“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
“We are what and where we are because we have first imagined it.” ~ Donald Durtis
“The mind is the world’s most powerful instrument. With our thoughts we give energy to the way our life will be.” (author unknown)
“All that we are, arises with our thoughts, with our thoughts we make our world.” ~ The Buddha
“It is the mind that maketh good of ill, that maketh wretch or happy, rich or poor.” ~Edmond Spencer
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” ~ William James
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ~ Aristotle
“Either you control your attitude or it controls you.” ~ Author Unknown
“Our greatest battles are that with our own minds” ~ Jameson Frank
“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.” ~ Martha Washington
“There was a time when I thought I should be like everyone else. Then there was a time when I thought everyone else should be like me. Now I just think.” ~ Amer Neely
Abraham Lincoln said, “I reckon a man is as happy as he makes up his mind to be.”
As you think, you travel; as you love, you attract. You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you. You cannot escape the results of your thoughts, but you can endure and learn, can accept, and be glad. You will realize the vision, not the idle wish of your heart, be it base or beautiful, or a mixture of both, for you will always gravitate toward that which you secretly most love. Into your hands will be placed the exact result of your thoughts; you will receive that which you earn, no more, no less. Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your thoughts, your vision, your ideal You will become as small as your controlling desire, as great as your dominant aspiration. ~Author unknown
Joan Johnson writes: “Learning to think critically is one of the most important skills an individual develops. How else can a person make wise decisions? In a world of the sincere and insincere, of the believable and the absurd, individuals must make difficult decisions. Survival depends on the ability to think critically. That skill can be lost or its growth stunted if it is not constantly used. Imagine how differently history would have been written had Jim Jones’s followers asked, Why? … But they didn’t. They were victims of unquestioning obedience. They did not think critically. And now they are dead.”
Failure to critically think is like the whole herd following the first sheep to go over the cliff. The world is full of highly influential, charismatic people trying to sway you. Never turn your power over to someone else assuming they know more than you because of education, position, wealth or charisma.
Keep a healthy skepticism all information coming your way. Check out all the facts. Get a second opinion. Question and research all claims made by institutions and people. Take time to ponder and study out issues before making decisions. Listen to both sides of the debate. Teach your children to question and NOT to relent to groupthink out of social pressure. Keep your critical thinking sharp at all times. Take seriously what your feelings and gut reactions are telling you.
Your power lies in your ability to think. You can use your power to create or destroy. Thought power is like the power of fire and water. Both can save or destroy life, depending on how they are used. The results of your thoughts depend on your power to choose what you think. As you think you create.
Though thoughts are intangible energy, they are the beginning of all creation as we human beings are capable of creating. What you think starts a domino effect that results in emotional responses, behaviors, reactions and accomplishments that determine the quality of your life.
Never allow another person to do your thinking for you. Use your own mind to determine what you believe rather than blindly accepting the agenda of powerful, people or organizations. Be careful what you accept from the news, emails, social media, advertisements or charismatic people. Never force your ideas onto another. Simply share your opinions, then let go.
Emotional responses stem from thoughts. Emotions are always giving you feedback and clues about the quality of your current thinking. Learn what your emotions are trying to tell you, then make logical decisions based on them.
If you are experiencing an overabundance of negative emotions, such as depression or anxiety, you might want to check out the quality of your thinking habits. As you think, you create and toxic thinking habits might be creating the very mental health conditions you are trying to avoid. But you would be surprised how many people resist changing their thinking habits in spite of it. They just want a pill to make it all go away. No medication can fix the damage your stinkin’ thinkin’ habits have created in your life. Change your thinking, change your life.
Teach children to be critical thinkers. Teach them to weigh out all the facts before coming to their own conclusions. Teach them that if they are wrong, they can change their minds and try again. We often learn from trial and error. Let your children know that learning from mistakes is not only okay, it’s brilliant. Teach them that every mistake they make is an opportunity for growth and wisdom.
One of the most insidious, covert ways of abusing children is to make them so dependent on the parent/adult that they never learn to think for themselves. This is the dynamic cults are made of, to make all members so dependent on the cult leader that they can’t think for themselves. Even if they don’t feel good about what is happening, they are taught not to think for themselves, but to relent their power to the organization leader. Though it is obvious to most that cults are unhealthy or downright dangerous, well- meaning parents can be doing the same to their children, thus making them dependent on the parents or other powerful leaders for a lifetime.
Opportunists take control of people who can’t critically think. Keep your control by stepping into your power to think critically for yourself; to make decisions based on logic, research, prayer and the feedback you get from life’s consequences. You may not always win others’ affection by thinking for yourself, but you can step into your power and create your own life because of it.
The way you think can either set your free or create prisons in your mind that hold you bound. Be careful about what you choose to think.
Examples of positive ways to think:
- I did the best I knew how to do with the information I had at the time.
- Others did the best they knew how to do with the information they had….
- What other people think of me is none of my business. Myself and God are the only ones who determine what I think and how I feel about myself.
- Mistakes are my opportunity to learn and grow, if I learn from them.
- Perfect for me is moving towards perfection. Today I “try” perfectly and learn from. mistakes which is my opportunity to get closer to perfection.
- Tomorrow is another day.
- It’s not about winning every time, it’s about doing my best and enjoying the process.
- When things go wrong it means there’s something to be learned.
- Today I forgive everyone who has offended me and I let go of judgment of other peoples character defects; “But for the grace of God go I.” (author unknown)
- 10. When others offend me it means it’s time for me to do some work on myself
- 11. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” ~ author unknown
Negative ways to think about rejection, a no, or a loss:
“I’m a failure.” “There is something wrong with me.”
I’m a reject.” “Just give up!” “It will never work for me.” “This is the way it will always be, I always have bad luck.”
Positive way to perceive a rejection, a no or a loss:
“A no is feedback only.” “It’s not a judgement about my character.” “Next time I will try approaching the situation another way or another time.”
“I will work on the problem(s) and look for ways I can improve.” I will keep trying.” “I will continue looking for different resources and opportunities.”
There may be things going on behind the scenes you don’t know about that brought about rejection or a no response. For example, the reason you didn’t get the jobs could be that the person who got the job was a relative of the owner, or the owner may have been returning someone a favor.
Rather than judging yourself or considering yourself a failure, simply keep trying and move on to the next interview. The perception you put on the event largely determines your response to the experience.
When you notice you’re feeling bad, stop and check what thoughts you have been entertaining. You may have no control over the thoughts that pop into your head, but you can decide if you entertain them. Old recordings lose their power when you recognize them for what they are—old life material stored in memory that is playing over and over like a CD. Blow it off and move on. Change any old, negative thought patterns into positive ones.
If you catch yourself in the middle of a negative thought, train yourself to say out loud or in your mind, “STOP!!” Imagine pressing your imaginary the delete button in your mind and start over. Choose positive thoughts to replace the old ones.
Example: “I am so embarrassed because my friend is coming to my house and it’s not clean.” “STOP” (delete) Rethink: “The condition of my house has nothing to do with my worth as a person or the quality of relationship with my friend. If s/he judges me for the condition of my house, that’s my friend’s problem, not mine.”
Another example: “I would die if my spouse ever left me.” “STOP!” (delete) “I am a smart, responsible adult. I hope that never happens, but if it did ever did I know could take care of myself.”
Negative thinking causes anyone to feel bad. Let your feelings be your gage to tell you the quality of your thoughts.
SRT – Subconscious Repairing Therapy helps to erase the old negative messages that have been cluttering your mind and make it much easier for your new thought choices to become permanent.
“If you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win but you think you can’t. It’s almost certain you won’t.If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost. For out of the world we find success begins with a fellow’s will. It’s all in the state of mind. If you think you’re outclassed, you are. You’ve got to think high to rise. You’ve got to be sure of yourself before you can even win a prize. Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later, the person who wins is the person who thinks he can.” ~Walter Wintle
Attitude, by Charles Swindoll: “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 or 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 every day regarding the attitude we will 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 on 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.
(This list is a compilation of a variety of handouts at Codependents Anonymous meetings)
Achievement – Your worth as a person depends on how much you achieve and produce
All or Nothing Thinking – Black and white categories. “If one person doesn’t like me, I am no good.” If you fall short of perfection, you’re is a total failure
Alone – Being alone is unacceptable. Happiness, pleasure, and fulfillment can only occur in the presence of others.
Anger is wrong – It is wrong to be angry and you must always show a happy countenance and approval, no matter what happens. Anger is automatically bad and destructive.
Approval – You must be approved of and loved by all people in your life, all the time and for everything that you do. You can only be okay if everyone likes and approves of you all the time.
Authorities or Power Figures know more than You – The idea that all the authority figures in your life (parents, teachers, big brothers, big sisters, clergymen, etc.) were always 100% knowledgeable in everything they ever said.
Avoidance – Itʼs easier to avoid than to face life’s difficulties and responsibilities. If I ignore the problem it will go away.
Being Right – You must prove that your opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and you will go to any lengths to prove that you are right. You have to be right or you’re not okay. “I don’t care what you think, I’d do it exactly the same way again”.
Blame – There must be a person to assign blame on every time something goes wrong. Ex: You blame yourself for problems you are not responsible for. “It’s my fault my son uses drugs.” Ex: You hold others responsible for your pain or problems. “It is my parent’s fault that my marriage failed.” Or, you blame other people and overlook ways that you contributed to a problem. “It’s your fault that I gained all this weight.”
Catastrophizing – The idea that when things are not going the way you think they should go in my life that it is a catastrophe, awful, terrible. You expect disaster. You notice or hear about a problem and think the worst. What if it happens to me?” “If we donʼt see each other every day, the relationship must be over.” “I will fall apart if things donʼt go the way I want.” “We haven’t seen each other for two days, I think the relationship must be falling apart.”
Change (The fallacy of change) – You expect others to change to suite you so you can be happy. You need to pressure others into feeling guilty in order to make them change. “If you could be more ____ then I could be_____.” “If you’d be more _____, we’d have a much happier marriage”.
Control Fallacies – You allow others to control you and see yourself as a helpless victim of fate. “You can’t fight the system”. You MUST do everything everyone else wants you to do and then the whole world will like you. Or, that everyone else must do everything you want them to do and then you will like them.
Comparing – You compare yourself to others, trying to determine whoʼs smarter, better looking, etc. “Quite a few people here seem smarter than I am.”
Dependency – (Not all of these may apply to you) You are always looking for or relying on someone who seems wiser and stronger to take care of you or make decisions for you. If someone has more education or makes more money, they surely know more what is best for you. The only way to keep from being abandoned or rejected is to comply with the will and demands of others. Your value as a person depends on who you are with, how much you can accomplish or what you achieve. Good relationships are based on someone taking care of you and providing everything for you so you donʼt have to worry about anything. You are responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you or them for you.
Disapproval from others – When others disapprove of you, it invariably means you are wrong or you have done something bad.
Discount the positive – You insist that your accomplishments, positive qualities, and positive experiences as if they donʼt count, which maintains the negative belief that contradicts the experience. This maintains a negative belief that is contradicted by experience.
Emotional Responsibility – My feelings, happiness and emotions are caused by others and I have no control over them.
Emotional Reasoning – You reason from how you feel. “I feel like I am stupid and boring, so I must be stupid and boring.” “I am depressed, so life must be pointless.” “I feel like an idiot, so it must be true.”
External Dependency: The idea most of your unhappiness is caused by external situations, and that there is little or nothing you can do to control that unhappiness.
Fairness – Life should always be fair. People should always be fair. You know what is fair but others wonʼt agree with you. “It is not fair that you are happily married and I am still single.” “It isn’t fair that you go out and have fun while I’m stuck doing homework.”
Fear Fallacy – You should feel fear or anxiety about anything that is unknown, uncertain, or potentially dangerous
Filtering (Mental Filter) – You pick out a negative detail and dwell on it exclusively. You take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation. “The party would have been great except that the pictures didnʼt turn out.” “I could have enjoyed the picnic except the chicken was burnt”.
Fortune Telling – You anticipate things will turn out a certain way and are convinced your prediction is an already established fact – anticipate that things will turn out badly.
Fragile – People are fragile and cannot handle hurt or disappointment.
Global Labeling – You generalize one or two qualities into a negative global judgment: “I knew he was no good from the moment I saw him.” “He was a loser from the first day he showed up here.”
God will take care of everything – The idea that God not only provides food for the birds but that he also delivers that food right to the nest in little plastic bags.
Heavenʼs Reward Fallacy: You expect all your sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, as if there were someone keeping score. You feel bitter when the reward doesnʼt come. “After the good life I have lived, this shouldnʼt be happening to me!” “I worked and raised these kids and look what thanks I get”.
Helplessness – What happened in your past determines your present life. You canʼt change, act or think differently even if you want to. You are a victim of fate, others, society…you are controlled by others and by circumstances around you.
Humility/Pride Fallacy – The idea that your thinking negative things or saying them about yourself is humility. The idea that you thinking positive things or saying them about myself is pride.
Jumping to Conclusions – You jump to your own conclusions without facts to substantiate it—make a negative interpretation even though no definite facts really substantiate it).
Labeling and Mislabeling – Instead of telling yourself, “I made a mistake.” You tell yourself in an emotionally loaded way, “I’m a loser” or “I’m a jerk.” This can also apply to how you react to others, “He’s a jerk.” “Because you hurt your brother you are a bad boy.”
Magical Thinking -“If I will just _____, this person will change and be what I need him/ her to be.”
Magnification/Minimization – You exaggerate the importance of things. “Someone else’s achievement shrinks my achievements.” You underestimate your achievements or exaggerate someone elseʼs mistake. You blow things way out of proportion or you shrink their importance.
Mind Reading – Without their saying so, you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, you are able to divine how people are feeling towards me and know why they do what they do. “The reason you are doing that is to get other peopleʼs attention.”
Over-caring for Others – You should take care of other people at all times and make sure they are always happy.
Over-generalization: You view a negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat. You come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. If something bad happens once, you expect it to happen over and over again. You come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. Example: “Ever since Lisa, I’ve never trusted a redhead”
Perfectionism – There is a right, precise, and perfect way to do everything, and you must do everything perfectly all the time. If you do anything less than perfect, you are a failure. If others do things less than perfect, they are disrespecting or disappointing you. The idea that the”pursuit of excellence” and the “need to be perfect” are the same thing.
Polarized Thinking: Things are black or white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you’re a failure. There is no middle ground.
Perfect love and relationship – Belief that there is a perfect love and relationship. Nothing is quite right because you are waiting for the perfect fit and it never comes.
Personalization – Thinking that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction towards you. Example: “It’s my fault my parents got divorced.” Or, you see yourself as the cause of some external event such as bad weather.
Pleasing Others – If you don’t go to great lengths to please others, they will abandon or reject you.
Pleasure Fallacy – Happiness means no responsibility, no problems and endless play or relaxation. There should be no pain in life, only pleasure. The idea that you can attain the greatest human happiness by doing nothing or just continually “enjoying myself.”
Polarized Thinking – You look at things in absolutes: things are black or white, good or bad. If Iʼm not good all the time, then I must be bad. If Iʼm not perfect then I must be a failure. There is no middle ground. Youʼre either with me or you are against me.
Self-Blame – If your spouse wants to get out of the marriage, it must be because you have done something wrong. When others disapprove of you, it can only mean you have done something wrong. You can only be okay when I can win back their approval.
Self-Care Fallacy – It is bad to ever think of yourself. Good relationships are based on constant giving to the other person and never taking yourself or your own needs into consideration.
Shoulds/Oughts – You have a list of ironclad rules about how all people should act. You get angry when other people break the rules and feel guilty when you break the rules. You try to motivate yourself with a list of shoulds, oughts, musts, and have-toʼs. You hold other people to your standards, “You should never wear brown in the spring.” “You should never ask people personal questions.”
Worry – If there is a chance something could go wrong, you should worry about it.