I use the term ‘mantra’ lightly, as it’s not necessarily a prayer or incantation I refer to, but the definition that says it’s is simply an often repeated word or phrase.
To me, your mantra is the word or phrase your mind plays back to you regularly. For example, one might hear her own voice daily declaring, “I’m so fat, I’ll never lose this weight….” Or, one might hear her inner voice telling her something like, “I’m powerful, positive, healthy and strong!”
Which voice is likely to empower you and help you to get the most out of your day? Which is likely to take you in the right direction?
We may think we have a positive mantra because we want to be a positive person. But, if things aren’t going as we want them to, or if people are less than enthusiastic about hanging out with us, maybe we’d better take a closer listen to what we tell ourselves every day.
Admittedly, it can be hard to make a positive profession about our weight when our jeans get tighter every time we put them on. When everything around us seems to be going wrong, it’s not always easy to declare, in a whisper, that we are successful, happy people.
We too often tend to look at our circumstances, and then – access the situation. Our attitude can change our situations!
No one else knows your secret thoughts, your hidden fears. Well, accept God Himself. We can become masters of deceit when we don’t want the people around us to know how we feel or what we’re thinking.
Never really thought of yourself as deceitful? Me neither. But, who are we deceiving more, those who surround us, who love us – or ourselves?
Walk past a picture window and glance at your reflection. What’s your immediate response? Yes, the one that flashes through your mind before you clean it up to tell me about it.
Granted, if your physique isn’t something you struggle with, that might be a bad example.
Maybe you view the people around you as more powerful than yourself. Maybe you’re intimidated by them. When the man from the next office over strides by with his shoulders back like he owns the world, does that bother you?
Or maybe, you think you’re better than him. Maybe your ego shouts over any voices of intimidation.
Okay, so maybe I’m coming up with bad examples. What comes to your mind?
Where is it hard to say something nice about yourself? Where do you find it hardest to take compliments? Where is it most difficult to believe what God says about you?
It just could be that the soundtrack playing your mantra has become so familiar to you, that you don’t consciously hear it anymore. But, it’s still feeding you a lie. And the part of you that’s being fed that lie is the part of you you’re least comfortable with, it may even embarrass you.
So, take a minute to listen. Hear what you say to yourself every day. The best place to listen is in front of a mirror. Write it down. Is it good? Is it something you’d proudly share with others?
Within the secrets of successful people is tucked away a precious nugget that says they can be who they want to be, because they already see themselves that way.
If I see myself as fat and lazy, I’m probably not going to find it easy to live the life of a healthy, productive woman. Logical. But, we take our thoughts for granted. Only we can change them, and it’s our choice to do so or not.
Where will you start making changes today? That mantra won’t magically change overnight. You’ll have to work at it. You’ve lived with it for how long now?
But, let the changes begin right now!
You might know what Jeremiah 29:11 says. You might know that God has good thoughts of you; good plans for you. But, do you tie His hands with your own unbelief? Do you sabotage His plans with your negative mantras and insecurities?
Whether it seems easy to do or not, - trust Him.
“How precious also are they thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand…” – Psalm 139:17 – 18 (KJV)
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)