A mind is a powerful tool, yet it is also the most destructive if not used properly. Proverbs 23: 7 is a reminder that what we think about will eventually come out in our actions. If we desire abundant living, we have to be careful of what we allow to guide our thoughts. As coaches, we believe if people can change their perception of life, they can be successful at almost anything. Most of the time, we fail because of the lies we tell ourselves about our abilities. Here are 5 things we can do to think more positively and change our perception of ourselves and of life:
Engage in positive self-talk–it is necessary to tap into our “inner conversation” daily. Create a set of positive “I Am” statements you can identify with and repeat them throughout the day like a prayer. That positive voice in your head is your reminder that life is not done with you yet. There is so much you have yet to contribute to the world. Negative thoughts will keep us from seeing the bigger picture. It makes us focus on our failures and setbacks. Negative thoughts don’t allow us to grow and feel passionate about life. Our “inner conversation” is that trusted friend reminding us to look at the bright side of life. Positive self-talk never says “I can’t,” it says I can do all things through Christ who provides me with the strength to overcome all obstacles.
Guard your circle of friends–show me a negative person and chances are they hang out with people like-minded; show me a positive individual and it is likely they have positive people surrounding them. Sometimes people guilt us into believing we have to be friends with everybody, even when they rob us of our joy. If you want to have positive thoughts every day, pay close attention to your circle of friends. If the people you have in your life are not adding value to your life, it may be time for an upgrade of your friends. Never feel guilty leaving dead weight behind because if you don’t, it will eventually kill you. Keep people close to you who, when you give them your energy, whether thoughts or actions, you will get a return when you are in need. Your friends are usually a mirror of who are on most levels “show me your friends and I will show you who you are”. Choose your friends wisely.
Laughter is still good medicine–don’t get into the habit of taking yourself too seriously. With all the bad things happening in the world, we still have reason to smile and laugh. If you can’t find anything to laugh or smile about, laugh at yourself. Laughter keeps the heart pumping and your blood pressure calm, which affects how the mind works. With the several challenges we face daily, laughter is still the best medicine for us to get through them. Find something to laugh or smile about every day and see how much our perception of the will change. Life is hard, but we don’t have to drown in the sea of negativity, smile often and laugh intentionally, and shape the destiny we desire.
Giving thanks affects the mind–Paul tells us in Philippians 4: 6 in everything we ought to give thanks. Thanksgiving is a key component of positive thinking. Even when life is at its worst, there are things we can find to give God thanks for. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way. One challenge we can give ourselves is to write things we are thankful for each morning we wake up. When we focus on gratitude, it leads us to contentment, which is not driven by our circumstances. I am sure we know someone whose circumstances are not the best, but they have an attitude of gratitude and their outlook on life remains positive. Giving thanks is a habit that can add years to our lives. Give thanks for the smallest things and continue to work your way up to giving thanks for great things.
Positive thinking works wonders. You will never regret doing what it takes to alter your perception of life and your circumstances. The next time a negative thought crosses your mind, just remember you have the power to choose what to believe and how to act. Choose to think positive. Engage in positive self-talk, guard your circle of friends, laugh a little, and give thanks for everything. Love life and live.