3 Steps to a Transformed Mind

I couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce you to a dear friend today, Tracie Miles. Tracie’s new book Unsinkable Faith has just released. I have to tell you that I’ve watched Tracie not only write these words but live these words over a very difficult and painful year. She’s the real deal. You’re going to love what she has to say, so please welcome my friend Tracie! (And read to the bottom for a giveaway.)

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My thoughts were running rampant, and I knew it.

The room was pitch black dark, except for a trickle of moonlight peeking through the window blinds. It was the middle of the night, but my mind apparently thought it was the middle of the day. The more I laid there thinking about my problems, the bigger those problems seemed to get. New worries began to bubble up and weave themselves into the tangled up details of the problems I was fretting over. Within a short period of time, even little problems I was fretting over became monsters in my head of which I was sure were going to devour me.

I wish I could say this was the first time that had happened, but that would be far from the truth. So many times I’ve laid awake at night, fretting and stressing over difficult situations or problems I was dealing with, my thoughts morphing them into bigger issues than they probably were, and inadvertently letting them rob of me of peace and sanity. Countless hours spent feeding negative thoughts until they grew bigger than I thought I could handle – when in reality they were not only manageable by me with my heavenly Father’s help, but fully manageable by Him all by Himself.  Yet the more I worried, the more my peace would vacate my heart and mind, while negativity swooped in and took up permanent residence.

Fortunately, as I journeyed with God through those difficulties, He eventually helped me realize that I could either let my thoughts control me, or I could learn to control them instead. I realized I could either choose to capture my thoughts before they captured my peace, or let them continue running rampant and allow them do exactly that.

Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” This verse holds the fundamental principle for positive thinking and joyful living, which is intentionally changing the way we think by inviting God to start a transformation within.

If we allow our minds to be shaped by negative thoughts about the difficult or trying circumstances we face, instead of them being shaped by God’s way of thinking (thoughts that are true and pleasing in His eyes; thoughts based on His perspective instead of our own), we are headed straight toward a life lacking peace, joy, and hope. But when we invite Christ to renew our minds one thought at a time, and humbly admit our need for change, we will be blessed with the ability to enjoy life, despite life. All because we changed our patterns of thinking, which gradually changed our patterns of living.

Although it might seem difficult, and maybe even impossible, it is possible for all of us to change the way we think if we commit to three God-filled strategies. If we intentionally begin to put these into practice in our daily lives, we usher in the ability for God to equip us to begin the transformation of our thoughts, feelings, and lives. These three easy steps are:

  1. Notice negative thoughts.
  2. Reject negative thoughts.
  3. Replace negative thoughts.

Each time you have a negative thought enter your mind, immediately make note of how you are feeling and how you are thinking. Be aware of your thoughts. Ask yourself things like,  Is that thought helping me in any way? Is it making me happy or stealing my peace? Is this  a problem God can’t handle, or am I assuming it is too big for Him? Is it even true, according to God’s Word? Asking God to help us start being aware of our negative thoughts is the first step to learning to control them.

Once you learn to be aware of your negative thoughts when they occur, you can begin to combat them and fight back. Each time you notice a negative thought, simple pause and reject it. Remind yourself not to focus on the negativity, and instead try to focus on something positive. If you’ve decided it is not really true, don’t allow yourself to entertain it anymore. If that negative thought is stealing your peace, refuse to give that negative thought power over your joy, peace or happiness, much less your life.  Take control of what you’re thinking, rather than letting your thoughts run rampant.

Then turn that negative thought around. Replace that negative thought with something more positive, or more true. For example, if something bad happens to us, we don’t have to start believing we have a bad life overall. When we experience something positive in the morning but have to deal with something negative in the afternoon, we have the choice to say whether we’ve had a good day or a bad day overall. If someone hurts our feelings, we can forgive and refuse to let it fester in our thoughts and steal our confidence. If someone insults us, we can focus on our positive attributes and remember what God says about us is most important.

Each time we notice our minds are wandering to a place where discouragement, sadness, fear, anger, or negativity reside, and we notice our feelings are changing our moods, perspectives, and behavior, we have the authority and the power to choose to reject those negative thoughts and shift them to be more positive. It’s simply a matter of deciding to tap into that power and change our habits. Notice your negative thoughts, reject them, and them replace them with something positive and true.  Not always easy, but always possible in Christ.

Might you choose to let today be the first day of your new optimistic life by changing the way you think?

TRACIE MILES

To intentionally make positive living a reality in your life, and to begin experiencing a total life makeover through the transforming and renewing of your mind, consider purchasing Tracie’s newest book, Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies for Transforming the Way You Think, Feel and Live. You can also purchase a Companion Study Guide & Journal and other valuable, faith fueling resources on Tracie’s blog at www.traciemiles.com.

Sign up for Tracie’s free 5 Day Optimist Challenge. Visit her blog for more information at www.traciemiles.com.

 

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GIVEAWAY:

Leave a comment today to enter to win a copy of Unsinkable Faith and also the Unsinkable Faith Companion Study Guide and Journal. If your life is moving warp speed, simply leave a comment saying, “I need unsinkable faith!”

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. I desperately need “Unsinkable Faith” …I’m a single mom that’s been
    Trying to finalize a divorce for 4 years! I feel I’m so negative all the time
    Because of the way I was hurt and I just don’t know how to get my faith
    back……I want to turn it all over to God!

    • Karen, thank you for your honesty! Four years is a long time to persevere through such a difficult situation, and single parenting is no joke. Trust me I get it! It’s so hard not to let the hard things harden our hearts and get stuck in a rut of negative thinking, especially when problems drag out and we have no control over them. The good news is that it is possible to change our thought habits and become more positive thinkers, even when circumstances are not so positive and we’re frustrated and worn out. If we ask God to help us transform our thoughts, He will. Praying that God will infuse a feeling of peace and joy and optimism into your heart, help you begin to see a light at the tunnel by orchestrating events so that your divorce can be finalized and you can have closure, and that He will help you feel and see His Presence in your life and bless you immensely!

  2. I am always looking for additional to help to God’s word to help with the everyday struggles ……..and in particular weight gain at 56.

  3. I definitely need unsinkable faith! My negative thoughts and feelings outweigh the positives way too often.

  4. I need unsinkable faith! I appreciate the message that Tracie is sharing through this book so much. I need it immensely. Thank you!

  5. I need this. I’m a negative thinker in general and have had a rough few years. Trying to climb out of a hole.

  6. First, congratulations to Tracie on her book release. As I am struggling with health issues, financial concerns, and being a single parent to my grandson- I need Unsinkable Faith.

    • Thank you Rena! So sorry for all you’re going through, that does sound like a heavy load. What a lucky little boy your grandson is to have you raising him. Praying that God instills peace and joy into your heart and mind and helps you be able to think positive each day, even when circumstances are hard and worries are many. God always provides for our needs and He will do the same for you. Praying for an abundance of blessings to trickle into your life and that you will be able to see God at work, and that He will work in mysterious ways in the health and financial issues you are facing.

  7. I need unsinkable faith! The last couple days I have been really trying to be positive when negative thoughts/situations arise. It’s not always easy but I have noticed what a change in myself when I choose to put a smile on my face and give my concerns to God.

  8. Wow, Tracie is right on the mark! I needed this today! If I win, I’m going to use this in my young moms Bible study. Thank you!

  9. Thoughts are powerful things….but my God has more power and more truth! I’ve been following Tracie’s blog and the release of her book the past few weeks. I am so encouraged by her words-and how she is handling her difficult circumstances.
    She writes truth…and I’m taking notes!

  10. I have been praying Romans 12:2 for a long time. I have come a long way, but still have to battle negativity on a daily basis.

  11. Thank you for this timely devotion and advice. I would love to read this book and apply it to my life right know. Thank you!! Blessings!

  12. I really appreciated the article. I am the editor of our school’s publication which is freely accessible at http://www.gbs.edu/revivalist. I wondered if I could republish this article sometime? I would give proper credit, sourcing, and point people to your website. Let me know. Again, thanks for the great article.

  13. The name of your new book grabs at my heart, as I’m sure it does many others. Don’t we all desire unshakable faith? Looking forward to reading your book.

  14. I have been struggling with trying to capture negative thoughts, reject them and replace them with something positive and true. Your new books is right on point with that. Looking forward to reading this book and using it on my continued journey of healing.

  15. I need unsinkable faith! I am in a season in which I am being challenged infamy ways and striving to Stacy close to God, seeking Him to help me take correct steps on His plan for greatness and not allow me or my human beliefs to drive my actions.

  16. Wow, I experienced the “not sleeping, wide awake” last night! So many negative things going through my mind caused me to get up, take God’s word and evaluate. I need unsinkable faith.

  17. In such a negative world, it’s hard not to be negative, so I can’t wait to read more about how to keep those negative thoughts behind me!

  18. I’m single (& pretty much alone), have a very stressful job in healthcare, have some health issues, and lost my home in the Louisiana flood. Needless to say, negative thoughts greatly outweigh positive ones right now.

  19. You have no idea how timely this devotion was. I was just telling a. dear trusted soul about how my life has become full of fear and that I needed her prayers to help me overcome this. I know God is. greater than anything we face,but recently Satan has been on full attack. I would love to receive your book!

  20. I really love today’s devotion and would love to win the books. I have been very recently struggling with just this thing and have decided to be more optimistic myself. Not real sure what kind of comment will make the winner. Thank you for your blog!!

  21. I so need a transformed mind. God is working on me, and this book has been one of the tools that He is using. It has had such an impact that I would love to pass on a copy of the book to my sister. Thank you for sharing your blog today with Tracie, and thank you for YOUR blog as it is a great encouragement to me also!

  22. I need unsinkable faith! I’ve been mediating on Proverbs 4:23 this week, so I’ve been more aware of my thoughts. I like Tracie’s approach: notice negative thoughts, reject negative thoughts, and replace negative thoughts. I’m looking forward to reading her book.

    “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” Proverbs 4:23

  23. I would love to win a copy of Tracies new book. I’m encouraged just by the post here today!! Thank you!!

  24. This topic is so real! My mind can sometimes wonder to places that are not fruitful. I cannot wait to read this book to help focus my thoughts on the positive!

  25. Thank you for sharing ways to help transform our thoughts to the way God wants us to live. I would benefit spiritually from reading/studying your “Unsinkable Faith” book.

  26. Your phrase,”life moving at warp speed”, immediately grabbed my attention. It seems as though life’s dena Ed and responsibilities are always grabbing my attention, trying to distract my mind and heart. My job even requires work shifts that make it near impossible to attend mass regularly like I used to. I had to give up music ministry, which was an cherished part of my life. My heart is sad about that. A dear co-worker reminded me that while at work, we are doing God’s work-caring for sick patients; He isn’t taking attendance at mass. It was a welcome thought! I’m grateful for the kind people God puts in our lives to lift us when we need help.

  27. Would thoroughly enjoy this book/read. I seem to be in an endless loop of “God is amazing – He’s all I need” to “He can’t help me” to not even thinking of Him. I can’t conceive of unsinkable faith because I’ve never had it. I fall at the simplest of issues – it’s disheartening and I feel unworthy to even leave a comment about wanting Him to give me a chance at all. I’m not a teen who has any sort of excuse…I’m almost 40 and my faith seems as lacking as it was 20 years ago. My children are older and I see their beliefs following those of their peers and I’m the bad guy when I try to explain Jesus or God’s expectations of us. I’m frustrated…not with my children, but with myself. How can I expect anything from them when I just plain stink with my own faith?

    • Robin, I’m praying for you and your kids right now. I encourage you to find a community of faith that will come alongside you to walk strong together. You are loved!

  28. Lord I need to weep about the world and not my trials. I like the devotion it bought me back to my purpose to have a heart like Christ.

  29. This is the first time I have left a comment although I read your devotion almost every day. After visiting with my son and his family, he always prays that I will be “salt and light” to a home environment that can be quite negative and controlling. Thank you for your words of support and steps for overcoming, with God’s unfailing help, that negativity which can suck the light from a room. Yes, I need unsinkable faith!

  30. I need unsinkable faith! Too often in the past I have unknowingly allowed the enemy to steal my peace by accepting his lies about me to be true. Thank you so much for sharing words of wisdom on how we can win against the attacks of the enemy! It is so easy to think that the negative thoughts that come into our minds are our own when it is not. I think that’s one of the hardest things to do is to notice that the negative thoughts are not coming from ourselves but from the enemy especially when we are at our weakest, when we are at our most vulnerable. God bless.

  31. I am a big fan of both of you, Amy and Tracie! I would love to win a copy of Unsinkable Faith. If I do, I’ll read it and post a review on my blog. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  32. Powerful and beautiful message. Praying for my brother to return to the Lord and for his wife and kids to know Him. Many blessings.

  33. I need unshakable faith!! Thank you so much for this message. I have struggled with negative thinking most of my life, and now God has been showing me that He wants to renew my mind. It will be helpful to remember the 3 steps you shared. Thank you!

  34. My son is leaving for the army my only son my only child my husband has gone back into commission sales talk about living by faith. I need unshakable faith

  35. Unsinkable faith sounds like it would really help me with anxiety and fear which is so debilitating I’m my life. I’m not even worried about winning the book as I am someone’s thoughts as if this would help…? Fear and anxiety has become my life and it’s awful as I raise an 11year.

  36. Fear and anxiety hv taken over my life….it sounds as if unsinkable faith may help. I’m not even concerned about winning the book as I am just knowing if this would help! I’m raising an11 yr. Old and trying to function.

    • Amy, I’m praying for you right now for God to be close and a comfort to you. Hang in there, mama! 11 is a tough age, but you are the mom God created for your child. Praying that God helps you stand in His strength and confidence. My heart is with you.

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