Five Keys to Overcoming Negativity
- Tuesday, November 01, 2011
When you woke up this morning, did you dangle your legs over the side of the bed and shout, “Hallelujah! Thank you Lord, I’m alive!”?
Some of us wake up with an attitude of gratitude . . . really. Yet others wake up with dread, worry, or a to-do list that intimidates the world’s most organized woman.
My friend Kirby tells me when she wakes up in the morning she walks into the bathroom, stares at the mirror, and says, “Good morning, grumpy.”
I know. I know. Give Kirby some slack because she hasn’t had her coffee yet. But if we allow grumpy the first say in the morning, chances are grumpy will set the pace for the day. I’m sure you’ll agree the last thing we want is grumpy filling our day with a negative attitude.
The good news: We’re works-in-progress women, and God isn’t finished with us yet. It’s also comforting to know that God loves us just as we are—but, He loves us too much to leave us that way.
God desires us to say “no” to negativity and “yes” to positivity. A positive perspective requires much more than simply seeing the glass as half full; it requires seeing the glass overflowing with God’s love, grace, joy, and peace. You can experience this type of godly positivity—I promise. For most of us, it requires inner change, practice, and self-discipline.
Here are five keys to help your day overflow with godly positivity:
1. Embrace an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is our way of responding to and reflecting on God’s love. Start your day off right by thanking God first thing in the morning. If you woke up, thank Him. If you slept in a bed, thank Him. If you have a roof over your head, food in the refrigerator, as well as clothing, thank Him. Thank God for a new day—a new beginning. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us to “Give thanks in all things.”
2. Spend quiet time with God. Imagine yourself sitting at the feet of Jesus as you hush your mind and heart. Inhale. Exhale. Focus your thoughts on the Lord as you pray aloud or whisper—pray and then listen. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
3. Read your Bible. Pray before you begin. Ask God for guidance and the ability to understand and apply His will to your life. Read for quality not quantity. Give God full access to your heart—let Him saturate your soul with His generous love, grace, and mercy. Psalm 119:105 validates the importance of reading your Bible: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
4. Focus on your blessings instead of your worries. Okay, confession time. I’m a recovering worrier—twenty years ago I could have run for president of Worrier’s Anonymous and won.The Bible doesn’t teach us to worry. The Lord tells us in Matthew 6:34, “Do not worry about tomorrow.” So when worry creeps into your life, focus on your blessings. This takes practice, but I’m confident you can overcome the worry culprit. Here’s a good dose of encouragement from The Message translation of Matthew 5:5, “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” I encourage you to read Matthew 5:3-10 (The Message); you will be blessed.
5. Wear a smile on your face. If you see grumpy in the mirror, smile! Grumpy will disappear when you focus on your blessings and flash a big grin. Proverbs 15:13 promises us that “A glad heart makes a cheerful face.”
Researchers claim it takes 15-20 days to create a new behavior pattern. So be patient and gentle with yourself. Some days you’ll progress two steps forward, and other days you might go two steps backward and one forward. Stay with it, my friend; the infinite rewards of godly positivity are worth your time investment.
Practice the five steps above for a minimum of 30 days. On day 31, make a commitment to continue practicing these steps for the next month. You’ll soon discover your practice has transformed into a healthy, positive pattern that overflows with God’s love, grace, joy, and peace.
“This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
-- Psalm 118:24, NLT
A sought after speaker and popular author, Jan Coates’ contagious, godly positivity is felt in every word she shares. Her mission is to help others discover how to personally experience a new life—one that overflows with God’s joy, grace, and positivity. She is the author of Attitude-inize: 10 Secrets to a Positive You .
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