, and wonderfully made! Your body reflects the glory and beauty and creativity of God! When you see yourself holistically – body, spirit, and soul (comprised of your mind, will, and emotions) and pay attention to what your body is communicating, you can gain insight on how to nourish your body and give yourself self-compassion. (Psalm 139)


By giving yourself compassion (speaking with kindness and understanding to yourself instead of critical, harsh or judgmental) you can begin to change negative thought patterns and manage fear. (An excellent resource to learn this skill is the book Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff, Ph.D.)


5. Read God’s Word and Receive His Promises


For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7 9 (NKJV)


While this is the most important of the 5 Strategies, more often than not, we have to apply the first 4 before we are able to receive and believe God’s promises to us. A gift to support you in receiving and believing God's promises for yourself 10 Truths to Tell Yourself Everyday by The Joyful Life.

10 Truths to Tell Yourself Every Day
.pdf
Download PDF • 65KB

What steps can you take today to implement these five strategies into your life?


If this devotional blog encouraged you, would you share it with a friend?


Struggling to believe what God says about you? Effortlessly re-center yourself

on God’s opinion of you with Prayer Poems™ of Praise.

The world tells you all kinds of lies about yourself, and sometimes it’s nearly impossible to shut out. Ground your soul firmly on God’s comforting Truth with this set of 30 heart-felt prayers. Set them up in your home where they’ll catch your eye all day long or gift them to someone you love.


Insecurity, comparison and fear don’t belong in your heart or home. 👎 Let God speak to your heart – He’ll lead you to freedom and courage. ✨

"I just love these! How beautiful! These prayers are like food for my soul!" - Joy

Editor's Note:

This blog is by Freedom to Flourish Life Coaching Founder and Christian Life Coach, Jen Stone-Sexton. For additional support explore our on-demand Courses HERE. Jen has a few openings for new clients. You can learn more about working with Jen here.

Would you like more individual support with overcoming limiting mindsets and fear in your life?

I would love to come alongside you to help you realize the results you desire. To learn more, schedule HERE for a free 60-minute no-obligation Discovery Session.


Jennifer C. Stone-Sexton © 2023 Freedom to Flourish, LLC

All graphics created by Jennifer C. Stone-Sexton © 2023 Freedom to Flourish, LLC

All Rights Reserved.

 

Credits:


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references from the Holy Bible:


New Living Translation (NLT). Copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinoi 60188. All rights reserved.


The Message (MSG). Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission.

New King James Version ® (NKJV). Copyright © by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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