Attitude- A settled way of thinking or feeling about something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.
Negativism- The practice of being or tendency to be negative or skeptical in attitude while failing to offer positive suggestions or views.
Proverbs 23:7- “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
I don’t know about you, but I am so completely amazed at how God speaks to me. I used to think he never “talked to me”, or gave me any signs, or gave me the encouragement when I needed it. I was wrong. I don’t think I was open to looking for the small reminders of his love. I was too stuck in my own world of negativity to see God’s loving hand in my life. One thing that he really brought to light recently was the thought of negative thinking. You know, I thought I had overcome it, and I have come a long long way. I still have negative thoughts, don’t we all?? But you know, compared to what I used to think, I was kinda patting myself on the back, telling myself good job! Until it was brought to light in a different way.
I just always knew negative thinking was bad. It would not help the situation any by thinking negative thoughts. I think it is a lot more than bad thinking, it sort of defines who you are. We begin to believe what we say to ourselves. If we say I could never do that….what are the odds that we will actually try? I think never is a big word in my mind. It is easy for me to think wow, I could never do that. It probably goes along with self doubt, but I have been learning, you won’t know until you try! So until we try something, we won’t know if we can or can’t do it! Then comes the mistake of defining something as a failure if you try and don’t succeed at it. Then all sorts of negative thinking can invade your mind. “I should have just listened before, I knew I couldn’t do it”, “I will never be good at anything”, “maybe I was right before, I will always be a failure”. My dad always told me, keep trying and don’t give up, Thomas Eddison didn’t fail, he said “I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” So just because we don’t succeed the first time we try, doesn’t mean we can’t do it, it doesn’t mean we can retreat back to negative thinking. We are human, we will never be perfect and we will make mistakes. We just have to learn from them and keep going.
Don’t let negative thinking define you. Don’t let it get you down and stuck. I think it is easy to get “stuck” in a situation because we don’t believe we can get out. I just read the book Gifted Hands. It was about Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon. He was raised by a single mom in the ghetto of Detroit. His mom refused to let her son’s think they would never be able to do anything with their lives. She encouraged them and made them believe in themselves. Now Ben is an amazing surgeon. He wasn’t restrained by negative thinking. He believed he could do something great with his life. He did not have it easy, or handed to him. He worked really hard to get where he is. Success is hard, don’t let negativity tell you it is too hard for you. That you will never be able to get out of debt, or that you can never lose weight, or that you will always be stuck in a job you hate. Negativity will tell you to take the easy road and keep coasting where you are. It will tell you not to try.
Don’t let it define your character. I was really convicted of this. It is so easy for me to think that I am a bad wife. To beat myself up when I make a mistake. To think that I will never be a good wife. How am a supposed to be the best I can be when I don’t believe I even can? I need to learn to forgive myself when I make a mistake. To learn from it and not let it make me feel like a failure. Don’t let yourself believe you are a bad spouse, parent, friend, boss, etc. None of us are perfect and we are going to make mistakes. I can’t get this through my head enough. We need to look at those mistakes and try to improve ourselves from them. Don’t let them define you.
So I need to remember to steer clear of thoughts that include never. I need to give myself grace and not let mistakes define me. I encourage you to let go of negative thoughts, to believe in yourself. I really believe there is a great deal of power in positive thinking, and in a good attitude!