On average, according to the National Science Foundation, the human brain processes between 12,000-60,000 thoughts per day. And of those thoughts, an entire 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts cycled over from the day prior. I mean can you imagine functioning a whole entire day with barely an ounce of motivation? Well chances are if you are like many, you probably have. And worse, you haven’t even noticed.
Just think about. When you wake up in the morning what is the first thing you tell yourself? Is it filled with any positivity? Do you have any affirmations or goals that you set for yourself? Or do you look at the time, and groan as you think to yourself, “oh great, yet another day.”
Believe me I was there time and time again. Everyday seemed like a complete and utter drag. Same school, same faces, same routine, same boring life.
The sad and unfortunate truth is that from an early age we are programmed to think and behave a certain away. Look at a baby for example. So innocent and full of joy. Ever wonder how a child filled with so much light can grow up to become so bitter and full of hate?
“Oh that’s easy, life. It’s life that got to them.”
Is it really? Is it really “life” that has gotten to that child? Or was it the people that were around? What about mom and dad who didn’t pay much attention? What about the teacher who made that child feel limited? What about the friends who made everything seem impossible? What about the church that made the child feel evil and sinful?
People are so quick to blame “life” instead of blaming the influences. Life gives you as much as you pour into it. You cannot live a satisfying life as you continue to speak negativity into existence. You cannot find encouragement in conversations that cycle through complaints about “what is wrong”, “could be better” or “never right”.
This way of thinking contaminates relationships with others, and most definitely with ourselves. There just is something unnatural about always finding a fault in everything you or someone else does.
But what produces negative thinking?
To keep things brief and simple, I am going to narrow this down into two prime factors. First starting with fear.
Fear, by definition, is an unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined. Fear is what prevents us from living life to its absolute. It is cancerous as it sets your mental state into a frenzy of denial. Suddenly everything becomes unapproachable and unattainable. Life appears to be scary and intimidating and before you know it, you waste your days, months and even years standing behind the many what if’s.
The greatest culprit accompanying fear is lack of communal support. There is nothing worse than being surrounded by people on the same level of thought as you. Hanging around those with the same mindset is bound to keep you from achieving any elevation and growth for sure. I mean how do you expect to evolve in life when you are surrounded by dead weight all the time?
Okay so how do I break free from this vicious cycle?
Truthfully so many people complain about having a bad life and wanting better, yet they never seem to want to put in the effort to make it happen. The obvious becomes “too cliche” to bear. But how else do you expect to find peace?
Well let me tell you. The process is not easy but contrary to popular belief, it is definitely possible.
And before you start rolling your eyes thinking the worst, no I am not going to give you generic, false positivity advice. Quite frankly, it didn’t work for me and I could only imagine how it could possibly help anyone.
I will not tell you to “fake it till you make it” because how can you practice what you do not believe? How can you embody peace and contentment when you don’t even know what it looks like?
Instead I am going to shift your attention to something bigger than yourself:
“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?” (Luke 12:25-26)
If we remember the definition of fear, it is the worry of both real and imaginable. In both cases, you are essentially fearing something that has not even happened. When you live in fear, you live in limitations. You are too busy reminding yourself of the things that you can never do which leaves you stuck in a rut of unhappiness. Just think about it, here you are entangled with the million self limiting thoughts roaming around in your head reminding you why you can never do something. No proof, no evidence, just opinions based on insecurity passed around to keep you chained down.
When you begin to understand how deep God’s love is, you will become amazed by how much He can do for you.
Every single thought that renders you powerless, every person or situation that has left you feeling hopeless, that can all be made undone. So many times we have goals or ideas but due to the lack of support around, we miss out on the opportunity to become big. Unlike people who’s love depends on how much we can do for them, God’s love never runs out. He will never leave you astray or tell you that you can’t achieve something (unless of course it’s not meant for you to have in the first place). He loves you and sees that your value is worth more than what any individual has to say about it. Who needs an opinion or other person’s validation when you already have Him rooting for you in your corner? He is present everywhere you are, and that is enough motivation to keep going on in the day.
Just remember when your “I can’t” outweighs your “I can” there will never be anything promising that follows. It is when you start to say “I can and I will because I have God right here beside me” that you will see every door open.
Start to take delight in the small beginnings. You can never get to where you want to be until you start putting in the action. Everyone talks but not everyone moves. Personally I think the best way to start with anything is to incorporate disciplinary routines into your everyday.
Read a book. Go for a run. Join a gym. Write in a journal. Take an art painting class. Do something! Set a time and make this a go-to practice. Don’t treat it like an errand but rather as a hobby that you really enjoy! When you start to commit yourself, you begin to feel more driven. Trust me when I tell you, you will feel to some degree a level of self accomplishment which will push you to do more of things that you desire. Stop running on the one thousand and one excuses and just put yourself out there! Do not fear the unknown but embrace the unexpected, and take charge in what is to come.