In our last article, I encouraged you to take ownership of your thoughts, words, deeds, and emotions. What does it mean to "take ownership"? That's what we're going to learn in this week's article!
Ownership is the state of having control of something. I always say, "If you can't control it, you can't own it." Now take a few moments to think about and answer the following questions:
Do your thoughts run amok and take you places that you would be better off not going?
Do your thoughts lead you to stagnation and a lack of confidence?
Do your words and actions not match your real desire or intent?
Do you say or do things and then wonder what in the world came over me?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you're not exercising control or taking ownership of your life. Even worse, you are not benefiting from the gifts God gave you the right to use.
It's amazing the power harnessed inside ourselves that we hold hostage deep within. The suppression of this power, as opposed to the exertion of this power, can run so deep that we believe things are happening to us, instead of because of us.
In reality, most people live under the limitations of this flawed thinking. See, there is no second-party person or third-party person making things happen to us. We are really doing things to ourselves. Therefore, what you think matters! This is consistent with a verse in the Bible from the Book of Proverbs, chapter 23, verse 7: "As a person thinketh in their heart, so shall they be". This same principle can also be found in Buddha's teachings that "The mind is everything. What you think, you become."
While these are both familiar quotes, they do not fully describe the cause and effect of our thoughts on how our lives unfold to us. Did you know that science experts estimate everyone to have 50,000 thoughts per day? That means that we have about 2,100 thoughts per hour, so overthinking is common!
However, I want to drive home that it's not only about what you are thinking that is important. It is what are you pursuing in your thinking that is reflected in your actions. Thoughts pursued become actions and actions lead to our life experiences.
You have the power to dismiss, disallow, and dis-empower those thoughts that are inconsistent with the things you desire to pursue and experience. Engaging yourself in a never-ceasing thought-controlling lifestyle will lead you to be a confident, optimistic, and action-oriented person, regardless of the challenge you encounter. Frankly, for the past thirty years of my life, this has been my daily approach to living.
Look, people! Having creative, positive, A-Game building thoughts is a matter of habit...but, you must first practice it in order to become a master. Doing the right things to advance your life at all times, no matter what, is hard--but the more you do it, the easier it gets! Reining in your thoughts, and not allowing others to infringe on your pursuit of happiness takes a lot of effort but pays huge dividends.
Taking ownership means staying in control and taking responsibility. It means gaining mastery of yourself and not making excuses. It also means being the architect of your own destiny. To have the ability to live your life on your terms. It means, not having to bring you're A-Game because that is the only game you'll know how to play.
My challenge for you this week:
Quit playing small, stop playing victim, break away from a life that you are not enjoying, and rescue yourself from the you that you don't want to be.
For the next two days, make a list of the most persistent thoughts you experience.
Place a check by the persistent thoughts that lead you to doubt, fear, or resist your ability to control your future.
For each limiting thought, write an empowering thought in an "denial and affirmation" format. For example, if the limiting thought is fear, write, "I deny and defeat fear with my courageous power and persistence."
Commit to doing this exercise and memorizing your statements so that you can control your thoughts and keep positive momentum in your pursuit to an extraordinary life.