What do you do when negative thoughts like “I am not gifted in any particular way” or “there is nothing I can bring to the table” start to overwhelm you? They paralyze you. You want to move forward, but you feel stuck in the same place, with nothing other than a bucket of tears and dreams unfulfilled.
If you are a mom, occupied with the many affairs of the everyday life, with little to no time to yourself, you might even think dreaming isn’t for you. But what if I told you that we all have dreams and that we were placed in this world because we have something of value to give? What if you suddenly knew that your own set of talents and abilities make you a unique piece of the world’s puzzle? This planet is waiting for you to shine with what you are inside and out! But you still wonder if there is a way that you can believe this to be true, because right now, you just don’t see it.
I have an answer for you, and that is a loud YES, there is a way! You will be able to see it once you work on something I call a mindset shift. In the same way your GPS won’t know where to take you unless you input the address you are wishing to get to, your mind won’t know what message to send to the rest of your body -to get you moving towards your destiny- unless you tell your own mind what your destiny is.
There is scientific evidence that thoughts are not just abstract elements that cross our minds without any real, tangible repercussions. Thoughts actually CREATE reality. The reality of our lives, the story that we live in, are mostly part of what goes on in our heads.
Have you ever heard of the FEAR acronym?
So yeah. Some evidence might not be real, but our imagination makes it real. And fear is just one example to illustrate my point.
The signals our thoughts generate affect our entire body. These are signals that penetrate the membrane (outer layer) of all our body’s cells, reach the nucleus of the cells, and even change our DNA by interacting with chromosomes inside the cell. Signals like these are not to be taken lightly. Our thoughts, in this way, are literally creating a genetic expression, taking us through life, and transforming us.
This is the reason why if you feel stuck in the same situation over and over again, whether that is a poor work atmosphere, multiple failed businesses, or goals that have been abandoned one too many times- it is important to “think about what you think about”. Most of these situations can -and will be- dramatically changed by making sure your mind is thinking good thoughts.
“You are what you think about”
Have you ever heard of epigenetics?
“Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression (active versus inactive genes) that does not involve changes to the underlying DNA sequence — a change in phenotype without a change in genotype — which in turn affects how cells read the genes”.
We all know that we have a genetic code inherited from our parents. For years, we thought due to genes being passed on for generations, there was really nothing we could do to change what we got. We were born this way and were staying this way.
But recent studies have found that there are mechanisms that actually work above our inherited genetic code, and they can actually switch genes on and off or even override them completely.
Again, these findings suggest that there are both internal and external factors that will affect our genes. And since we have talked about the important role that thoughts have in our cells and DNA, now we find that our thoughts can actually make us BE what we think we are. In other words, we aren’t going to be any different from what we are right now until we decide to think about what we really want to become.
Think about the person you wish you were, and make it a reality in your thoughts, as though you already ARE that person. This is done by different exercises of repetition to train your mind, which we will discuss later on. Your subconscious mind will eventually accept this as a reality and will guide your own self to walk in the qualities and achievements that were once in your head: they will become real in your own life, like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The more you focus on something, the more you will think about that same thing
What do you spend most of your day doing? What do you listen to? In what places do you spend your time? What kind of interactions do you have on a daily basis?
Whether it is social media, certain relationships, or certain environments, every single one of these elements will play a role in filling up your mind with something. The more toxic the input is in your life, the more toxic your thoughts are going to become, whether you realize it or not.
Thoughts and feelings associated with our memories, which have been a recurring occurrence in our heads for years, have made strong neurological pathways inside our brains. They are like roots of an old tree, ingrained in our brains, and they won’t be easily shaken. They are signals that have been “hard-wired” into patterns, and it’s just the story we tell ourselves now, the reality that our eyes see and the voices we hear in our heads day after day after day.
Sounds like something that is here to stay, doesn’t it?
But brain scientists have found that our minds are actually changeable and malleable, attributes which they encompass in the term “neuroplasticity”. Over a period of time, our brains -the neurons inside- can abandon the old ways of thinking, the old pathways our feelings and thoughts have drawn, and detach from those roots that have been ingrained in our brains. There are ways we can start focusing on the new characteristics we want our reality to have, and change the way we feel, and we think about ourselves and our present and future circumstances. Again, there are exercises that will assist us in doing this more effectively, but there is something that warrants our attention first.
It is imperative to identify the sources of the negative talk and reduce or eliminate them completely out of your life. Where do we start?
The external factors I can control to keep a success mindset
This is a non-conclusive list, but it is a start to help you identify where different signals, toxic behaviors, or negative thoughts that you are experiencing are coming from.
Your social network:
-Think about your closest circle. If that is your spouse and kids, take note of how an interaction with them makes you feel. Is there a conversation needed to happen? A much needed apology? An issue that needs to be resolved? Relationships take work, especially those in our immediate family because we’re sticking together. If the feelings your spouse generates are too painful to bear, or if you know you are in an abusive relationship, reach out to a professional for help. You can find a list of free biblical counseling in your area here.
If you spend a lot of your time with a friend or a co-worker, think about how they make you feel, too. Again, sometimes it is impossible to get out of a relationship -work-related, in this case- but there are always conversations to be had and boundaries to be set, which are going to benefit both parties. Weigh in the good and the bad of the friendship. Is it a relationship worth keeping, or are you better off abandoning it completely?
-Food is coming from the outside, but it is definitely going in and affecting the inside in a big way, more than we may even realize. There are tons of books and articles on nutrition, and we won’t go into detail on that here, but know this: if you want a successful reality you want to fuel your insides with something that will be successfully integrated by your body.
-Fuel your brain with rich, natural brain food. Your body is natural not processed, so ditch the processed foods. After all, if you want to have your body enjoy the successful life you have pictured for yourself, then you will do whatever it takes to help your body be healthy. You only get one body in this life. Steward it well.
-It is not possible to avoid a 100% percent of the toxins we are exposed to daily, but we can limit some of the exposure. Again, the main point in this is to steward your health well so you can live to see your dreams come true. What are these toxins and what can I do to limit my exposure to them?
Join us in the post number 2 of this series, where we will learn about some of the strategies to switch from a toxic lifestyle (toxic environment, and toxic relationships) to a positive one. We will also dive in and learn what internal factors in our lives will affect our mindset, and study more ways to keep our spirit, body, and soul connection healthy and ready for vision casting.
Have you already started working on a mindset shift? What are some of the steps you are taking towards leading a positive life?
Hi, there! I am Denise Goodin, an introvert, *mostly quiet* girl, a wife and a mom x2. I have a little space on the Internet called The Essentially Driven Blog, which is created for imperfect moms to hang out. Imperfect moms need more grace. And when grace abounds, we flourish with just the essentials. That’s when we realize we don’t have to be perfect. We are no longer fear-driven. Together, we become Essentially Driven.