When it comes to thinking positively, some days it’s the easiest thing in the world. After a great night when you wake up feeling electric, traffic is a breeze, friends and strangers smile when they see you, you feel energized, creative, powerfull... it’s even your good hair day.
Days like this are magical. Everything is possible and good stuff just kinda happens. Days like this you really want to be present and aware of the flow of life.
And then there are “those” days...
Those days as in, "oh... I guess it’s gonna be one of those days." Something goes wrong early on and we resign ourselves to a cascade of disappointment until we trudge through it all and collapse into oblivion.
Sometimes the best part of those days is when it’s over. Strangely enough, on "those days" it’s really important to be present and aware of the flow of life.
How can you stay positive when it’s the hardest thing to do?
JUST SAY NO TO NEGATIVITY! Hey, wait...
As with most things, negative thinking itself isn’t a problem -- until it becomes a problem. Looking for what’s wrong in a process, a piece of equipment, even a person can help to prevent accidents, injuries, loss of time & money, heartbreak or just keeps you from looking silly.
It’s often the negative thinker who knows why a thing can’t be done. Positive thinking, however, offers the best chance of figuring out how.
When you were a kid you had to learn to think critically.
- You learned to find "what’s wrong with this picture."
- You learned to predict the future so that you could attach effects (pain and bleeding) to causes (teasing the cat).
- You had to test your limits to know if you still needed training wheels or if you were finally ready to rip those little babies off and ride free.
The problem happens when we learn the lesson too well.
On "one of those days" we may only see what’s wrong with a picture, blind to the solutions.
- We avoid pain and bleeding by never petting a cat -- which also means missing out on a fairly awesome purr.
- We attach failure to new ideas or activities before giving them a fair chance.
- And all too often, we blame it all on ourselves.
Your Repeating Thought Patterns
Eeyore: "We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it." Shakespeare: "Foolish mortal, to thine own self be true! There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so."
Patterns of thought, which seem to arise from out of nowhere and without your conscious awareness, are just habits in disguise.
While it may not seem like your thoughts are under your control, changing the way you think is just like changing your routine to include exercise and eating less junk food or to unplug and take time just for yourself. It takes awareness, determination, a little practice, a lot of compassion and an expanded perspective.
Positive affirmations help many people feel better as they become seamless, organically spliced beliefs.
For the analytical among us, there is sometimes a cognitive dissonance which cannot span the gap between affirmation and reality. We live in a richly diverse world where one size, or one way of thinking, absolutely doesn’t fit all.
No problem! Logic can be your best friend to defeat negative thoughts.
Let’s say you catch your inner critic telling you "It’s all your fault. You weren’t smart enough, strong enough, fast enough, thin enough, attractive enough, talented enough...".
The moment you catch the negative thought, STOP. Give it objective consideration.
Well, the project went under.
- I could have prevented it if I had known x.
- Just because I didn’t know x doesn’t mean I’m not smart.
- It was a new situation I had never encountered before.
- My co-workers are knowledgeable and they didn’t see it coming either. We all believed we were adequately prepared.
- Although this is a setback, we can use what we learned from this attempt to improve the outcome next time. I think I know what changes we can make to really be successful. I’m glad that I am smart enough to help solve this.
Mt. Everest is the world’s highest peak at 29,029 feet. It’s still growing a 1/4 inch a year. Think of the force required to lift such a monument -- ¼ of an inch against all of the pressure of gravity!
It's Your Choice
In every situation you have your choice of responses. You can choose a thought that limits your creative potential and downplays your personal power. Or you can actively -- even defiantly choose a more positive truth, then another, and another.
When you change the way you see yourself, your world changes. Change your thoughts and you can move mountains.