Soon after my book Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew became a #1 best seller in three categories, my thinking went into a downward spiral. I developed a defeatist attitude about the book, about myself, and about life. After about a day of wallowing in this funk, I realized I had to give myself a talking-to. Because I had to remind myself what was true. I had to remind myself that the book had 30 endorsements. I had to tell myself it received 18 glowing reviews. And I had to say out loud to myself that I thought it was a good book. Because I knew that I can’t believe everything I think.
There will be times that you will have similar situations. You will feel beat down by circumstances—and sometimes you won’t even know why. You will get negative thought patterns stuck in continuous loop and you won’t know how to get out of it. That’s why you can’t believe everything you think.
Because those defeatist days will come, it’s important to know when they will come. Using biblical accounts as illustrations, here are some times to watch out for “stinking thinking.” Because you can’t believe everything you think.
1. After a mountain top experience
In 1 Kings 18, Elijah challenged the 450 prophets of Baal to a supernatural duel. Through fire falling down from heaven, God proved that Elijah’s God is the one true God, and Elijah had all the prophets of Baal killed. But in 1 Kings 19, Queen Jezebel said she was going to kill Elijah for what he did. Then Elijah fled into the wilderness and had a spiritual pity party.
Elijah won the battle, but he acted like he lost it. He proved that God is the Lord, but he didn’t win over the king and queen. As a result, he felt like a failure.
The same thing can happen to you. You may have an amazing mountain top experience, but you will feel it will never be enough. You will always want more. As a result, you will think that you failed even though you succeeded. But you can’t believe everything you think.
Be on your guard for those moments. Recognize those moments for what they are: just moments. Be grateful for your successes and rejoice in them, but don’t put too much stock in them. Then move on to the next thing.
2. When you are tired
In 1 Samuel 27, David started to think that Saul will kill him after all. So he decided to “defect” to Israel’s arch-enemy, the Philistines.
Even though God had Samuel anoint him as the next king, David still lost heart. He got tired from all that he had to do to keep away from Saul. He got tired from all the people who were willing to turn him over to Saul. After getting beaten down over and over, David just got tired.
The same thing can happen to you when you think what you are doing isn’t working. It can happen to you when you think you’re just banging your head against a wall. There will be times that you think you’re a failure. But you can’t believe everything you think.
Be on your guard for those times. God doesn’t make junk, so you’re not junk. Going through the difficult times is what makes you strong enough to persevere. It can give you the confidence to be who God has called you to be. But the key is that you have to be willing to keep going.
3. When you doubt
In Numbers 13, Moses sent twelve spies into the Promised Land to search out the territory to tell the Israelites about it. They brought back a glowing report of the land, but ten of the spies didn’t think they could defeat the giants living in the land. As a result, in Number 14, the people revolted and talked about killing Moses.
God had promised Abraham to give this land to his progeny, but most of the spies still didn’t believe they could take the land. They allowed what they saw to tell them what they could and couldn’t do. They rejected what God had told them, and instead listened to their doubts.
The same thing can happen to you if you allow doubts to persist in your head. It can happen if you’re not careful about what thoughts you allow into your mind. You have to be mindful of what your mind’s full of. Because you can’t believe everything you think.
Be on your guard for those times. Believe Who God says He is, and believe what God says He can do. Apply that faith to your circumstances, and then believe that you can become who God says you are. Do not listen to lies about Who God is, what He can do, or who you are. Because you can’t believe everything you think.
Did you know that I am an experienced coach? I can help you recognize “stinking thinking” for what it is and help you overcome your own limiting beliefs. Just click on the button below to let me know how I can be of help to you.