How do our thoughts create our reality

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How do our thoughts create our reality

How do our thoughts create our reality? This question has often sat at the back of my mind as I listen to my trail of thought or observe the conversations of others. I find myself reminded of a principle I learned in my university years which stated:

Our perception is our reality

This may have been a principle used in psychological counseling to teach me and other students the value of diversity and authenticity. Although Carl Rogers probably wasn’t a Christian, his theory towards psychology really is phenomenal and laced with Christian principles. Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you a long lesson in psychology or counseling. What I do want to do is dive deeper into how our thoughts define the way we live and view the world.

What is my reality?

Have you ever wondered how our thoughts create our reality? When was the last time you had a close listen to your thought patterns?

I find that the more I listen to the thoughts whirring through my mind, the more discerning I become and the quicker I can go to Jesus for his perspective. Perhaps this is why the Bible often talks about renewing our mind and the helmet of salvation. The battlefield in which we engage in spiritual warfare is largely in our minds. The battle lies in the choice we make in which thoughts we are going to believe:

For example, I have several unhealthy and unhelpful thought patterns that frequently move in. They are akin to unwanted guests or family members that you know you really shouldn’t entertain but out of family “honor” you humor them. Toxic, toxic, toxic. Ugg. So these thoughts that I have are along these lines:

I’m failing as a mom and wife

You are not looking very good. You need to exercise more and eat less. Oh, and your body is just too damaged after three pregnancies to be attractive.

You don’t have any value to give to the world. The world has heard it all before and it’s not going to be interested in what you have to say. Besides, there are so many other people who love Jesus more and give way more value than you.

As you can see these thoughts are so not my identity in Christ. These aren’t the thoughts that God would have me or you think about. Imagine saying this to a friend or family member? Yikes. Yet we regularly talk this way to ourhow do our thoughts create our realityselves and what’s worse is we often believe such thoughts.

In turn, we start to experience insecurity, self-doubt, fear of rejection, loss of purpose and value. We lose sight of God’s perspective and heart towards us. Yet in those moments, these thoughts that we believe have become our reality. They become filters through which we see the world. When people treat us a certain way, our filters often confirm these thought patterns thus reinforcing them until our minds and hearts are held hostage by strongholds and other lies from the enemy.

Is my reality false or true? Does it matter?

Do our thoughts create our reality? Yes. Is this reality false or true? That depends on the reality or the person you speak too. If you were to tell me that you believe the sky is purple whereas I believe the sky is blue, I’m not going to give you a hard time on wrong or right. You see, the only place where reality becomes false or true is in the area of your God-given identity and God’s viewpoint. Life is too short to worry about rights and wrongs or who is right. The only opinion that actually matters is God’s.

How do our thoughts create our reality? At the end of the day, what you choose to think and believe determines your reality. We can argue until we are blue in the face, it won’t change that reality until you choose to believe differently. So, no, it doesn’t matter whether it’s false or true…it’s your world. You and God are the only ones who can shift this reality into alignment with his opinion of you and what the Bible says. The same holds true for how you see yourself, your relationships, your life, and your purpose.

Consider this verse:

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7a (NKJV)

How do our thoughts create our reality?

We all have negative thought patterns that we need to sift out of our lives. Understanding these thought patterns help us answer the question: how do our thoughts create our reality? Psychologists have categorized these thought patterns into the following:

  • All or nothing thinking – I can’t afford to make a mistake, it has to be perfect.
  • Negative self labeling – I’m such a failure
  • Catastrophizing – expecting the absolute worst to happen to you. Similar to foreboding
  • Pessimism – Life is always hard and cruel, we must just accept it. We aren’t going to get out of this situation, we must just get used to it.
  • Dwelling on pain – thinking about past pains or current situations in the hopes that they will change
  • Constant need for approval – The only way I can be happy is if people tell me they like me. I really need to know they are happy with me.
  • Should have statements – I should have said… I really should have done…..

(Cognitive Therapy Guide)

The first time I read these categories of thought patterns was a couple of years ago when I went to a psychologist for a few months to help me work through my rage and anger issues (a dark time in my life, thank God for protecting my family). No, it wasn’t as bad as it may sound. I just needed someone to talk to and I needed some tools to deal with life. Anyways, I realized that I needed to work on believing who God said I was and renewing my mind. I had to ask myself: how do our thoughts create our reality? and learn the ways to change my reality into God’s plan for my life.

The problem with toxic thoughts is that they lead to many physical and emotional issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, insomnia and much more. We have been given power in Jesus to take captive each thought and bring it into his light for clarity, perspective, and truth. We don’t have to believe every thought that runs through our minds. Part of knowing our identity in Christ is to know that we have the mind of Christ. We are empowered, free, and joy-filled.

Realigning my thoughts with my identity in Christ

Now that we’ve answered the question: How do our thoughts create our reality? we can move on to aligning our thought life with our identity in Christ. Here are a few ways to filter out those toxic thoughts and start believing who God says you are (Yes, you are that wonderful):how do our thoughts create our reality

1 Take each thought captive – casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…2 Corinthians10:5 (NKJV)

2 Think good thoughts and God’s thoughts Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

3 Ask God to show you what he thinks of you – my favorite question to ask God is: God what do you think of me? (Happiness is knowing his heart towards me and you)

4 Believe what God says – For some reason or another, we all struggle to believe the amazing things God sees in us. I believe it is because religion has taught us that we have to earn such acceptance and approval. This couldn’t be further from God’s heart. (Subscribe to my email list and you’ll get 21 Scriptures on how God sees you. This is his view of you.) He rejoices over you with singing and dancing. Yes, he knows you and I are sinners and humans and yet he still loves us first and unconditionally. Amazing. What good news!

5 Talk to a trusted friend or confidant about those areas that are keeping toxic thoughts in your life. Healing is key in renewing our minds and walking in our identity in Christ. Facing pain is hard but the freedom it brings is worth it in the end.

6 Feed your spirit and soul with healthy, positive food – Assess what you are reading, watching on TV, listening to. Look at your relationships and what is being spoken of in conversation. Do you need to make some changes here? What about putting in some healthy boundaries? In some cases, you may need to distance yourself from certain things or people. We need to guard our hearts:

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23

With practice and diligence we can begin to move from how do our thoughts create our reality towards a thought life that is overflowing with God’s thoughts towards us. We can enjoy freedom, joy, and purpose without fear, insecurities and doubt for companions.

 
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By | 2017-08-02T08:56:09+00:00 January 16th, 2017|Faith, Practical Christian Living, Spiritual Growth|18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Keri McCue 16th January 2017 at 16:24 - Reply

    This is such an important message! I love this reminder today. I fall to this every day and you’re right, it’s so vital to think like God. Our thoughts are SO powerful!!

    • ailie 16th January 2017 at 17:00 - Reply

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Keri. Our thoughts are vital to living in all God has for us. I regularly have to remind myself of this too

  2. Saleama 16th January 2017 at 19:15 - Reply

    My pastor spoke on this subject last evening. This is a very important subject. We hinder so much of our lives because of the thoughts we haven’t captured. God wants us to live in freedom from thoughts that hinder our walk. Very nice important Word. Thanks for sharing.

    • ailie 16th January 2017 at 21:22 - Reply

      Thanks Saleama. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Encouraging to hear your pastor has been sharing about this topic too.

  3. Melissa Javan 16th January 2017 at 20:15 - Reply

    This is scary – when I read the negative thoughts and realise some of it were on my mind too, OH MY, that’s my reality. Thoughts do become a reality. This is a wake up call.

    • ailie 16th January 2017 at 21:40 - Reply

      Wow Melissa. If it helps, I still have a few of those negative thought patterns. Its challenging to capture those thoughts. Thank the Lord for his strength

      • Melissa Javan 16th January 2017 at 21:56 - Reply

        It’s great that we remind each other of these toxic thoughts that come up on and off. Thank you Lord

  4. Lauren C. Moye 16th January 2017 at 22:32 - Reply

    Ailie, this truly is an outstanding post! I’m really about the ‘should have’ phrases. I often excuse them because it helps me learn new strategies for how to handle something in the future. At the same time, it’s definitely not healthy when this moves from the realm of ‘how do I prevent this from happening again’ into the realm of ‘if only I was better at (blank), then I could have avoided this.’ I love how you add Scripture into your positive thought pattern section! Great touch.

    • ailie 16th January 2017 at 22:42 - Reply

      Thanks Lauren. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I have a few of these negative thought patterns: All or nothing, should have’s, needing approval. LOL You are right though that there is a line between working towards self-improvement and unhealthy thinking. Great comment

  5. Chrissy 16th January 2017 at 23:09 - Reply

    I loved this very much! It really hit home. This is exactly what I needed

    • ailie 17th January 2017 at 11:27 - Reply

      Hi Chrissy. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing and commenting. 🙂

  6. Vee 17th January 2017 at 16:26 - Reply

    Good word Allie – The scriptures are spot on!

    • ailie 17th January 2017 at 18:50 - Reply

      Hi Vee
      Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed it and found the scriptures accurate.

  7. Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog. 17th January 2017 at 22:58 - Reply

    It’s true! It’s such a vicious cycle. And I’ve been running around that cycle for most of my life. 2017 will be different.

  8. Nicole 19th January 2017 at 04:07 - Reply

    Great post! Negativity is a great struggle for me, and I so often let don’t fully grasp who I am in Christ. Thank you for sharing these wonderful insights!

    • ailie 19th January 2017 at 06:25 - Reply

      Thanks Nicole. I am glad you liked it. We are all on a journey to knowing ourselves in Christ

  9. Jennie Goutet 1st February 2017 at 17:56 - Reply

    You’re “realigning” steps are the best. Some of them I do already and some others I’m keen to add on. I think #4 is the hardest to do, and #6 is the hardest to remember.

    • ailie 2nd February 2017 at 12:53 - Reply

      Thanks Jennie. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I find its a work in progress. Some days are better than others. 🙂

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