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Are You Thinking Straight? Check Your Beliefs.


Are you thinking straight

“Are You Thinking Straight? Check Your Beliefs.” by Joan Y. Edwards

I was searching through papers from my teaching days yesterday, looking for pictures that might need scanning, when I came across a paper I’d saved with hints for clear thinking from Dr. Albert Ellis, a famous pyschologist in the 1950’s.  He designed a therapy called Rational Therapy. Dr. Ellis believed that Rational Therapy was more direct, efficient, and effective than pyschotherapy.  Later they changed the name of his therapy to Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.

Dr. Ellis said there are 12 false thoughts or beliefs that are prevalent with people that lead to problems in our thinking. If our thinking is faulty, our emotions may be out of whack, too. I’ll bet you’re familiar with at least one of these faulty statements.  Dr. Ellis wrote them as we-statements; I changed them to I-statements. I added what I believe are healthier ways of thinking for each of them.

(Hint for Writers: You can use one or two of these erroneous thinking statements as flaws for your character(s) in your stories.

  1. Faulty way of thinking: I must be loved by everyone and everyone must approve everything I do. Healthier way of thinking: It’s okay if some people don’t love me and don’t approve of everything that I do.
  2. Faulty way of thinking: I must be thoroughly competent, adequate, intelligent, and achieving in all possible respects. Healthier way of thinking: I don’t have to be thoroughly competent, adequate, intelligent, and achieving in all possible respects.
  3. Faulty way of thinking: Certain acts are wrong or wicked or villainous, and people who perform them should be severely punished. Healthier way of thinking: Certain acts are wrong or wicked or villainous and people who perform them will be punished by God. It is not my job to judge them. Judge their actions, not them as a person. The authorities who govern the area where they live are in charge of  judging and punishing them for their actions, if deemed necessary by the law.
  4. Faulty way of thinking: It is a terrible catastrophe when things are not as I would like them to be. Healthier way of thinking: Things can be okay even when things are not as I would like for them to be.
  5. Faulty way of thinking: Unhappiness is the result of external events and happenings that are forced on us and that we have no control over. Healthier way of thinking: Happiness is the result of my internal beliefs and thoughts about external events and happenings. I can control the thoughts and beliefs on which I focus.
  6. Faulty way of thinking: We should be greatly concerned about dangerous and fearful things and must center our thinking on them until the danger is passed. Healthier way of thinking: I should be concerned about dangerous and fearful things, but I should center my thinking on surviving the dangers and facing my fears.
  7. Faulty way of thinking: It is easier to avoid difficulties and responsibilities than to face them. Healthier way of thinking: It is easier to face difficulties and responsibilities than to avoid them.
  8. Faulty way of thinking: We need a person stronger than ourselves to rely on. Healthier way of thinking: I am as strong a person as I need to be to do what I need to do. I don’t need someone stronger than me to rely on. God will help me.
  9. Faulty way of thinking: Because something greatly influenced us in the past, it must determine our present behavior;  the influence of the past cannot be overcome. Healthier way of thinking: Even if something greatly influenced me in the past, it does not have to determine my present behavior. The influence of the past can be overcome.
  10. Faulty way of thinking: What other people do is vitally important to me, and I should make every effort to change them to be the way I think they should be. Healthier way of thinking: Sometimes what other people do is vitally important to me. I should accept them as they are. If their behavior harms you in some way, explain how you would prefer for them to act. Realize that they may or may not do it. Behavior is a choice.
  11. Faulty way of thinking: There is one perfect solution to every problem, and if it is not found, the result will be terrible. Healthier way of thinking: There is more than one solution with good results to every problem.
  12. Faulty way of thinking: I have virtually no control over my emotions; I am their victim and cannot help how I feel. Healthier way of thinking: If I change my beliefs and thoughts, I can change my emotions. I am a victor; not a victim.

Resources

  1. Ann Jorn. Psychcentral.com. “Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy:”
    https://psychcentral.com/lib/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy/
  2. Famous Psychologists. “Albert Ellis:” http://www.psychologistanywhereanytime.com/famous_psychologist_and_psychologists/psychologist_famous_albert_ellis.htm
  3. Smart Recovery.org. “Basics of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy:” http://www.smartrecovery.org/resources/library/For_Family_Volunteers_Professionals/basics-of-rebt.pdf
  4. Good Therapy.org. “Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT):” http://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/rational-emotive-behavioral-therapy

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. To leave me a note, please click on comment below and scroll to the bottom of the page. I’d love to hear which of these faulty thoughts you’ve had and how you changed it. Or just tell me a change, you’re glad you made.

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

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Think in Abundance


“Think in Abundance” by Joan Y. Edwards

People who lived through the crash of the stock market in 1929 had to overcome a big period of time when there seemingly wasn’t enough. My mother struggled with this belief that was passed down by her parents. In turn I inherited a little of this belief myself. It was not until I was 47 years old that I realized that I had surrounded everything around me with negatives. There wasn’t enough of anything for me. Blaming others for my situation didn’t help calm me down on the inside. Blaming myself for the situation wasn’t much better. When I stopped looking for someone to blame (myself or others) and searched for the solution, I discovered that I had to change my thinking. It wasn’t necessarily what I was doing that was wrong. It was the thinking in my mind that had become cluttered with experiences that were so negative that I didn’t know if I could live any more. How did I get from being a positive thinker to a negative thinker? It doesn’t really matter. The solution I felt was in finding a way to fill myself with positive thoughts.

Why look for a job when you think there’s no way you can get one?

Why try to pay your bills when you say you never have the money to pay them?

Why have a child when you think you won’t have the money to raise her or him?

These thoughts are self-defeating. Choose your thoughts every day. Surround yourself with a positive spin to what’s happening to you. Otherwise, death will come sooner than you think, only because of your thoughts.

“I never have enough money to pay my bills.”

“I have just enough money to pay my bills.”

“I have enough money to pay my bills plus $20.00 to put in savings.”

“I have enough money to pay my bills, plus $20.00 to put in savings, plus $20.00 to give as a gift to anyone I want to share my money with.

The statements that go through your mind on a consistent basis are your belief system. They can be changed. You can change them. Visualize yourself with an abundance of money for whatever you want or need. Hear yourself saying, “I have an abundance of money for all my wants and needs.” Remember the sensations when you touch the pay check or the money you earn from the sales you make. Say “I can feel the things that my money buys for me: my house, my clothing, my transportation, my vacation. I share with others through my church or favorite charity. When I’m a good steward with my money, God rewards me with more money.”

“If I share my money, I won’t have enough left.” If these are your thoughts, change your thinking. “I have an abundance of money to pay my just debts and to share with others.” Don’t share money unless you have paid your bills first.  Pay all your bills first. That’s being a good steward with your money.

I got into too much debt one time. It did not feel good at all. I used credit cards. I based paying the credit cards on both my first husband’s and my salary. NOT a good plan. If one of you loses a job, there goes your payment plan right out the window. I didn’t realize what keeping a balance on my credit card was doing to me. I was avoiding saying “No” to myself or my family for things that weren’t needed. I charged them.

My older daughter, Lorrie, was amazed when her college roommate paid off the balance she owed the credit card company. Lorrie said, “Do you mean they’ll let you do that? They’ll let you pay it off in full when the first payment is due?” Her roommate told her, “Yes.” It changed her whole way of thinking. Lorrie loves to save money. She has saved oodles of money by paying off the whole balance on her credit card when her first payment is due. You can, too.

Credit Card Companies may have this mantra: They may be saying: Our customers owe us more money than they can pay off on the first month. We want them to pay us interest. We want our customers to always owe us money.  That’s how we make money. We’ll raise their credit so they can owe us more money.” Actually, credit card companies provide a great service for us. If you use it as a crutch and never get it paid off, it can disable you financially. Low and behold, it has also turned the tables on the financial institutions because so many people have not been able to pay their just debts. The whole system has gone defunct.  The United States Government owes way too much money – more than they can possibly pay when the next payment comes due. Other countries are running in that same circle, not good. You can’t change everybody. You can’t change other people. However, you can change your beliefs.

I believe that the credit card idea came from the Company Store.  People worked in the mines. They needed items for their families to survive. They mining company set up a company store where their workers could purchase groceries, clothing, household items. etc.  If they didn’t have the money, the Company Store would let them have it on credit…they would take what they owed out of their next pay check.  This made the workers even more dependent upon the company. The thinking starts going in a circle and keeps empowering it to stay within those boundaries. Stopping it gets harder and harder…sort of like a roller coaster that won’t stop or a ferris wheel that has no brakes and keeps on spinning.

If you have a credit card that you’ve charged to the limit and are paying interest on the money, I encourage you to set a new mindset. Say, “I have enough money to pay off my credit card debt.” Pay off 20% of what you owe plus $20.00 every month until you have it paid in full. Don’t borrow any more, until it is paid off. Say to yourself, “I have the money to pay the full amount I charge on a credit card before the next payment is due.” This will keep you from having to pay interest on the money.

This problem is widespread. Almost the whole world has done this type of borrowing and now its way of payment has been pulled out from under its feet.  You need to have the courage to live within your means, to empower yourself to have an abundance of everything that you need.

When you are good stewards with your money, God rewards you with more. Ask and you shall receive. Believe and it will be given to you.

What are your beliefs? If they are not getting you the results you want, change the words. Ask in abundance. Take action to prove you are a good steward of all that God has given you. Be thankful for all that you have.  I believe that action equals satisfaction. Action leads to satisfaction. Take a little step towards your new belief. You’ll be amazed at the difference a few words in your mind will make. The changes in your mind create the energy for you to do things differently and to make a positive difference in your own life.

I pray that you have an abundance of everything that you need and want.

Feel free to ask questions and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Never Give Up
Change the words you’re saying to yourself
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

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