I have a new habit and it’s not a good one!
My new habit is… I mumble!
I mumble to myself about what’s going on around me.
It’s like this negative internal chatter that narrates my buggy surroundings, resulting in my inner monologue spilling out of my mouth.
And, no idea why I’ve taken this up!
The other morning, I dropped my 14-year old, Olivia, off at school and then headed toward my next appointment, which was an outdoor, small group training—as in exercise! This was my first workout like this in MONTHS!!
Arriving about 20 minutes early, I decided to “zoom in” by phone to the morning assembly at Olivia’s school.
Now, I have never zoomed in by phone before, so I was being extra careful with keeping my camera off and quietly listening. About 15 minutes into the presentation, a car briskly pulled in to the spot in front of me and a quirky looking fellow in workout clothes hopped out of it.
He was tan with extremely tight leggings and moved in an aggressive manner. At that point, my new involuntary habit kicked in and I mumbled, “Oh no. I don’t want to work out with HIM!”
Isn’t that terrible I said that?!
Well, unfortunately, that’s not the most terrible part of this story.
The next thing I heard was the principal of Olivia’s school saying, “I think we need to mute everyone.”
I KNEW what had happened on their end: Olivia in class, watching on zoom… hears her mom’s voice accompanied by her mom’s picture appearing on screen in front of the WHOLE school.
Why couldn’t I have just thought that without saying it?!
I could NOT get off the zoom call fast enough!
How could I make such a rookie mistake by not double-checking I was muted!!
The next moments were filled with thoughts of how to un-do what I’d done.
What if the principal thought I was responding to what he said? Should I call him?
What if Olivia was teased the rest of the day?
What if parents rolled their eyes at me the next time I was on campus?
WHY have I embraced this obnoxious habit of mumbling OUTLOUD to myself?
This was my personal wake-up call and I began analyzing myself: Am I mumbling because I have a complaining spirit?
Followed by…I don’t want to have a complaining spirit!
In the Bible, mumbling (murmuring and grumbling) is always connected to complaining. We see this A LOT with Moses and the Israelites in their wilderness wanderings.
70% of our thoughts per day are negative, and considering we have 60,000 thoughts per day, that means over 40,000 of them are negative.
How on earth do we combat ALL that negative thinking!
Here are a few tips from me, an embarrassed and recovering professional ‘mumbler’!
How to Overcome Negative Thinking
- Start each day with God- You KNEW I would start here!
But, truly… filling those first moments of your day focusing on God is the first step in setting your mind on the right track.
Romans 12:2 (NIV) “… be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Each day is a fresh start with fresh challenges, and we desperately need the mind of Christ to navigate all that is coming at us. In other words, ‘thoughts IN’ help control ‘thoughts OUT.’
- Here’s a super practical one: Practice smiling!
I know, I know—kind of a strange one, but it’s working for me! A simple smile can derail a boatload of negative thoughts. Go ahead, try it!
- View your words as a gift: Gahhh! I love this one!
Ephesians 4:29 (TPT) says, “And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them.”
What IF we viewed our words as beautiful gifts and a way of presenting grace to others?
And what IF this was the gate code for our thoughts? … only allowing thoughts to continue that fit this ‘gift criteria’?
This is an excellent place to insert one of my favorite sayings:
Your thoughts create your feelings.
Your feelings create your actions.
Your actions create your results.
It ALL starts in our thoughts
So, if you’re like me, trying desperately to be able to show your face on campus again, then managing your thoughts must become a daily, intentional choice.
And I KNOW you are on the edge of your seat waiting to hear how the workout went with the tan guy in tight leggings. Well… minutes after my mumbling moment, he got back in his truck and drove away.
All that embarrassment for nothing! Hah!