Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Book Review: Winning the War in Your Mind by Craig Groeschel

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BOOK review
Started on: 11 March 2021
Finished on: 16 March 2021
 
 
Title: Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life
Author: Craig Groeschel
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 256 pages
Year of Publication: 2021
Price: Rp 321,218 (https://www.bookdepository.com/)

Rating: 5/5
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"Our lives are always moving in the direction of our strongest thoughts. What we think shapes who we are."
We've all tried to think our ways out of bad habits and unhealthy thought patterns, but we tend to fail and went back to our old way of thinking and behavior as time goes by. In this book, Craig Groeschel shared his personal experiences battling against self-doubt and negative thinking, and reveals the strategies that he discovered to help us change the way we think and our life for the long-term. The practical strategies explained in this book are drawn from Scripture and also supported by the latest discoveries on brain science. This book will help us learn how our brain works, how to recognize our mental triggers, and develop practices that will allow God's thoughts to be our thoughts.
"In ten years, we will each look in the mirror, and someone will stare back. That person will be shaped by the thoughts of today.
The life we have is a reflection of what we think."
"You cannot change what you do not confront. If you ignore the battle, you lose the battle."
I've read several books by Craig Groeschel in the past and each one left a lasting impression on me, especially Hope in the Dark. I always enjoyed his writing style because it's easy to read yet also thought-provoking at the same time. I also admire how he's not afraid to be vulnerable in the books that he wrote and shared his personal struggles that readers can relate to. So when it was announced that he will be publishing a new book, I immediately put it on my to-read list. I was also intrigued by the title of this book, because there are times when it's really difficult to change our way of thinking or to break a bad habit that has become a part of our lives for a long time.

This book is divided into 4 parts: the first one encouraged us to examine our thoughts and identify the lies that we've come to believe, next we are guided to understand how our brain works and how to rewire it. The third one, we start to learn how reframe our thinking; and lastly identify our mental triggers and overcome them through prayer and praise. At the end of each chapter, there's an exercise page which includes a short summary and a series of questions to help us reflect—so we can immediately put into practice the strategies that we just learned. The questions in these exercises prompted me to examine what I usually think about and work on replacing the negative thoughts with God's truth.
"Behavior modification doesn't work, because the focus is only on modifying behavior. You don't get to the root of the problem, which is the thought that produces the behavior. To be more specific, the problem is the neural pathway that leads to the behavior."
I certainly learned a lot from this book and I'll be sharing a few of my favorites so that you can have an idea what this book talks about. The first one is about cognitive bias, which is a term that refers to a standardized, consistent pattern of deviating from reality in how we see and process things. It creates a subjective reality that affects how we respond and behave. Craig Groeschel gives some great examples that makes it easier to understand. One of the example is when a boss gives the same feedback in the same way to two employees. One receives it as fair, constructive criticism; while the other person is totally offended. The difference between these two is cognitive bias. We are encouraged to analyze and identify the root problem that causes our cognitive bias. It is crucial to do so because a lie believed as truth will affect our lives as if it were true.
"An old quote states, "Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny." The journey to your destiny starts with your thoughts. The right thoughts lead to the right life. Automatically."
No matter how hard we try, we cannot control what's happened in the past or what will happen in the future, but what we can control is how we perceive it. Social psychologists call it cognitive reframing, which will be helpful to encounter cognitive bias. One of my favorite chapters in this book is titled 'What God Didn't Do', which guides us to reframe our past. As Craig Groeschel states, this is the shortest chapter in the book but it might be one of the most powerfulwhich I completely agree. I relate so much to the part that says 'I am so thankful for what God didn't do in my life'. When I was going through it in the past, it was definitely not pleasant. Now I am able to look back and see God's divine protection over my life and I have to agree that His plans are always better than mine. Sometimes we need to thank God for what he didn't do. Developing that discipline helps us reframe our past and see it from God's perspective instead of ours.

There are many more practical strategies from this book that have inspired and encouraged me to start changing my perspective which will renew my thoughts. I am reminded that when we continue to look for God's goodness, we will always see it regardless of the situation we're in. In the last few chapters, Craig Groeschel emphasized on the importance of prayer and praise, because doing so will also change us, our perspective, and our brain as well. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish and appreciate how practical it is. It's amazing how the writer digs deep into God's Word and also use science to support what the Bible says. Now all I need to do is intentionally practice what I've learned from this book and start winning the war in my mind 😉.
"If you look for what's bad, you will find the bad. If you look for what's negative, you will find plenty to be negative about. If you look for things to be critical of, there is always going to be something to criticize.
On the other hand, if you look for God's goodness, you will see it. You'll start seeing his fingerprints and occasionally feel like he's winking at you. As you pay attention to how God is working, you will also find yourself seeing the good in people. This practice will change your relationships. Your attitude will be transformed, and the right attitude always precedes the right actions."
by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

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