Mindset: Take Your Thoughts Captive

Week 3: Take Care of You: Body, Soul, Spirit blog series

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)

 … take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (23 Corinthians 10:5 NIV)

You might have heard that “attitude is everything.” Indeed, Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” This is such a powerful statement that really points out how much our attitudes impact our success. The bible talks about being transformed by the way you think and “taking every thought captive.” Most sources seem to agree that mindset (a set of beliefs that shape how you make sense of the world) is very important.

Your mindset can truly make or break you. This is why it is so important to be aware of, and to always be working towards building a healthy thought process. More than ever, people are realizing just how much mental health has an impact on their physical health. While this is a different process for each of us, there are some basic ideas we can all take into consideration on our mental health journeys.

Why You Need To Develop A Growth Mindset

When it comes to personal growth and learning, we can have one of two mindsets. A fixed mindset or a growth mindset. They refer to the underlying beliefs and notions we have about approaching new material and dealing with the unknown.

But what it really boils down to is how you approach the challenges life throws your way.

Do you see them as obstacles and do what you can to avoid them? (Fixed Mindset) Or do you use them as a chance to grow and get better at what it is you do? (Growth Mindset)

That difference is one of the reasons it’s important to develop a growth mindset. It helps you make progress, get better, and – as the name implies – grow as a human being. To put it another way, it’s up to you and the mindset you develop whether you’re stuck where you’re at right now, or whether you can motivate yourself to make progress and move up in the world. I think it’s fair to say that none of us want to feel stuck.

Getting unstuck is of course easier said than done. If you’ve been told this was as far as you can go over and over again, it’s hard to refute that belief. If you’ve been taught, or learned over the years, that hard work and effort rarely pays off, it’s hard to develop that growth mindset. If you have no cheerleaders in your corner or like-minded people around you, it’s hard to make the transition from fixed mindset to growth mindset.

Embrace the challenge the transition brings with it. Come up with a strategy to defeat negative thoughts and negative influences. Find someone who encourages you. Look for a mentor or someone you admire who has beaten the odds and continues to grow. Model their behavior. Notice any negative self-talk and stop it in its track. Write yourself motivating notes and reminders to stay on track and grow. Expect setbacks and make a plan for getting back on track.

The hardest part is starting the transition into a growth mindset. As you start to develop those new skills and habits, it will become easier to look for new solutions, to push a little harder, and to work on continual growth and improvement. Your job is to get the ball rolling. After that momentum starts to kick in to help you on your journey towards developing and maintaining a growth mindset.

Self-Esteem
Speaking or thinking negative thoughts about yourself can lead to a warped self-esteem. When you constantly put yourself down, you destroy your own confidence and this can lead to a lot of problems that make even simple tasks seem impossible. Negative self-talk contributes to anxiety, stress, depression, and more. Instead of continuing these habits and allowing these negative thoughts to run rampant, make an effort to become more aware of when it starts to happen… Pay attention to what trigger these thoughts and feelings about yourself. Once you know your triggers, you can begin to get to the roots of WHY those things trigger you to feel negatively about yourself. This can be done alone, with family/friends, or with a professional therapist. Everyone’s needs are different, so make sure you are handling it with or without whomever you need. When you find the core problem(s), healing and resetting of mental habits can begin.

  • Better yet, develop your God- esteem. Look at who God says you are. Instead of positive affirmations, pick bible verses that remind you of your identity in Christ.

Success
If you constantly tell yourself you can’t do something for whatever reason(s), you will ultimately never do that thing. This won’t be because you were right—it’ll be because you talked yourself out of succeeding at it! However, on the other hand, when you go into something with a positive and “can-do” attitude, you WILL have much better results. Even if you fail, you will have built up your confidence so that you can try again and figure out how you CAN succeed. Belief breeds confidence, and confidence breeds determination. Believe that you can do something, and you WILL find a way to do it!

  • Better yet, develop your God-fidence. Look at the attributes of God and reflect on his goodness.

Your day-to-day life is determined by the direction of your attitude… Make a point to create a routine of positivity at the start of each day. Get yourself in the right mindset when you wake up, and this will help you set the tone for your day. Even when bad things happen—and they will—your attitude will be the deciding factor in whether or not you let those things break you down and steal precious time from your life. Think of yourself like a bottle filled with either water or soda pop… Do you want to explode every time you get shaken? Or would you rather maintain your state of positivity and calm even when life shakes you up?

Next Week: Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset (a Deep Dive)

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