So far, in this series about overcoming negativity we've seen how pessimism doesn't serve us. We've learned that being negative is a pattern that develops over time. Also, at some point, being negative may have served a purpose - but over the long haul, it is only destructive. One thing to remember though is most of us have a mixture of negative and positive thinking ... even negative people sometimes have happy thoughts! However, they might be few and far between.
Going from negative to positive will take some time, but it isn’t that hard. Making a change requires a willingness to plug into the positive thoughts that are already there, but not being expressed. Take a look at these three small steps that you can take to shift from being negative to positive:
Look for the good in all things
Practice being positive out loud
Hang out with positive people
Wow! Who knew it could be that easy!? Switching gears from negative to positive is possible, one step at a time. The first step is to look for the good in all things.
Small step #1: What’s good about this situation? In every situation there is something good. In the beginning it might take all your brain power to come up with something and your mind might tell you that you’re ridiculous for believing so. No matter, the first step is finding the good despite the negative. Simply allowing what’s right with a situation to take up space in your brain can override negativity. Forget about what is wrong and keep your focus on what’s right. If you can't "see" the upside, get quiet, try some deep breathing, and a let your shift in energy open up to a new point of view.
Small step #2: What can I say about this situation? The second step in switching from negative to positive is verbalizing your positive thoughts. As foreign as it might seem, saying positive things is addicting and the more you do it, the better and more encouraged you’ll be.
Being positive includes being complimentary and encouraging. Your tendency may be to correct, point out the obvious flaws, or use sarcasm to get a laugh but those activities create a divide where there should be a bridge. Practice being positive out loud. Give a compliment, share your enthusiasm, and find something you can promote. Share your thoughts and watch how they uplift and encourage those around you. You never know, someone may ask for constructive criticism and you’ll have an opportunity to share your thoughts on improvements too.
I find repeating the phrase, "Everything always works out" is really helpful. If anyone criticizes you for being a Pollyanna, simply remind them that she had a very good life.
Small step #3: Who can I experience this situation with? Being negative can become a culture and community. Who you spend the most time with influences how you behave. Misery does love company, but even more, so does joy and contentment!
It might be time for you to change up your social circle. Being among positive people helps you see things through a new lens and helps you practice your new skill sets. The more you hang out with people who see the best in others and in situations, the easier and faster you will drop the negativity and adopt the positive traits you want. It's like getting "permission" to speak, act, and feel in a more cheerful way.
Switching gears from negative to positive is as easy as 1,2,3. Looking for the good, speaking about the good, and hanging out with good people are three small steps that will have you feeling positive and energized before you know it.
Sparkles and Love,