Believing right


Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction
Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have realised, or am beginning to realise that positive self-talk is not enough – it is just the starting point.  Something has to go deeper than just a, “boy, I’m really feeling good today” statement.  It has to hit at that point where yourself-belief lies – no matter how positive you are trying to be, if underneath you don’t believe a bit of that positivity, it ain’t gonna do you the world of good.

Let me give you an example, when we had to think of godparents for Baby Girl, we had to think about this whole issue very carefully.  My younger brother was not yet married to his now wife, and I was worried that things weren’t going to work out there, and then what do we do.  My older brother was onto this third wife and once again, I was not so convinced that things were going to go well there and I really wanted to choose someone who would be a good role model for Baby Girl and have a positive impact into her life – not just for now, but also as Baby Girl grows up.  Hubby’s younger brother is not married and his sister and I, well, let’s just say there are issues there and although most of it is in the past, I don’t trust her as far as what I can throw my nose – which isn’t very far, in case you’re wondering.

So hubby and I started to look to our friends – who of our friends would be that positive role model for Baby Girl and only one person came to mind.  Let us call her H.  H has the most positive mind-set I of anyone I have ever met.  Let me give you an example, she is slightly taller than what I am and probably only weighs about 120 pounds (roughly 56 kilograms – which is what I weighed when I fell pregnant with Baby Girl).  She has always weighed this, and now still does even after having two children.  But, unlike me, it just isn’t an issue for her.  If she’s hungry, she will eat.  If she’s not, she won’t.  And she does try to focus her mind on eating healthy, and eating consistently to be healthy, but not eating is just simply not an issue.  And it’s not that she is trying to “think” herself thin or positive, it just is.  She said to me the other day that she just doesn’t get sick.  She wasn’t trying to convince herself – it was true.  It was an accepted fact in her mind – she just doesn’t get sick.  She has been in hospital twice – to have her babies – and that is it.  And she never goes to the doctor.  But, again, it’s not that she’s thinking positive or trying to convince herself, it’s just her belief system about herself doesn’t allow herself to think of herself as someone who is sick.  And don’t get me wrong – she’s not perfect.  She has her own insecurities and worries about many things, but she has such a positive belief system that how she deals with those issues is very positive indeed.

Hubby asked me a little while ago if I believed I could achieve being fit and health and lose this excess weight (I can’t remember now the context of this conversation) but I don’t think I can.  I mean, I know I can, I just don’t believe I can.

Let me tell you about another friend of mine who I also love dearly – let’s call her P.  P is probably one of the most negative people I have ever met.  In fact, I had reached a stage when I just couldn’t handle spending time with her, because I actually felt drained and tired and exhausted afterwards.  She would say, “today I am thinking positive” but the statement just oozed negativity because she herself was trying to convince herself of that fact – but it didn’t touch her belief system of who she was or what she believed about herself.

A little while ago – after watching The Secret – I did a visual board about all I wanted to achieve in my life.  I had some things on there like getting a new car, cash (which now that I am thinking about it, we have achieved – we paid for hubby’s car cash when I resigned from my previous job).  And a gas stove, and a fireplace  and some things I want to do on the house.  But, 90% of the board consisted of pictures and labels about peace, happiness, love, patience, etc – things that I was focusing on, because somehow I just knew it wasn’t there.  I felt like I had to convince myself that they were there.  But the board was totally unbalanced – and that’s when I realised, partly, that I need to stop – and just be those things.

And yes, getting rid of negative thinking is the starting place.  As Joyce Meyers says,

“You can’t live a positive life thinking negative thoughts,”

but I want to say,

“You can’t live a positive life, thinking positive thoughts and have a negative belief system about yourself.”

So, today, I am going to start working on that little belief system of myself – which is wrought with insecurities, and anxieties and negativity.  And yes, you need to start with what you think about and how you think about things – that will eventually filter through to that inner belief system that you hold, but make sure it goes deeper than just positive thinking.

I can lose weight.  I can put anxiety past me.  I can be fit, healthy and strong.  I can and I will.  Today, I will start to believe that about myself and believe that I can.  Not try – but do.

Snapping, Snarling ThoughtsRBC Ministries

August 1, 2013 — by David H. Roper

Many years ago, my father and I hiked through Big Bend in Texas.  It is a national park now, but in those days, it was rough country.

One night we were rolling out our sleeping bags when a couple with a dog asked if they could camp nearby.  We welcomed their company and turned in for the night.  They tethered their dog to a stake beside their tent.

Some hours later, my father nudged me awake and turned his flashlight into the darkness.  Illuminated by the light, we saw pairs of yellow eyes peering out of the shadows.  A pack of snapping and snarling coyotes were closing in on the dog.  Although we chased them off and our neighbours put the dog in their tent, we slept fitfully.

I think of that night when I read Psalm 59 and David’s twice-repeated imagery: “At evening they return, they growl like a dog” (vv.6,14).  David was thinking of Saul’s army that was closing in on him.  I think, however, of the thoughts that return to menace us.  They come back at nightfall, snapping and snarling: “You’re stupid.”  “You’re a failure.”  “You’re useless.”  “Who needs you?”

When we have such thoughts, we can revel in God’s unconditional, unending love.  His steady devotion is our refuge in the dark night of self-doubt and fear (v.16).

Dear Lord, I am so thankful that You love me
unconditionally.  Please chase away destructive thoughts
that keep returning to take away my confidence in You
and Your work in me.  I want to rest in You and Your love.

Knowing that God loves us can dispel doubt.

Taking Charge Of Your Attitude – Anthony Jenkins

“Our attitudes control our lives.  Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad.  It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.”  Tom Blandi

I played golf recently with a man who seemingly has everything.  He has money in the bank, has travelled widely, has a good marriage and can basically do whatever he chooses to do in his retirement, yet for me the words that would define him are ‘bad attitude’.  Travel is something many of us would love to have the opportunity to do more of, yet his stories are less about beautiful destinations and more about inconvenient delays in airports and poor service experiences.  He has the unique ability to find something unsatisfactory in even the most beautiful of days.  I was really hoping he has a good game of golf on the day, for my own sake.  Imagine spending four hours with Grumpy if he feels the ‘golfing gods’ are against him too!

Just this week I was asked to quote on a programme to change the attitudes of negative staff in a large organization.  This is probably the area I get to do more than any other training.  Why is that?  Why do we struggle so much with our attitudes?  Why is it so hard to choose the right attitude?

A very old lady looked in the mirror one morning.  She had three remaining hairs on her head, and being a positive soul, she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today.”  So she braided her three hairs, and she had a great day.  Some days later, looking in the mirror one morning, she saw she had only two hairs remaining.  She parted her two hairs and as ever she had a great day.  A week later she saw that she had only one hair left on her head.  “One hair huh….,”she mused, “I know, a pony tail will be perfect.”  And again she had a great day.  The next morning she looked in the mirror.  She was completely bald.  “Finally bald huh,” she said to herself, “How beautiful!  I won’t have to waste time doing my hair anymore.”

A boy was skating on one skate.  A man saw him and said, “ Don’t you know that you’re supposed to skate on 2 skates?”  The boy said, “Someone stole my other skate, and that’s why I’m skating on one.”  As the man walked away, the boy yelled, “Hey Mister!  Did you know that you can still have a lot of fun on just one skate?”  You have a choice.  You can get mad at the person who stole your skate, or you can keep having fun on just one skate.

The old lady and the young boy have a distinct advantage over most of us when it comes to living fulfilled, meaningful and happy lives.  Certain qualities show up when a positive attitude shows up.  Remez Sasson, in his article ‘The Power of a Positive Attitude’ says that a great attitude helps you cope more easily with the daily affairs of life.  This positive attitude manifests in a number of beneficial ways.   We are able to think more positively, constructively and creatively.  We are motivated to achieve our goals and it is relatively easy to make choices that lead to happiness.  People with a great attitude seem to be happier, have more energy, have greater inner strength, are able to inspire themselves and others, have the ability to overcome obstacles and seem to be more respected by others.

Somebody once said that we are more limited by our attitude than by our opportunities.  A man made an appointment to see his doctor.  “Doctor,” he complained, “everywhere I touch seems to hurt lately.  Am I getting old or just senile?  If I push on my knees here, I hurt.  I push on my stomach and I hurt!  I press on my head right here by my temple and that hurts too!  What’s going on?”  The doctor called for a full body X-ray.  An hour passed and after evaluating the X-rays carefully, the doctor returned.  Stroking his chin, the doctor slowly began, “I think I’ve found the reason why everything you touch hurts.”  “Well, tell me!” the man anxiously replied.  The doctor pointed to the X-ray.  “Your body is fine, but your finger is broken.”

Our attitudes are like that broken finger.  When my attitude is bad it affects every part of me; my work, my relationships and my potential future.  It is a poison that seeps deeply into everything I touch and starts the decaying and destruction process.

Back in 1979, speaker and author Dennis Waitley once found himself racing to catch a flight.  He was on his way from Chicago to Los Angeles and had to board DC10 flight 191 to deliver a speech later in the day.  But this time he didn’t get there on time.  Furious to see the gate agent lock the door just as he arrived, he pleaded with her to open the gate and let him board.  She refused and fuming, Waitley left the boarding area to complain, but only twenty minutes later, the news came through that the plane he had missed had just crashed on takeoff  killing all on board.  Instantly, his anger and disappointment turned to shock, and later to gratitude.  He left the ticket line and checked into a room at an airport hotel.  He knelt beside his bed and then tried to get some sleep.  Instead of returning the unused ticket for a refund, he decided to keep it and put it on his office notice board at home.  It’s a silent reminder, because every so often if he gets annoyed at something, his wife Susan leads him by the hand through to the notice board to take a look at his flight 191 ticket.  Waitley says, “Every day is a gift to be lived to the full”.

Clearly this is an area we all struggle with but we all have the power to change – if we choose to.  Child Psychiatrist Gerald G. Jampolsky said, “As a child I was told and believed that there was a treasure buried beneath every rainbow.  I believed it so much that I have been unsuccessfully chasing rainbows most of my life.  I wonder why no one ever told me that the rainbow and the treasure were both within me.” 

Chuck Swindoll, in a famous sermon on attitude said these wise words, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.   It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company… a church… a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes”    

So let’s all face the challenge this week. Let’s choose to take charge of our attitudes. As William James said, “Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, “This is the real me,” and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”

Have a wonderful week

Your friend

Antony

If you have any questions or feedback about “Taking Charge Of Your Attitude” please email me at jenningsa@iafrica.com, I would love to hear from you.

And to me, the only way you are going to have that positive attitude and positive thinking – because it is all linked together – is to believe about yourself the very best that you can.

 The Baby Mama

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2 thoughts on “Believing right

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