What If You Could Change How You Think?
Did you know that you can change how you think?
Have you ever said, “Well, this is just who I am.”
I used to think that I had to be how I was. After a lot of research and through some trial and error, I’ve come to realize that in reality, I am what I think. And if I truly wanted to change, I had to change my thought life.
I Was Wonder Woman
Once upon a time, I thought I was Wonder Woman. I had the swimsuit and the Under-roo’s.
However, I had a few defining moments in my life, that I allowed to shape my future.
You see, I was overweight as a child and incredibly conscious of what I looked like.
One of the most poignant memories in my childhood occurred while I was riding my bike in my neighborhood. As I entered a cul-de-sac to experience that exhilarating centrifugal force that would propel me into my imaginary Themyscira (Wonder Woman’s homeland), I instead found myself chased by 3 boys and a dog yelling how fat I was. Actually it was the boys yelling at me, not the dog.
That summer I was bound and determined to lose weight. I lost 30 pounds. I felt good about myself after losing so much weight.
Upon entering 6th grade, a boy (who must have been possessed by the devil himself) called me “fatso.” I was wearing a size 6 pants at this point. I had succeeded in my goal of losing weight so I should have been able to shrug it off as the demonic voice that it surely was.
But I couldn’t.
I chose to believe that voice and considered myself a failure even though I knew I had succeeded. I let it get under my skin. Even worse, I let his words take root in my mind.
Even today, I still hear that heinous voice from time to time. It doesn’t just call me “fatso” anymore. It’s there to whisper to me during any moment of success, small or large.
Your not good enough.
This success won’t last.
You are a fraud.
I was deceived into believing that even if I thought I had achieved success, I really hadn’t. That voice set me up to think that I was destined to be overweight the rest of my life, destined to be a failure and a fraud.
That would have been true if I hadn’t made another choice.
Enter Vigilant Vernacular
I made a choice to change the way I talked and spoke to myself.
Christ tells us to take every thought captive. I use Vigilant Vernacular to lasso my thoughts.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. — Ephesians 4:29
Other synonyms that I like are Intentional Language, Purposeful Parlance, Watchful Wording, Sensible Speech, and Edifying Expression.
Vigilant vernacular is the script from which you speak that is supporting of yourself and others.
It is positive language.
Intentional Language edifies yourself and others.
It affirms and states what you choose to experience, be, do, create.
It doesn’t limit or short change others.
In short our speech both inside our brain and what flows from our mouths is:
- and edifying.
Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
How do you practice this Vigilant Vernacular?
You improve how you think.
Be aware of what you say after I AM. I know God thinks it is a pretty big deal in the Bible. After all, HE alone is called the I AM . . . so when I am stating something — I make certain to chose my words wisely after this statement.
Don’t say I AM __________ it if it’s not consistent with where you want to go.
What would it look like if you stopped dwelling on where you have been?
I used to say, “I am always late.” You know how I overcame this? My kids set all of the clocks in our house 10 minutes fast. I didn’t know this. The result was that we began to arrive on time to appointments, if not early. Then, we had a power failure and I reset the clocks. Guess what? We continued to be on time to appointments . . . You see, I got used to being on time and so now I continue to walk in this habit.
You Have A Choice
What if you began to choose your words carefully instead of carelessly? I think it could change your life, your home, your relationships, your walk with God, your marriage, your work, and even your relationship with your kids. We have a tendency to say,
- I should
- I can’t
- I need
- I must
- I shouldn’t . . . .
These phrases focuses on lack and you are setting yourself up as a victim. I don’t know about you, but being the victim isn’t a fun place to be and I’m done living there. I’ve tasted freedom and abundant life, and it has me craving more.
Change Old Thought Patterns
I always knew the scripture that says “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
But I’m not sure I really understood what this meant for me. It wasn’t until I became a real student of the brain, fueled by my passion for essential oils and all that they can do for the brain, that I really grasped this.
You see, the science confirms what has long been in scripture: Our thoughts and speech determine who we are. Recent scientific evidence confirms that the human brain has neuroplasticity, meaning it is malleable. Our brains are constantly creating new wiring and physical pathways. Whatever pathway in our brain doesn’t get used, gets bulldozed while you sleep.
The crazy thing is that — our thoughts actually drive these physical changes in our brain. Because when you think, you actually create physical grey matter in your brain.
What kind of gray matter do you want to build?
It blows my mind that we were created to literally renew our minds, just by changing the way we think and talk.
Dr. Caroline Leaf says it best in her groundbreaking book Switch on Your Brain,
Thoughts are real, physical things that occupy mental real estate. Moment by moment, every day, you are changing the structure of your brain through your thinking. When we hope, it is an activity of the mind that changes the structure of our brain in a positive and normal direction.
If you want to be better, you have to start thinking better.
If you want to change, you have to change the way you talk about yourself.
Learn to Reframe and Teach Your Kids to Reframe
I still have bad days where it is a constant battle to think and speak rightly — but the changes I’ve seen in my life have been huge.
For me, it began by replacing the dangerous “I am” statements I warned you about earlier with affirmative statements like….
- I choose to be full of Joy.
- I can lose weight and be healthy.
- I desire to be a good steward of my money.
- I choose to claim healing for my body.
You will see changes when you start to really think and talk like this.
However, you will need to surround yourself with people who think and talk in a similar manner. You may need to sever toxic relationships that don’t help you change your thinking. Even if you do — that you may find yourself slipping into old thought patterns. You may get off track and find yourself in the same rutted thinking you were once so familiar with.
Each day I take my thoughts captive. I work very consciously about using statements that say I choose, I can, I desire. Life isn’t just happening to me. I am co-partnerning with God to live the very best life to fulfill His purposes in me. I am not that 5th grader being chased in the neighborhood or the 6th grader who was crushed by a careless comment.
How do you get out of the rut of old thought patterns? Well, if you find yourself say something negative or limiting – reframe it. When you or your child makes a statement that isn’t taking you in the positive direction you want to go, isn’t truthful, or isn’t edifying, then stop what you are doing and rephrase it truthfully.
OLD: This is just the way I am. REFRAME: I am a new creation in Christ and honoring the Lord in what my next best step is.
OLD: I’m always late. REFRAME: I am going to set my clocks ahead and I will create the opportunity to be on time.
OLD: I’m not good at that. REFRAME: I don’t necessarily enjoy running. I am going to start walking 3 times a week to improve my chances at running in a 5K.
OLD: I need to be better at ______. REFRAME: I choose to memorize Bible verses about the fruits of the spirit so that I can encourage my family and stay calm.
Thoughts Are Powerful
This means that you have the ability to change as a result of mental activity. 75 – 98 % of mental, physical, and behavioral illness comes from ones thought life. Your thoughts literally turn genes on and off in your DNA.
Whatever you think about the most will grow.
There Is No Trying
Take the word try out of your vocabulary.
There is no trying, only doing.
Either you are doing it or you aren’t doing it so start speaking that way.
Some of you right now are thinking to yourself, “I’ll try and do better with the way I think and speak.” STOP IT!!!! Choose here and now to change your thought patterns by changing your speech.
There is no try.
Recognize that and own it. Because when you own your story, you avoid being trapped as a character in a story it feels like someone else is telling.
It may take you time to make all the changes you want to see in your life but begin speaking about yourself here and now as though you are changing, not trying to change.
Be The Change In Your Family
It is time to change the script in your head and what you say to yourself and others.
What you say out loud and silently leads you to what you are thinking inside of your head.
This then leads to what you are feeling inside and affects how you live your life.
Our lives are controlled by our feelings, which in turn, create our thoughts.
Everything we are today is the sum total of all the feelings we have had to this moment. If we wish our lives to be different in the future, it is necessary to change our emotions, which then changes our thinking in the present.
By so doing, we change the direction of our lives because…. You are what you think.
What Would Happen If You Changed Your Thoughts?
Would you rather listen to my story? Watch it below.
But if you REALLY want to create some NEW habits that will help your brain partner with you in changing, join me over at Oily Kids for a three week long opportunity where you will learn how changing my thoughts changed my family, and it all began with one little essential oil.