Discovering Power in Positivity
Updated: Jul 19
Thoughts control our actions and our feelings. At times it can feel as if we have no control over our thoughts. Our attention only can take so many places to focus! Living in such a fast paced world, it can be difficult to give our full attention to every thing at any and every given moment. Society around us constantly demands our commitment and our attention, which can make it difficult to remain focused. It can also blind us from the fact that there is power in positivity.
We often get confused and believe our thoughts are a by-product of our environment or that our personality dictates our thoughts. In reality, these things only have power over our mental state, our attitude and our aptitude because we let them. Learning to control our thoughts, despite our feelings in the moment and acting appropriately instead of reacting spontaneously, is truly powerful.
There are plenty of studies out there to prove there is power in positive thinking. I'm not a scientist, a doctor, or a mathematician, so I'm not going to paint a picture as if I am. Instead, I'm going to paint a picture of a person who overcame a limited mindset and how she did it. By no means am I an expert at remaining positive, but I have been seeking it for quite some time and have come a long way in the battle for my mind. Please keep in mind, I'm a work in progress, just like everyone else.
The Negativity Trap : The Limited Mindset
Lynne Twist, a financial guru, tells her audience there are three lies we tell ourselves about money. I believe these lies ring home to more than just our finances, they are a great indicator of our attitude about life in general. If the following thoughts resemble yours, it may be time to begin to shift your perspective:
There's not enough to go around.
Having more is better.
This is just the way it is.
These thoughts resemble a scarcity mindset. What we feed ourselves with, mentally is very important. Negative thoughts slowly poison us, as they are contagious and feed off of each other. Positive thoughts also feed off of each other, but they nourish us and help us grow. Our thoughts control our attitude, not the other way around.
Negativity comes in so many forms and for so many reasons, but it is usually a reaction to an unfavorable event in our lives. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that are predisposed to being positive, but I have certainly met many that are not. Maybe they began positive, but life beat them down. They may not have established boundaries or didn't put the effort in to maintain them. Maybe the negative person always seems to get the "short end of the stick" and nothing appears to go their way.
Whatever the reason someone becomes negative, if the infection is allowed to fester, it will eventually need to be cut off, or risk their overall health. A negative mindset can either be allowed to make us bitter and fill us with anxiety and stress, or it can be transformed into something new entirely. This is up to you. If you are predisposed to negativity or find yourself having a hard time leaving it behind, it's ok to seek help! It will be so worth it!
Positivity Is State of Mind
I naturally tend to have a "glass half empty" point of view, but by becoming intentional about my thoughts, I have trained my mind to see the glass as "half full". ~ Cariss Cole
The way that I view my circumstances and the world around me, has lost its pessimistic stronghold in my mind. Some days it's a struggle to remain positive, especially when it feels like nothing is going right. Other days it now comes naturally and the negativity that I once saw, stands in the corner, instead of in the center of my view. It doesn't completely disappear, but instead I cast it off to the side and no longer welcome it in my focus.
I spent many years of my life stuck and being sucked back into negativity. Once I realized it was me that was "hanging" around it, I also recognized the opportunity to change my mind. Being predisposed to seeing the bad in things, really needs a shift in perspectives to begin seeing the good in them instead. It's a process that takes intentionality. It requires us to become aware of our thoughts and choose to change what we focus on and how we view things.
Click here to learn more about how timing in your life is everything.
It's easy to get frustrated and lose our motivation to remain positive in unfavorable conditions. In many ways society urges us to continue on the pursuit of happiness. It makes us feel as if happiness is a level of existence that is attainable and something just on the other side of where we are. Happiness is temporary, fleeting with our mood and varied by our situation. Happiness is a mood, it's something that we feel. Feelings are very much dependent on things outside of our range of control.
Positivity, however, is a mindset. It is something you can choose to be. Positivity is a point of view that you can have control over, if you want it for yourself. You will obtain a positive mindset by ridding your mind of negative thoughts. If you would like to have a positive life, you must seek the light instead of clinging to the dark when you experience dark notions.
Sometimes it can feel comfortable in the dark, but it is also suffocating. Light is what promotes growth and a healthy mind. Check out this post on How to Shine in the Darkness if you would like to know more about seeking light.
Fasting from Negativity
"What a man thinks, he is." Proverbs 23:7
It won't always be easy to remain positive, but if you seek it in all things, you will begin to see it in everything. All good things take time and you are bound to slip back into your old habits. That's ok! Setbacks are nothing more than opportunities. Opposition that you face is meant to mold who you are and who you will become. It's only natural to stumble, but once you choose to be positive, negativity cannot even compare.
At the beginning of this year, I decided to fast from negativity. I have fasted in the past with giving up food or tangible things. This year my heart called out to rid myself of negativity. There are several different time frames that experts believe form habits, but for me three weeks seems to be my magic number of establishing or breaking them.
In deciding to fast from negativity, I had to consciously choose to counteract negative thoughts with positive ones. What a challenge this was when I set out! It's kind of like trying to restrict your diet of sweets, the farther you want to move away from it the more it taunts your thoughts.
It felt as if all negativity was around every corner. It was on the prowl and roaring. Looking to devour at any moment. It was overwhelming at points and it would have been too simple to just give up. Instead, even in the moments I caught myself bending in the wrong direction, I straightened myself back up.
Three weeks of what felt like relentless torture while fighting the weight of negativity, gave way to a new way of thinking. A way of existing with a positive outlook that was priceless once I earned it. I encourage you to fast from things you are trying to break away from in your life. It won't be easy, but you too can experience it's life changing ability.
Tips on How to Stay Positive
Here are a few tips on how to transform your mind and stay positive...
1. Be aware that when you seek positivity, the beginning will feel like negativity is attacking. Stand firm, it is only natural to feel this way. The only way to cancel out darkness is by exposing it to the light.
2. Remove negative blocks in your life that are preventing you from seeing things in a positive light. Pinpoint the things in your life that are holding you back from moving forward and remove them.
3. Have an attitude of gratitude, it cannot exist in a negative environment. Try starting a gratitude journal and begin your day by jotting a few things down and reflect on it before bed.
4. Celebrate your wins. It's so important to take the time to acknowledge your steps in the process and how far you've come. Try creating a list of things that you've already accomplished.
5. Purge your mind. With so many things struggling for your attention, it is important to give your mind a break. Dump the negativity so there is room for positivity.
6. Learn how to prioritize your life. Figure out the things in your life that are truly important and weigh them against what feels urgent. This will de-stress your mind and allow you to gain focus and perspective in ways that are helping you grow.
7. Always plan to win, but anticipate a curve-ball. Going into your days, understanding that things are not always going to go as planned and having the ability to adjust in the process will make you a winner, no matter what comes your way. Don't let life catch you off guard, instead anticipate the curves and prepare yourself to shift when necessary.
8. Keep Smiling Always! There has never been a better medicine! It not only will help you become positive, but will spread it to those you encounter.
What are some ways that you stay positive?
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