PTSD-recovered Army veteran Shea Watson shares how to create a positive mindset by what we put in the pantries of our minds.
“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.” ― Brian Tracy
What are the Pressures Christian Men Face?
Negative thought patterns are a part of human nature according to Psychology Today. Here are some of the patterns we face as Christian men. When left unchecked, we live in a way that is dissonant where our values and our lives are not aligned.
We hide behind masks
American men are socially trained and conditioned to believe that we must be tough and have it all together. We may feel that we are defined by our jobs, house, and cars. There is pressure to be “manly” without real focus on what it means to be a whole person.
Many of us are not equipped to express our emotions in a healthy way, and we see it seep out in anger, frustration, and avoidance. Horrible ingredients for healthy marriages and legacy-building fatherhood.
We try to do it all ourselves
Men are meant to be independent, “self-made”, and in the United States a lot of media points towards glorifying the loner who does it all. Relying on others is seen as weak, and weakness is “unmanly”.
While falling apart inside and being stretched thin, we try to do it all for our families thinking we are the only contributor. Framing a positive mindset around vulnerability and needing family, friends, and teammates at work can help.
We’re just selfish as a species
As a father, Shea remembers a scene from Pixar’s Finding Nemo where birds fight over food claiming, “Mine! Mine! Mine!” They’re fun to watch. Oddly enough, they also remind us that we need to admit we are selfish if we are going to break out of the rut of selfishness. Being self-centered creates a me-versus-them mentality that undermines connections by creating comparison games.
The result of these negative mindsets is that we live in a way that is not true to who we are or the purpose that is on our hearts.
It’s okay to admit that we are broken and imperfect. The truth is we do not need to stay in these ruts. Let’s talk about making our own paths and living beyond the rut by creating a positive mindset.
Why a Positive Mindset?
It’s easy for us to “go dark” when a circumstance hits us, especially if a lot of circumstances hit us at the same time. Adopting and creating a positive mindset is not ignoring reality. When you decide to cultivate a positive mindset, you are making a decision to grab onto hope that things can and will get better.
An 8-year study revealed that people who adopted a positive mindset were at significantly lower risk of death from heart disease, stroke, cancer, and more. Subjects from this study also reported a better quality of life that included fewer illnesses, more energy, and lower rates of depression.
Past guest of Beyond the Rut, Nancy Guberti, shared that having healthy nutrition and wellness also starts with mindset. If your goal is to lose weight and get into better levels of fitness, your mind kicks off the process and keeps you there. Listen to the interview on how to maintain a positive mindset over time.
Maybe it’s time to adopt aggressive optimism in order to create a positive mindset.
How to Create a Positive Mindset
- Remove the unhealthy snacks and foods from your pantry (your mind). What are the books, social media accounts, television programs, etc. that make you upset when you consume them?
- Fill your pantry (mind) with healthy ingredients. Consider the resources that help you see the positive and potential of “what can be”. We are designed to be creators. What helps you create a better world worth living in?
- Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. It’s a famous quote by author and speaker Jim Rohn. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Maybe it is time to consider who in your life is pouring into you, and who is draining the life out of you.
- Admit that we are never perfect. The idea that we have to be perfect is exhausting. Trying to actually be perfect leads us to being delusional about ourselves in comparison with others.
- Adopt a mindset for serving others. It’s weird. There’s power in humility and servant leadership is a thing. Taking on an Outward Mindset to meet the needs of others helps us appreciate others while also building rapport and success.
- Recognize the patterns you’re stuck in. This may be the hardest thing to do. As you remove the negative influences on your mindset and replace items in your mental pantry with resources to create a positive mindset, you can’t NOT see these patterns arise. Recognize them with courage.
- Identify a different pattern, a new direction. Many of us aim at nothing and hit it with amazing accuracy. Take the time to declare how you want to live, what it will look like, then pursue it with vigor.
- Commit to that new direction with intent. We see this phrase a lot in the Bible, “Go forth!” That’s it. If you’re a fan of Captain Jean Luc Picard, “Make it so!”
Bonus Tips Not Mentioned in this Episode on How to Create a Positive Mindset
Keep a journal to record your patterns, and lock in your positive thoughts. Here are 4 Reasons Why Men Should Keep a Journal with practical tips on how to maintain one.
Who is Shea Watson
Shea Watson is an Army veteran who served in a combat arms role. His career ended with a season of PTSD where he received treatment and went on a long road to recovery. Today, he is married to Michelle Watson and have a daughter.
The Shea we see today is one who is positive, encouraging, and energetic. He helps men identify the traps they are stuck in so they can redirect their lives and refill their mental pantries with goods that will build good in their lives. Shea likes to cook. That’s why we are seeing a lot of food analogies here about pantries.
When asked for a bio, Shea replies, “I’m just a man who loves Jesus.” You’ll find out all the other things that make him incredibly interesting by listening to the show. God’s done an incredible work in him. His wife, Michelle, loves him oodles of noodles.
Resources and Links
You can learn more about The Pantry Podcast at ThePantryPodcast.com where links to Shea and Michelle’s podcast can be found and resources to help you fill your pantry with ingredients to create a positive mindset.
If you want a group of people to help you cultivate a positive mindset, check out Shea’s Facebook Group The Kingdom Commissary: Stocking Your Storehouse for Spiritual Battle.
Listen to this past episode of Beyond the Rut Podcast:
How the Happiness Advantage Can Change Your World (Part 1) – If we say in the U.S. Constitution that every person has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it makes no sense that we go about the pursuit of happiness all wrong.
Happiness is not achieved through milestones, a certain salary, a certain career, or any other external factor to ourselves. Happiness is actually achieved when we create that mindset in us first, and then we see the benefits in our careers, finances, family, and so on.
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Host, Editing, and Production: Jerry Dugan
Music: “Oceans Apart” is our theme song composed and performed by Scott Ian Holmes.