How to Overcome Yourself by Renewing Your Mind – A Fireside Chat with Tonya Johnson

Back in March, I sat down with Tonya Johnson who I met through a writing project at the end of last year. We discussed her chapter “Spiritual Growth is Necessary” within The Purpose In My Pain: A 28 Day Devotional Written By Women of Purpose. While doing so, we had a great conversation about writing, renewing your mind, speaking declarations over yourself, and what it means to walk out life with positive mindset in the Kingdom.

Tonya is your Renewed Mind Mentor (and a certified Christian Counselor!). She loves mind work and helping people understand that faith all starts in the mind, where we make decisions. She wants to be the mindset coach of the Kingdom, showing people that we should always be seeking understanding, wisdom, renewal, and freedom.

Tonya started as a singer from age 2 through her 20s, having a great career that she thought would be her purpose until God picked her up and moved her down another way.

Graphic to watch the chat, with quote from Tonya. It's amazing how we think we are going to do one thing, and God does another.

She is a three-time best-selling author, podcaster, and CEO / Founder of Perfecting Spirit and Mind Ministries, a mindset coaching ministry that provides courses that empower people to “be renewed in attitude and spirit” so people can live the lives they dream about. She helps folks with consciousness and subconscious thoughts using her lived experiences, education, and love for helping others.

For those who want to get to it, grab a drink of your choice, a notebook, and a writing instrument. Get comfortable and hit play. I trust you will be better for it after you settle in and spend the next hour with us!

Wow… that was a LOT right? I doubt I will ever be the 30-min podcast type gal, but God’s still working on me. I love to connect with folks and have conversations about things that matter and who they are.

Share in the comments below or on YouTube what your favorite parts were.

Overview of Our Discussion

For those of you who like reading more than watching a video, or who aren’t in a place to listen but are able to read right now, continue on and I’ll give you the high-level summary of what we talked about. And by high-level, I mean settle in cause there was so much in this one that I hope you walk away remembering!

Overcoming Me: My Journey to Breakthrough and Renewal

We start off our discussion talking about Tonya’s book, “Overcoming Me: My Journey to Breakthrough and Renewal.” If you have dealt with perfectionism, which Tonya reminds us is an excuse for procrastination, you’ll want to take notes as she drops wisdom of how she dug out of the trap.

Tonya reminds us that she wasn’t always the energetic, confident, ball of fire who looks like the kind of woman you could enjoy girls’ night with and grow your own confidence around. She shares how her desire for everything to be perfect led to years of waiting and almost not publishing her book.

Relatable? You all may remember our challenge from last October when we conquered the pain of procrastination using tools and resources – and here I am still months late sharing this with you (and yet somehow RIGHT ON TIME. God is truly good!). Tonya goes further than we went and reflects on that moment when things changed.

How did Tonya do it?

She had a come to Jesus moment where she heard God clearly tell her to MOVE and start acting upon her “Yes” to Him. If you’ve ever had one of those moments, you fully understand that when that happens you have two choices: obedience or disobedience. And one comes with internal pain and frustration that isn’t worth the pain. It’s what you feel during procrastination. It’s what you feel when not living out your purpose.

When Tonya shares what it took for her to move and to write the book, the passion in her words and energy will inspire you to get right with God on those areas where you’ve been putting your purpose and calling on the table and letting it sit while you focus on other things. She really pours herself out to us with the words she shares.

“Get Free So You Can Stay Free”

This took me out when I listened again tonight to write this for you.


We chase it in so many ways. If we don’t understand that in the physical and metaphorical sense by now, we aren’t paying attention. We spend our entire lives chasing freedom and we don’t understand why. Freedom of religion. Freedom of choice. Freedom of speech. We’ve fought more over our freedoms as a people in the past two years than over many things in this country…and we got ugly. YET, we will let the freedom God gives us freely sit RIGHT IN FRONT OF US as we wander here and there, and we don’t complain at all.

Tonya says, “Oh no! Get free so you can stay free.” Make it your mission to do the inner work to BE FREE. Once you know the process of how you get free, you become aware of the things that will take you down, set you back, or bring you out of God’s plans. It doesn’t have to be some major life trauma. Sometimes those small things can hurt more than major life setbacks if we don’t process them well.

What does freedom mean when Tonya talks about the freedom we find in God? How do we stay there?

Picture of women high fiving one another

Tonya specifies that when she is talking about freedom, she is talking about the practices of:

  • Studying
  • Praying
  • Affirmations (I am powerful. I am strong.)
  • Declarations (Speaking Biblical principles over yourself)

Getting Egg on my Face – Amazon Best Sellers

Since we are talking about freedom, we got into a good conversation on writing and releasing the results to God. How when we do so, God will make your book, message, media go farther than you ever could have done on your own. It doesn’t mean you don’t try, or do the work, but it does mean you don’t focus on the outcomes as much as you focus on the processes and journeys.

We spend some time talking about doing the work to become an Amazon best seller. This is where I got some serious egg on my face. I had to walk back my long-time stance that Amazon best sellers was a simple algorithm hack and that writers shouldn’t aim for it because it’s not a high mark to hit. This wasn’t an easy admission after being so strong in my stance for so long.

In working with Tonya and others on “The Purpose In My Pain” anthology, I saw the work that goes into becoming a best seller from a new light. I was able to understand a different side of things than just women and men who want to be able to say “Best-selling author” in front of their name so you will do more business with them. (I do still feel that approach is tired and that there are better ways to show your influence and authority in this day of social media that will go farther and earn you better clients, especially since we don’t seem to read as much as we used to.) I was able to see the true joy that comes when you realize you can affect change in lives you may never touch physically but your message can reach through your writing. So I’ve change my stance and am writing it here publicly as well: Go for it, but have the right heart about it know that when you do the work and detach yourself from the outcome, that is when the true joy of achievement will come along with the title of “Amazon best-selling author.”

Because of this discussion, we spend a lot time esteeming Dr. Tamika Hall. If you get a chance to work with her – do it. Seriously. I’ve been writing for more than a decade and I haven’t seen as many publishers and leaders who take the process so seriously. She takes time to teach you so you can move forward and do the next book yourself if you wanted to – and if you’ve been around, you know I love leaders who understand knowledge only has power when we share it. Marketing training. Speaking training. Setting up opportunities for you to be on podcasts and talk with others. (It depends upon your package and project, but still…a lot of great options that typically come through a marketing company or a really overpriced publishing mill that will take your $10K and help you sell twenty-five books to your friends and family who would have without the shoddy video work.) I was really impressed with her and recommend her for first-time and experienced authors alike. She designs and publishes and can be one-stop shop for you.

You can listen to the conversation because Tonya shows us first hand how exciting this can be as a writer as you see her excitement in talking about her first book becoming a best seller. Not because she set out to become a best-selling author so she could brag on it today but because it meant that others resonated with her story and she had the opportunity to touch lives of people she may never meet. This is something I hope many others get to feel when they do the work to share their story or message with the world.

You’ll learn a lot here about the devotional anthology format and the typical anthology format.

And true to us, we discuss the internal work that comes with writing your story! That leads to our final segment, which may be may favorite part because we go deep into what the work really looks like.

Mindset Coaching for the Kingdom

We define Kingdom and talk about what it means to have a Kingdom mindset and how you pay attention to subconscious and conscious thought. I GEEK OUT when Tonya jumps into a discussion on the brain versus the mind. Ladies and gentlemen… my God I’ve been waiting my life for this conversation and this level of depth in conversation about faith and our mind! Pardon me as I dissect this on replay over and over and over…

Okay, I’m back. Tonya shares some real-time coaching from 43 minutes forward and you see her inner coach and who she is SHINE. You get a glimpse of what it would be like to work with her. She shares with us the importance of understanding our triggers, attitudes, and feelings.

REALLY understanding them.

Let’s pause to take in a statement Tonya said that is about to change your life (and mine as I put it into better application). Habakkuk 2:2 talks about writing the vision down and making it plain. You have to KNOW who you are, whose you are, and why you are. You have to stop living out of default and start living in design. You have to consider your actions and how you are going to start your day. How you are going to enter into things.

Tonya Johnson quote. You have to stop living out of default and start living in design.

We talk about owning you and how I almost walked away from my dream job and an organization I LOVE working for in a role that I have created for myself and that is literally designed for me. It’s a story being written – two and a half years in – that almost got cut short due to my own insecurity and not owning myself. I share how I almost cut my purpose short because of my mind. It’s so important that we KNOW ourselves and trust God and our reason for being here.

Tonya shares how she coaches on emotional intelligence and really owning YOU. Can I say that one more time? OWN YOU. This is where the renewing of your mind comes in. Getting out of your own way and overcoming yourself so you can fully own who you are and love that person.

We move on to talk about limiting beliefs and I promise you that Tonya and I will one day do a class or some kind of offering together in some capacity because what you witness at the end is a spark that will one day be a fire that will light the world for those who can’t see out of their own darkness. The way we both understand that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PLAY SMALL, you choose to do so, is something I believe we are both out to ensure you ALL understand too.

If you get nothing else out of this chat, please take away the note that Tonya shared so emphatically at the end. When doubt sinks in, let Tonya be your evidence that change is around the corner and there is no reason you can’t do everything you want to do because the Bible tells us in Philippians 4:13 that we can do ALL things.

So when doubt creeps in, simply ask:

“But who said that?”

And then change your focus and go do the thing…all the things… that you were just allowing doubt to almost talk you out of.

Connect with Tonya:

To purchase the paperback, visit Tonya’s website today. The book is high quality, and the paper feels great on your hands!! Additionally, each chapter ends with questions and room to answer them. It’s meant to be written in, highlighted, and used daily!

Others’ Books & Resources Mentioned During the Chat

Listen to Other Fireside Chats

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