P90X #Prayerfor90Days “ADDICTIVE THINKING”

Oct 21, 2013   //   by Tina McCrea   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on P90X #Prayerfor90Days “ADDICTIVE THINKING”



By: Pastor Tina R. McCrea


The focus of a Christian life should be on Christ, not on self-imposed regulations. Our experience of Christ’s lordship is dependent on our moment-by-moment attention to His instruction, not on our own regimented schedule.  This has helped me personally answer the question that was posed to me over twenty years ago, “Why Do You Fear Failing So Much?”   The performance trap leads to a fear of failure.  The fear of failure can lead to various problems such as perfectionism.  Perfectionism is a way to cover up for low self-esteem and any threat of failure is perceived as attacking self-esteem.


Anxiety and fear of failure are often the source of self-condemnation and the disapproval of others, both of which are severe blows to the self-worth based on personal success and approval.  The next time you experience anxiety ask yourself what failure you sense may be about to occur.  Mood swings, chemical dependency, additions to sex, addictions to success or eating disorders are other ways of escaping this false sense of thinking (Robert S. McGee-The Search for Significance).


This research has helped me on a personal level but how does what we have just covered address addictive thinking?  When most people hear the word addiction, immediately they think of drinking alcohol or abusing drugs.  Through my research, I would like to suggest that these actions and other dependencies are actually mechanism of escape from an addictive thought process stemming from low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority that impacts a person’s view of reality and their ability to cope.  This can be broken through awareness, self-truth, acceptance, devotion to God’s Holy Word and tools provided by great resources.


What is addictive thinking and how does one know if they are an addictive thinker?   According to Dr. David Sedlak, addictive thinking is a person’s inability to make consistently healthy decisions in his or her own behalf.  This is not a moral failure of a person’s willpower, but rather a disease of the will and inability to use the will.  Sedlak stresses that this unique thinking disorder does not affect other kinds of reasoning.  Thus, a person who develops a thinking disorder may be intelligent, intuitive, persuasive, and capable of valid philosophical and scientific reasoning.  He says the peculiarity of addictive thinking is the inability to reason with oneself.  From this, we find various emotional and behavioral problems such as compulsive gambling, sexual addition, eating disorders, nicotine addiction, codependency and ultimately alcoholism and drug addiction.


Addictive thinking can cause people to deny themselves the potential to enjoy enlightenment due to their inability to explore new areas that are unfamiliar or threatening.  They tend to be unhappy the greater part of their lives.  A person may be stuck in addictive thinking patterns if they repeatedly remind themselves of what they should have done or feel that nothing they ever do is good enough.  According to Psychiatrist David Burns “shouldy thinking” fills a person with a sense of failure, shame and self-contempt.  Other words like ought or must can create the same feelings.  Psychologist Albert Ellis calls it “must-ur-bation.”


According to Abraham J. Twerski author of Addictive Thinking: Understanding Self-Deception, Addictive thinking can resemble schizophrenia thus many people have been misdiagnosed with schizophrenia when they really are addictive thinkers.  The difference between schizophrenic thinking and addictive thinking is Schizophrenic thinking is blatantly absurd whereas Addictive thinking has a superficial logic that can be very seductive and misleading.  To address the topic of seduction and misrepresentation of the addictive thinker, Twerski’s original title for his book was “Addictive Thinking: Why Do We Lie to Ourselves? Why Do Others Believe Us?” (Abraham Twerski).


More often than not, the addictive thinker does not intentionally try to deceive others.  In this fast pace, microwave society that we live in, we often time do not take time to process what we hear to determine if it is really making sense.  The addictive thinker lives in a state of constant denial distorting the truth about their reality.  As hard as it may be to believe this is not the same as lying.  Lying is a willful, conscious act. The addictive thinker believes that they are telling the truth.  Denial, rationalization, and projection are unconscious acts.


This is why addictive thinkers can resist change and remain in cycles of pain and abuse even when it is pointed out to them that it is happening.  The addictive thinker begins to change when they become aware of denial, their unconscious perceptions and actions associated with them.  Change is generally not a problem with us as long as it is quick and happening within someone else.  Alcohol Anonymous recommends that change will not happen overnight.  It is a twenty-four hour a day, one-day at a time journey.  Practicing this concept helps the addictive thinker and those who are a part of their lives recover.


Shame is an accumulation of painful feelings that come with the belief that who we are is not good enough.  It is wrapped in words like, “I’m stupid, bad, ugly, and dirty, damaged, or damaged goods.  Physical and emotional abandonment coupled with distorted or undefined boundaries are the root cause of shame.


In order to bring wholeness to in the life of one who experienced addictive behavior during childhood they need to acknowledge suppressed feelings, grieving losses and hurts.  Next build healthy boundaries by increasing self-awareness, identifying childhood violations and the offenders, express feelings about them and what was done then examine the state or your boundaries in your present relationships and clean them up if necessary.  Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” This quote to me is empowering as it relates to personal boundaries.


Philippians 4:7-9 (NASB)

7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  9The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.



Proverbs 23:6-8 (ASV)

6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, Neither desire thou his dainties: 7 For as he thinketh within himself, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; But his heart is not with thee.

Bryan Robinson, author of “Heal Your Self-Esteem: Recovery from Addictive Thinking” suggests that by changing how we think we can literally change how our personal lives are manifested.  He calls it applying healing patterns of thinking.  There are as follows:


  1. Principle of Perception.  Our perceptions of ourselves and the world are shaped by mental pictures of past reality that can be changed
  2. Principle of Choice.  We always have the power to choose how we will think, feel and behave; no matter how hopeless our lives seem to be.
  3. Principle of Vacuum.  Getting rid of addictive thoughts and feelings clears a pace for us to receive healing and happiness in our lives.
  4. Principle of Optimism. We can create a positive outlook and by looking on the positive side of situations rather than the negative side.
  5. Principle of Expectation.  Our expectations have self-fulfilling effects that create our experiences and thus our experiences of life become whatever we expect them to be.
  6. Principle of Harmony.  Our lives work when we align our thoughts, feelings, and actions to fit into the grand harmony of nature, rather than resist the natural force of the universe.
  7. Principle of Empowerment.  We are empowered when we think of ourselves as survivors instead of victims of life and when we accept responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
  8. Principle of the Boomerang.  The thoughts we put out from within eventually come back to us in one form or another, just like a boomerang.
  9. Principle of Magnetism.  We attract people into our lives who think, feel, and behave like us and thus people closest to us are mirrors of ourselves.
  10. Principle of the Inner Guru.  Healing addictive thoughts and lifestyles come from the inside out not the outside in.

The addictive thinker can apply these principles replacing images in their mental scrapbook, letting go of unhealthy attitudes and behaviors that held them captive, moving from seeking approval from others to accepting themselves as God wonderful creation filled with peace.




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