Occupy the Territory

celebration Dec 14, 2020

Occupy the Territory

This week we have been looking at Automatic Negative Thoughts (A.N.T.s). You can go back to the list in Monday’s email, but keep in mind that the point of identifying ANTS is to be an ANTeater by talking back to your negative thoughts. This is a practice of challenging your thinking. It is distrusting our negative thoughts as the definers of our reality. Let’s quickly look at another element of ANTeating.

It is written, that the mouth speaks from what fills the heart. Is it any wonder then, when we dwell on negative thoughts, that our conversations will also be habitually negative? Our Automatic Negative Thoughts becomes our Automatic Negative Speech. There is certainly a time and place for sharing our burdens with one another, but we don’t want to be that friend who overshares – know what I mean?

This morning I was re-reading part of Dr. Joseph Umidi’s book Transformational Intelligence: Creating Cultures of Honor at Home and at Work. One section describes “focused attraction”. Simply put it is attracting who we are. Here is the excerpt that was convicting to me.

“We become like a magnet and a filter. In other words, we filter out those who don’t have time or interest, but we attract like a magnet those who are at the same place, just behind us, or just ahead of us and will enable us to advance on our mountain and steadily climb. Not just one step forward and two steps back, but to be able to occupy the ground we cover, to be able to hold the territory we gain, to be able to get a secure footing and enjoy the view.”

I was convicted because I have given WAY too much energy to those who don’t have time or interest and I have overused the phrase “one step up and two steps back.” Think about the sentences from Dr. Umidi in terms of the content of your daily interactions with others. What habitual narrative of your circumstances do you need to drop and what territory do you already occupy that you need to celebrate?

Let’s do this action step. Pick 5 amazing aspects of our life and share those repeatedly for the next 48 hours. Tell me how it goes.



Rick Burris


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