Avoiding A Toxic Mindset
by Drenda Keesee
What makes a person self-destruct?
What makes a man steer toward the ditch in life?
Why would he deliberately set himself up for failure?
I watched my husband, Gary, once as he mentored a young man who had some financial troubles. The young man began applying the principles that Gary taught him and experienced tremendous success. Gary was his hero.
In the beginning anyway.
As the young many started making money, and his paychecks began increasing in size, he couldn’t believe he deserved that kind of money. He couldn’t believe he could be successful. Even though he saw the results, his mind-set told him he was destined to be a failure.
So he quit working hard, and he grew negative and resentful.
He sabotaged his own success.
That man ended up turning against Gary. He begrudged Gary’s success in business. Not only did he begrudge Gary’s success, he resented all success. Every boss was a bad guy, every authority in his life a restraint. He lost his job, and after that went from job to job, from failure to failure.
Why did he self-destruct?
I did some digging and discovered why. At a young age, this man’s father had abandoned him. After that, there was something programmed on the inside of him—something that told him he deserved to be abandoned. He thought he deserved failure. He didn’t trust anyone who had success, and so he sabotaged his own.
Those thoughts told him, You’ll never succeed. You’ll never amount to anything. You’re not worthy enough to succeed. You’re not good enough.
Have you ever heard those thoughts before?
The mind loves to be right. If you think you’re a failure, then your mind is going to give you a pretty convincing argument.
Sometimes you have to tell your mind to be quiet and to listen to your spirit.
He couldn’t believe that he could be successful, so he proved himself right by sabotaging his success.
He allowed a toxic mind-set from his past to poison his future.
It’s easy to hold onto the words people have said about us, the times people have sinned against us, and our previous shortcomings and insecurities. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re allowing toxic mind-sets to control us.
That’s how toxic mind-sets work, though. They stop you from enjoying life by moving your thoughts from the good things God is doing and the blessing right in front of you, and instead focusing them on toxic lies. And in the end, you’re the one that misses out on what God has for you.
If your mind is renewed to toxic thoughts, you’re carrying around a big red self-destruct button. You can’t move forward until you decide to think like God thinks and throw out your toxic thoughts.
What is your reality?
Identify the toxic thoughts that could potentially lead you to self-destruction. Write them down. Start with who people told you that you were or who you should be. We often carry those negative labels from our past with us every day, projecting our past hurts onto our future possibilities.
Identity is a huge stumbling point for many people. If you feel unworthy, guilty, ugly, incompetent, insecure, anxious, unlovable, or weak, write those toxic mind-sets down. And don’t forget mind-sets like wishing you could change your body or that habit of running to the refrigerator when you’re stressed or bored.
Anything that doesn’t line up with God’s Word, whether it’s big or small, has to go!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.