I have been encouraging people for years to engage negativity fasts, as a way to renew their minds and give themselves a fresh jump start into a new chapter. But these fasts are way harder than we realize, especially because of how much our lives are conditioned by negativity.
A Negativity Fast is a Good Jump Start
These past 3 months were emotionally intense and discouragement was lurking around the corner in too many things. So I decided to do another negativity fast to give myself some fresh eyes on my life. Here are some honest observations I found in this 30 day process.
1. I Need to Take More Responsibility for My Negativity
I can blame the world for being negative, but my inner world becomes more negative than I often care to admit. I actually find that if I take a day off from building hope in my heart, I can easily slide into some rough places.
In every place where I allow negativity to dominate, I allow unbelief to form the narrative that I listen to all day. Silencing the noise of negativity takes time and intentional investment, but it clears my heart up to receive the goodness of God in the land and times that I live in.
2. Negativity reveals my pain areas.
Our unhealed pain can become the places where hopelessness can increase. Whenever our hope weakens, negativity becomes a byproduct. So I learned that where I am continually negative, those areas reveal pain that needs to be healed in God’s love and cleansing.
The areas of negativity can actually become invitations for the Father to heal and give us a fresh perspective on life. Otherwise my pain will follow me and become injected into every circumstance and relational interaction.
3. I Will Wander in Areas Where Negativity Remains
I break into the rest of God by learning to daily belief and trust in who He is and what He is doing. Negativity fuels unbelief, causing me to wander in the wilderness. I have learned that wherever I keep repeating certain patterns of limitation, negativity wants to keep me there.
The only way to break out of the same wilderness patterns is to begin believing again and putting on hope as my new garment.
4. I’ve learned to ask more empowering questions.
The questions we ask will lead us into what our focus becomes and how we frame our perspective.
I developed a new question when negativity would arise in me. As I caught myself complaining about a subject, I would interrupt that griping with, “What are you going to do about it?” That new question empowered me to approach my difficult circumstances with a new lens.
The answer to “what am I going to do about it?” usually involved one of two answers; an issue I need to release or an issue I need to do something about. Victims just like to complain without any focus on solutions. Victorious overcomers know to take responsibility and shift their posture into an empowering one.
Otherwise, we can become so used to being negative that we actually like it.
5. Negativity is a place to find new solutions.
Negativity usually points out a problem. It signals that something may need to be done for change. This brings my choice into the equation. Whenever I have eliminated my ability to choose, I come into agreement with being a victim. An overcomer looks for ways they can choose to grow, even if it just means to choose a better attitude.
Breaking negativity involves being more solutions oriented, stretching myself in ways I thought I never could.
Sometimes I make the mistake that if I spend a lot of my time focusing on the problem, eventually something will happen. When in fact, I would empower the problem more and more. I learned that it is more HOW I look at the problem. Am I viewing the problem, knowing that solutions are available and I have authority over it, or am I starring at the problem in a way that it empowers unbelief in me?
6. I am learning to fill the empty spaces of life with gratitude.
Sometimes in the empty spaces of interaction, people commonly fill it with complaining.
“Man this weather is brutal.”
“Cost of living in Connecticut is crazy.”
“Did you hear about my medical insurance? It’s through the roof!”
These are actually statements I have said. I learned that in those quiet moments of interactions, we fill the empty space with our default setting. Too often, that gauge is set to complaining. We fill the empty spaces of life with criticism and focusing on everything we don’t like.
We actually become very entitled in our negativity and lose gratitude. We get something great and soon after we find something else to complain about.
During this negativity fast, I learned to fill more of the empty spaces in my day with graitude. Taking time throughout the day to pour out thanksgiving to God and to those around completely rewires me for a victorious outlook. Thanksgiving drives out negativity like nothing else. I cannot be truly grateful and negative at the same time.
So one of the greatest things I have learned in this negativity fast is to treasure a grateful heart. The more I exercise this gratitude, the more I hone in on God’s greatness in every situation.
Question: What lessons have you learned in doing a negativity fast?
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