If you leave me alone with the “What if?” question, I can literally set up the absolute worst case scenario for the entire rest of my life in about 5 minutes. As you may already know, over a year ago, I got a scary chronic diagnosis. (https://goletgo.org/2019/10/10/crushed/) People from every corner of my life came together to help me pay for and take care of my family so I could travel to the only clinic in the United States that has a history of putting this condition into remission. It was nothing short of a miracle just to be able to receive treatment from this clinic, but I was so caught up in thinking “What if?” that I was a mess. In my second week there, one of the neurologists brought me an actual scan of my nervous system that told me this part of my imagination was keeping me from making physical progress.
For the first time, I realized that my own thoughts were destroying my physical health.
It’s not hard for me to believe the statistics that the average human has 80,000 thoughts a day, or even that 80% of those thoughts are negative. In fact, I may actually be one of those “above average” humans who actually has a few more than that some days. The last couple of years have shown me the truth of some other statistics, though. Most of us aren’t even aware of 90% of our thoughts. 70% of those thoughts are on repeat from yesterday. I’ve learned the hard way that all of those thoughts, noticed or unnoticed are creating a lens that impacts the way I see my world, my relationships, my abilities, and my situation. The way I process the things I’m doing today hinges on the story I’ve been telling myself for my whole life. I don’t know about you, but I do NOT want to stay stuck in that story.
Unnoticed thoughts darting around my mind are impacting every corner of my life!
If you know me, you know I have plans, lists, and strategies for almost every part of my life. Having a strategy to handle 80,000 thoughts a day was not on my radar. The noise and pace of life has a way of distracting us from one of the most important things we can do for ourselves…noticing our thoughts. I don’t think the writer was wrong when he stated, “As someone thinks within himself, so he is.*” In the end, the quality and contribution of our lives isn’t really as much about who we want to be, or even what happens, but about how we chose to think and respond to those things. Nothing is going to change if we don’t start becoming aware of our thoughts.
I’ve started thinking about what I’m thinking about.
Friend, there is so much hope for us. Our minds are one of the greatest gifts we have been given, and there is exciting news coming from the world of science, God’s word, and personal experience that prove we don’t have to stay stuck. Guess what? Now that you’ve read the fact that 80% of our thoughts are negative, you’re going to start to notice them. Changing the narrative of a simple thought today will impact our thoughts tomorrow. Simply thinking about a thought gives us a chance to embrace it and make a decision about it.
This is where everything starts to change.
That neurologist gave me one of the greatest gifts of my life that day when he put a tangible “picture” of my thoughts in my hands. Suddenly, my toxic “What if?” thought was going to start working for me instead of working against me. Like an alarm, that phrase started alerting me that something was wrong in my thinking. When I heard “What if…” in my mind, I chose to automatically replace the rest of that sentence with a promise from God’s Word. I dug for promises, and filled my journals with them. It took time, but eventually I realized that every “What if?” directed my mind to hope. This one simple substitution took work over a span of time, but I started making progress when my mind began to change…and yours can too!
Let’s talk about it!
Listen to my radio show tonight, 2/9/21 between 10pm-midnight (CST) and we’ll talk about it!
Listen live online: http://www.fireescape.net/listen-live-now.html
Comment below, and shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a list of the promises that changed my mind…with room to add some of your own!