Tag Archives: Focus

Nothing is Written Yet

1 Jan

ImageI saw this and thought it really summarized my thoughts & direction of 2012. The great thing about 2013 is, not a single day, event, thought or feeling has been written yet. What 2013 looks like depends completely on you!

How will you summarize 2013 this time next year?!?

Your Thoughts Determine Your Future

23 Feb

Yesterday, we spoke about our “identity” most often is formed by what others have said and/or thought about us. We have allowed words/actions, whether told to us by others or through our own self-talk, to mold us into who we are. We learned we can change the way we think about ourselves by focusing on the truths found in Philippians 4:8 – What IS true, right, lovely, and worthy to be praised about YOU.

Today I would like to explore further how our thoughts affect who we are.  Our thoughts lead to purpose; purposes goes forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny[1].  To break this down, what we think leads to us developing a reason, that reason then leads us to action, a repeated action forms a habit, our habits form our character and our character determines our future.


Therefore if I don’t like where I am, I can look back and evaluate my character.  Character is defined as “who you are when no one else is looking” My character was formed by the habits I exhibited and my habits were created by the reasoning of my thoughts.

As I shared with you yesterday, my self-esteem was “warped” as a teen in the area of physical looks.  Therefore I need to work on that “truth” area – my physical self.  In order to flesh this out, I purposed to begin walking.  Now keep in mind I would much rather sit and read a book or write to you then to exercise!  (One of the reasons I need to work on my personal self)  As I recognize this truth in me, I understand that I need to look at this through a different lens.  And that requires …some kind of plan or model.  Here are four key concepts to help in that process.

1. Focus on motivation. Commit to your new truth – the reason that you are going to change your habit.  Write them down. Commit publicly/to a person who will hold you accountable. When things get tough, remind yourself of your motivation.

2. Make it easy. Change is tough – if it was easy, you would have already done it!  Therefore, make it easy by removing barriers. For me this meant having my husband drop me off 2 miles from his gym before he works out and I walk back to meet him.  Make whatever you need to change ridiculously easy. It does not have to be difficult, just an action that can be repeated daily – this will form a new habit.

3. Focus on enjoyment. It’s hard to push yourself when you hate doing something. So find something enjoyable about the activity and focus on that enjoyable aspect. For me, it is praying while I’m walking – first that God allows me to make it back to DonJ, that He reveals Himself new to me, prayer/protection over my family & friends, etc. Wherever you are, make it a sanctuary where you can enjoy yourself.

4. Repeat. We all will inevitably slip up sometime, no matter how good you are – this is where grace comes in. Unfortunately, people often take this as an opportunity to beat themselves up (negative self talk) and they give up.

Instead of giving up; get up, dust yourself off, and get going again. Why?  The verse that follows Philippians 4:8 reads, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” How cool is that!?!


[1] Tryon Edwards (American Theologian, 1809-1894)

 

What Are You Focused On?

23 Feb

I had a conversation with someone who shared with me that there were people in their life that verbally tore them down.  Earlier this week I had a friend who shared that her child was experiencing the same thing in school.  At times we have all had someone in our life that has tried to convince us that we were something that we were not.  As a result our “identity” may have been accepted as: stupid, a bitch, slow, klutz, dumb, slut, being a player, idiot…the list could go on and on.

I would like to share with you a truth that I discovered when I had to overcome the challenges of the “identity” that began for me as a teenager.  My looks were a constant cause for teasing as a teen.  There was this one boy that several times a day picked on a certain aspect of my looks – as a young, impressionable teen – my self-esteem plummeted.  I made very poor choices as a result.

As a young adult I still carried with me that “identity” of low self esteem, thinking that I was only as important as what others thought of me.  Then one day, I discovered Philippians 4:8 which reads, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Talk about a revelation! I remember looking in the mirror and saying to myself, “That is NOT true” and in that moment, I began to change.  When negative thoughts about myself whispered in my ear or even if someone around me said something “off” then I took the scripture above and dissected it.

Using Philippians 4:8 above, it reads we are to think about what is:

True – Conforming to reality or fact

Noble –Of High Rank or Magnificent

Right–Correct or in good position

Pure–Being that and nothing else; absolute

Lovely–Charming

Admirable–Worthy of Admiration

Excellent– Remarkably good

Praiseworthy–Deserving of Praise

If someone would call you an “idiot” or “bitch” don’t automatically accept it as true or part of your “identity”.  The definition of an “idiot” is one who is incapable of learning.  The definition of a “bitch” is a female dog.  Using Philippians, Is this “true”?  Are you incapable of learning?  Are you literally a female dog?  NO!!  You are not.  So is it “Right”?  Is it “Lovely”? Again, the answer is NO!!  Mediating on it, thinking about it or accepting it as your identity is false – it’s a lie.

So, what do we do next? “If anything is _______, think about such things.”

Therefore the answer is: Do not dwell on it.  Don’t think about it.  Don’t open it up.  Instead focus on these things: What IS true, right, lovely, and worthy to be praised about you?  Once you answer that, you will be amazed at how quickly the “real” you will be revealed.