How to Renew Your Mind
Before last year, I never knew how important my thoughts were to my success. No, I’m not talking about worldly success, but success in my mental and spiritual health. If you follow Fearfully Fashioned on Twitter, I tweeted that our thoughts are vital to our quality of life, and it’s true. Our mind will always believe everything we tell it, and in result, those thoughts will physically manifest their presence in our lives. I know this because my success or lack thereof has always been directly related to my thought processes. Back when I was engaging in a fixed mindset, I was physically stuck. I would think that I couldn’t do something and those thoughts would physically inhibit me from doing what I felt I was called to do. I would often sabotage myself by worrying about things that weren’t logical or real, but yet I was living my life as if they were true. Some examples of my self-sabotaging thoughts were:
“I’m not qualified to do this."
“What if I do this and x,y, and z happens.”
“I’ll never be at a healthy weight.”
“I don’t have the resources that I need to follow through with this idea.”
All of these thoughts were representative of what was in my thought closet — negative and self-sabotaging thoughts. If you had joined me for the What's In Your Thought Closet Webinar I did a few years back, I talked about something called a thought closet. I was introduced to the term “thought closet” through a pdf devotional by Jennifer Rothschild, a well-renowned author, speaker, and Bible study teacher. A thought closet can be considered as the contents of your mind. It consists of the words, like threads, that fashion the thoughts we create. This collection of words ultimately reflect what you think about yourself, others, and your circumstances. The words inside of your thought closet are birthed from what’s in your heart (Matthew 12:34). Proverbs 23:7 tells us that, “as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” meaning that we are a reflection of what we think. One of the most powerful quotes that I agree with wholeheartedly is by Henry Ford; “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t— you’re right.”
So, what do your thoughts say about you?
Romans 12:2 tells us that we shouldn't conform to the world's way of thinking, instead we should renew our minds. It wasn’t until I learned how to renew my mind that I was able to see change and manifest God’s promises in my life. I knew that in order to design and fashion the life that God has called me to live, I would have to do undo my anxious thoughts and self-limiting beliefs. Here are the steps that I took to renew my mind and cast down negative thoughts.
How to Renew Your Mind:
1) Learn the thoughts that God thinks towards you.
In order to adopt God’s thoughts about me, I had to learn what His thoughts towards me look like. In His Word He calls you:
- His friend (John 15:15)
- Royalty (1 Peter 2:9)
- Fearfully & wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
- Adopted (Romans 8:15)
- A new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Once you learn how to adopt the mindset of Christ, He will instill in you a confidence that can't be shaken, to move forward with His plan for your life.
2) Determine what kind of mindset you currently have.
There are two kinds of mindsets:
1) fixed mindset
2) growth mindset
In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, psychologist Carol Dweck defines a fixed and growth mindset as follows:
“A fixed mindset assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way, while a growth mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”
When I was thinking anxious and self-sabotaging thoughts, I was engaged in a fixed, stagnant mindset. I wanted to move forward, but my thoughts prevented me from taking the steps. I had to learn how to change my thought processes towards my situation by adopting a growth mindset.
3) Cast down the negative thoughts.
A lot of us are stuck in a fixed mindset because we are letting the enemy win. We aren’t fighting back when he is attacking our minds. It’s time that you pick up your ammunition and fight back with your sword, God’s Word. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to capture our thoughts and teach them how to obey Christ. How can we do that? By adhering to Philippians 4:8-9
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me— everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
Paul broke it down for us. Think about things that are true, excellent, and praiseworthy. Put it into practice. Then God’s peace will help you sustain those thoughts. Sometimes that can be easier said than done, so here are some practical ways to apply these scriptures:
- Write down the negative thought.
- Define it (actually look it up in the dictionary).
- Look up what God’s Word says about that negative thought. Write it down. Memorize it.
This process will you to analyze your thoughts, rationalize the enemies lies, and distinguish and affirm God’s truth.
4) Determine the thoughts you need to think to manifest your desired outcome.
It’s not enough to cast down the thought. You have to intentionally monitor your thoughts by learning how to replace the enemy’s lies with not only God’s Word but positive thoughts.
- Identify your desired feeling. Ask yourself exactly who you want to feel.
- Define your desired feeling. (Pull out your handy dictionary again).
- Look up what God’s Word says again (because you want to make sure that your thoughts are aligning with His).
- Write down the thoughts you need to think to create your desired feeling. Clearly identify and write what thought you need to think in order to feel the way you want to feel. Meaning if I want to feel loved, I am going to write down the thoughts that support that feeling. (i.e. “I attract loving and positive people into my life.")
5) Write a list of affirmations/scriptures.
Write down these thoughts/affirmations/declarations, and scriptures to keep on hand to fight the enemy’s attacks. Put them as a screensaver on your phone. Keep them on your desk at work. Get a whiteboard marker and write them as reminders on your mirror. Send yourself a text reminder to encourage you throughout the day. Bottom line, you must get super intentional. You need to have ammunition to fight the enemy’s attacks.
6) Know your weaknesses.
If you know there’s a particular area you are struggling in, prepare a custom list of thoughts, affirmations, and scriptures to think when you find yourself struggling with your weaknesses.
7) Grace, grace, grace.
Last, but not least, remember to show yourself grace. There are going to be days when you wallow in self-pity. Don’t stay in that dark place. Each day is a new chance to renew your mind and spirit.
The first step to designing a life that you and God love is to renew your mind. Your thoughts influence everything you do. Before you can forge on in pursuing your purpose & goals or either starting a business, you must begin here. I created a Design Your Life Quick Start guide that will teach you the foundations to designing and fashioning a life and business that you and God love. The first foundation is all about mindset. Click the button below to download the Quick Start Guide for free!
How do you go about renewing your mind? Share with me in the comments below!