Changing Negatives to Positives
Occasionally people will ask me how I keep a positive attitude, or remain optimistic. I used to find it funny that I would get asked such things. It was as though they assumed that somehow I'd figured a way to avoid allowing any negatives into my life at all. I can assure you I have not :-)
After all, I am only human and the reality is that no matter how positive one strives to be, negative feelings can still make their way into our life.
With that said, there are things I believe we can do to minimize the effects that our negative experiences have on us and our over all outlook on things. Just as there are things to help combat tendencies of procrastination, so I believe there are steps we can take to increase our level of positivity. I'd like to share some of the ideas that work for me.
However, before I continue I'd like to say that I believe that personal development is a hands on project. What I mean is that what might work for you, might not be as effective for me and vice versa. I also mean that you can read idea after idea, but until you get into a frame where you make the ideas your own, you're going to have just that... someone else's ideas and techniques.
Simply put, you're encouraged to adjust the ideas I share to fit your own needs, and should you find them silly or something that doesn't work, simply discard them. You're the most important ingredient in your own self-improvement.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way here are the ideas I promised you.
First, lets look at negative and positive experiences. An interesting thing is that you could take several different people, put them in the same situation and one may view it as negative and the other as positive, and yet another may see it somewhere in the middle. Basically, experiences are just that -- experiences. It's the way we frame them that makes them either positive or negative.
It's also worth noting that negative events tend to be more dense then positive ones. Which I believe explains why you can start your day out and have it going along perfectly, then one negative event happens and before you know it it's as though your entire day spiraled out of control into the dreaded "bad day".
In fact, in many cases if we could recount the particular days events objectively and without bias we'd likely see that an equal, or at least a fair number of things occurred that were of a positive nature as well. Because negatives are more dense, or heavier in weight if you will, we notice them more, say then positive occurrences.
So now that brings us to what I do to combat the normal day to day feelings of failure, discouragement, or negativity. Let me first say that if you're expecting some miracle idea here you may be disappointed. What you will find are some ideas that I know work in my own life and that I believe with enough practice will work in yours as well.
* Increase the amount of positive content you take in during the day - Very simply, make it a point to read or listen to books or tapes or what have you that carry a positive tone to them. This might sound trite, but they can do wonders to off set the negatives that bombard us all on a daily basis.
* Schedule or make an effort to expose yourself to positive people - Being around others that have a positive attitude, or achieve at a level of success you wish to is contagious. If you don't believe me, take the simple example of smiling. It's almost impossible not to smile back at a person that shares with you a genuine smile. Even if you're able to forgo smiling back, it still effects us on a positive level in some way.
The same is true by being around people that are overly optimistic and positive. Over time you're going to be likely to take on those traits yourself. There is one factor where this might not be the case though. If you enter into the conversation with such a person and you're not willing to, or looking to adopt such an attitude then you're likely going to give fuel to your negative feelings. Remember, negativity is dense.
Admittedly, this is a non-issue for you I'm sure because of the simple fact that you are reaching out to those to increase your own level of positive feelings in the first place. Even so, I still wanted to point it out.
Another thing that makes it a non-issue is that you'll find that those who are optimistic are likely to not spend a lot of time with you if you come to them with your negative energy. And why would they? After all, they're just like you... Trying to keep themselves in a more positive frame of mind :-)
* Take time during the day to relax and ponder your goals, or the positive things that you want to see occur in your life. If it's simply being more optimistic, then focus on that. The sky's the limit here. An important thing to remember is that as you are relaxing you may likely have negative events or thoughts creep into your mind. Remember, negative thoughts are dense :-)
If this happens don't worry, simply gently bring yourself back to the more positive outcomes you desire for yourself. Over time you are likely to see your results from this expand greatly.
* Track your positive achievements - If you're not keeping a personal success journal I sincerely hope you will consider doing so. Any number of people can offer up ideas on the "right way" to keep a journal. Obviously, I can only share with you the way I do it. So here goes... Track only positive events or achievements.
Believe me, your mind is working ninety to nothing trying to keep those negatives around anyway. There's no sense in recording those in your journal. That's why this is your success journal, and not just your diary. Recording our positives, as well as goals and desires allows us to make those things more concrete.
We take them from our mind to our hand, where they end up on paper. Suddenly you're sitting there with something very real staring you right in the face. There's no denying that positive experiences and worthwhile goals are right there, occurring in your life. Hopefully this illustrates the importance of keeping your own success journal.
* Review your personal success journal - Now here is where the idea above begins to take hold. In reviewing the ideas you've recorded you're going to find strength in them. Right before your eyes you will have a record of all your achievements. This in itself can be quite powerful when you find yourself in one of life's low points. In looking over your journal you'll be able to read your own success story.
There is power in the saying, "this to shall pass". Reviewing your personal success journal helps to make it strikingly clear that this is true.
* Acknowledge that it's ok to have less then stellar days - What I'm saying is that no matter who we are, we all have times where we don't feel we are performing at our personal best. We have days where the funk gets to us. Notice I said it's ok to acknowledge it. I didn't say it was ok to give power to it. The ideas above should all be helpful in reversing your negatives to a more positive outlook.
Again, keep in mind what I said about personal development being a hands on project. Give yourself permission to explore various ideas and develop those that work best for you. As a student of self-improvement myself I'd love to hear what you come up with... Wishing you days filled with many positives... Here's to your success, Josh Hinds
Josh Hinds of GetMotivation.com" target="_new">http://GetMotivation.com specializes in helping people to achieve maximum success and live the life of their dreams -- receive his motivation newsletter by going to GetMotivation.com/ezines.html" target="_new">http://GetMotivation.com/ezines.html.
Josh is also the co-founder of AudioMotivation.com" target="_new">http://AudioMotivation.com - visit now to hear leading motivational speakers and authors.