Is there a secret to positive thinking? How do some people breeze through life with a positive outlook, while others seem to take a ‘glass half empty’ view. ‘Think positive’, we are often told, ‘the positive thinkers are the successful happy people!’ But what actually is positive thinking? And why are some people more easily able to manage it than others?
Positive thinking, like most things in life, is a matter of balance. Positive thinkers still face the same issues as negative thinkers, but the difference is, the positives default to a mindset which starts to consider possibilities, solutions and alternatives.
Anyone can become a positive thinker, given enough practice and commitment. We are not born negative any more than we are born positive, and most of our thinking habits have been learnt from childhood and our youngest experiences. These can be re-learned! If you are keen to change your outlook to a more positive nature, read on.
“We do not attract to us what we want, but what we are.” This famous quote is from “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen. The main message of this small powerful book is: the quality of your thoughts determine your quality of life. Therefore, by changing the way you think, you can change your life. Yes, there are always going to be things we cannot control, but most of us have a lot more power to change our circumstances than we realise. Consider the possibilities before you, and keep reminding yourself that you are the one in control of all your choices and the endless opportunities in front of you. Believe in you! And remember, your mindset will take you further than your skillset. In other words, your attitude is more important than your qualifications!
Never mind positivity, I can hear you saying, I just want to be happy! But happy feelings are often fleeting and we do not achieve long term happiness because of things that happen to us. Why? Because true happiness, like positivity, is a state of mind. If you want to be happy, you simply have to decide that you want to be happy. It really is as simple as that. Happiness is a choice we make every day. Make a decision to put the same effort and commitment into achieving a positive mindset as you would anything else you would go after in life, and happiness will surely follow.
Try and stop overthinking. A lot of problems are the ones we create in our own minds. In reality, often the problem is not happening yet and usually won’t. But still we worry and give them our time and energy. No matter how strong and powerful negative thoughts and emotions are, they are not your reality. Keep reminding yourself to check which are facts and which are feelings.
Try not to get caught up in trivia or petty things. No matter what happens to you, you will always have freedom to make choices about your life going forward. Put all your effort into gaining a healthy positive perspective. We spend so much time “sweating the small stuff” that we forget the wonder and joy of life taking place around us. If you find yourself caught up in worrying, ask yourself the magic question: Will this matter in a year from now?
You can only change your life if you love yourself properly. As human beings, we come into, and leave this world, alone. Though its wonderful to have close friends and family, spouses and partners, the ultimate person we all rely on is ourselves. It’s a lot easier to rely on someone you like.
Positive thoughts lead to positive action. Think of a day when you achieved a great deal, didn’t you go to bed that evening feel happier than on a day when you did nothing at all? Keep busy and set yourself achievable goals. Keep journals to record your progress, it will keep you focused and motivated.
Revel in the joy and uniqueness of you! You are the only you and there will never been another one like you! You have one life to live and you can pack into it as much as you like. Don’t waste your time comparing yourself to anyone else, they are on a different path to you and therefore comparing is pointless. Comparisons with others also make us feel resentful, envious and discontented. Unfortunately, social media makes weighing up our lives against others a daily part of life, but remember that people are showing only the sunniest side of their lives. Do not compare that to yourself on your darkest days.
‘Seize the Day’ is an overused quote, but it has meaning when thinking about a positive mindset. No one else is going to get you that new job, relationship or promotion. You are the only one with the tools to makes these things happen and start living the life you deserve. Focus on what you want, rather than the obstacles that may be in your way, and make it happen. Life tends to live up to the expectations you have of it. It is worth imagining a future in which you are happy.
Accept responsibility for your choices. Don’t look for someone to blame. Although these feelings and thoughts may well be deserved, it will not help you become successful or happy. Letting go of those thoughts does not mean that you justify the unfairness, but your life is about you now and moving forward, not the people who have wronged you in the past. Wallowing in hatred, anger and self pity is taking away energy and power that could be much better used making yourself happy.
You can literally achieve anything if you think you can… as long as you stick with it. The most successful people are often the most persistent. Life can be difficult and your goals and dreams can seem a lifetime away, but no matter how many times you fail or feel like giving up, stay focused on the goal. Stay strong. Stay persistent. And keep pushing. You can do and achieve anything you put your mind to as long as you believe you can.
Don’t fear fear, it is only through fear we grow. Susan Jeffers classic book “Feel the fear and do it anyway” is probably the most famous of all the self help books and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to cultivate a more positive outlook. Fear, according to Jeffers, can be a positive thing and can help us grow, Fear is only a problem when it becomes paralysing and we become stuck, afraid to move in any direction. If we can rethink the way we look at fear, then we can rediscover our ability to move again towards our goals and aspirations.
Learn to love yourself. OK, I know you have heard this one before, probably a thousand times right? But it is KEY to finding your positivity. It is impossible to be happy if you don’t love yourself, because no matter how happy everything else is in your life, you will ultimately feel that you don’t deserve happiness and be miserable. To love yourself isn’t arrogant or selfish, it is VITAL for your mental and physical wellbeing.
You always have choices. Sometimes we feel that we have to do certain things in life, that we are stuck and we have no direction. In reality, there’s no such thing as “having to” do something. Nobody controls your choices but you, and saying “I have to do this” is not taking responsibility for those choices. Blaming other people for those same choices, disconnects us from having power over our own lives. Nobody want to be controlled by anyone else, so make a choice not to be.
If we try to stop controlling and being controlled, and instead spend our energy and time into loving ourselves and others, happiness flows in. Happiness and joy are a natural consequence when we are caring, compassionate and kind. Remember the universe is working with us not against us. The universe wants you to be happy!
Being a positive person will help you deal with everything life throws at you . You will have a expectation that whatever occurs, things will turn out well. It will make you more optimistic and you will find that you can easier cope with worries and stress. If you can adopt positivity as a way of life, you will be happier, brighter and more successful. No, it won’t mean that you are ridiculously happy 24/7, but you will handle difficulties as they arise and believe you can overcome them. Which is, after all, the hardest part of the battle.
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