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Challenging our thoughts and changing the tape playing in our heads

Written by Hillary Keatley

“AS A MAN THINKS SO IS HE” (Proverbs 23: 7)

We are not only what we eat, but we are what we think.  

Did you know that our thoughts come from a CORE BELIEF? A basic belief that we have, about something that causes us to think in a certain way regarding an issue. Our thoughts then affect the way we feel because our thoughts arise from what we tell ourselves. Negative thoughts, negative emotions, negative effects on the body… a negative cycle.

We play tapes to ourselves all the time; we have conversations going on in our minds daily and we tell ourselves things that may or may not be true but which we accept without challenge. Many of the things we tell ourselves are not true and cause us problems.

For example, two boys walk down a road and see a snake. One runs away in terror, the other stops, bends down, examines and then picks up the snake, fascinated by the creature. One person is fearful, the other intrigued; why? The two boys had different core beliefs about the snake. One believed that snakes are terrible, dangerous creatures which are to be feared. The other had experience of snakes and having examined this one he believed it to be harmless.

An antidote to toxic thinking is to examine our thoughts and our beliefs to see if they are really true before we just accept them unconditionally.

Look at this thought: ‘I am stupid and a failure’. These thoughts come from a negative core belief about ourselves. This belief may have come from something someone said to us, or one or more incidents of failure in our lives, perhaps at school or in a learning situation. However, before believing these thoughts unconditionally shouldn’t we at least check to see if it is accurate?

Even if we often make mistakes, or are ignorant in some area, it is more reasonable to believe that one or more failures does not make us a failure. We can grow in wisdom and ability as we apply ourselves to learn more, train more or receive further help in an area of current or past failure.

So then, as we closely look at the thought ‘I am stupid and a failure’ we can see that the core belief is inaccurate and a more accurate thought would be ‘ I have the ability to learn and with application, assistance and practice I can improve’.

So, check those thoughts and challenge the negative ones. Change the tape that has been playing that bad song about you over and over in your mind into one that is more accurate, and truthful. It can bring healing and hope to your whole being and dispel those toxic thoughts.