Do you find it difficult to stay positive in a world that is often filled with negatives? It’s not easy to do, is it? Did you know that negative thinking has a direct impact on your ability to be productive and effective? Studies show that thinking negatively about your problems not only doesn’t help solve anything, but actually makes it harder for you to think of a helpful solution.
We really didn’t need a study to tell us that, did we? Philippians 4:8 says we are to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent and praise-worthy. Therefore, we have to replace those negative thoughts with God’s truth. I’ve been examining different ways to fast, and my suggestion today is this: Fast from pessimism; be filled with God’s hope.
Here are some practical things you can do to get rid of pessimistic, negative thoughts:
- Scrutinize your negative thoughts and ask yourself if they are really true. More often than not, your negative thoughts are about things you don’t know to be true—fear of the future, for instance. If they’re not absolutely true, replace them with something true from God’s Word.
- Change your unhealthy self-talk. You may not realize that you talk to yourself in very negative and harmful ways. You think or say things like, “I’m so tired,” or “I can’t do that,” or “I’m not smart enough,” or “I always mess up.” That’s pouring all kinds of junk into your mind—most of which is not true—and it drags you down. Stop saying harmful things to yourself. Instead, recite things you’ve done and accomplished which disprove your insecurity. Remember what God has done for, in, and through you—and rejoice! When you’re in negative mode, you tend to forget all the good things.
- Beware of all-or-nothing thinking. For example, say you get a question in a job interview or some presentation that you’re not prepared to answer, so you don’t answer it well. All-or-nothing thinking will cause you to see it as a total failure, discounting the rest of the interview or presentation that went well. You think because it wasn’t 100% perfect, it was a total failure. That’s all-or-nothing thinking and it’s nothing but trouble.
It truly is possible to take this fast—to truly abandon pessimism and let the joy of Christ fill you with hope and assurance. This fast would be one of the best gifts you could ever give yourself. It takes time to get rid of negativism if you’ve indulged in it for long, but through Christ you can do it! Don’t give up so easily—determine by God’s grace to take a forever-fast from pessimism.more