Our mindsets power our lives.
I believe if you have a positive mindset your life is likely to move in a positive direction. However, if you have a negative mindset your life is likely to move in a negative direction. Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker and author, said it this way:
“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.”
We know deep inside of ourselves this is true, but that does not make it easy. It can be difficult to move from negativity to positivity, especially if you’ve been stuck in negativity for a long time. When we are stuck in a negative mindset being positive seems impossible or even fake. It seems unnatural to us because it is unnatural to us. If your natural inclination is negativity, then positivity is going to feel very foreign.
To be honest, I’ve spent a lot of time in negative, destructive patterns of thinking. I literally used to look at positive people and think: No way! It’s an act. Eventually, they’ll realize they can’t keep it up and they’ll come crashing back to reality.
The problem with that thinking is I was projecting my reality onto them. My reality was negative because I was negative. My future looked grim because I told myself grim things about the future. I was expecting positive people to come crashing into my negative reality. When, perhaps, instead of crashing, they were going to leap and bound and dance through the beautiful reality they created for themselves.
For some of us, negativity is rooted so deeply in our psyche that we can’t see the light of day. Literally, we are in a dark fog. But, I believe, those with a positive mindset have a much brighter view of the world around them and of the future.
“If we make up our minds that this is a drab and purposeless universe, it will be that, and nothing else. On the other hand, if we believe that the earth is ours, and that the sun and moon hang in the sky for our delight, there will be joy upon the hills and gladness in the fields because the Artist in our souls glorifies creation.” – Helen Keller
I was fortunate enough to have someone suggest to me a daily practice to combat negativity, and I’d like to share it with you. This practice came at a time during my life when I was afraid of falling back into the grips of depression because of all of the change and uncertainty I was experiencing. I had been in a negative rut for so long and I needed a catalyst to propel me in a new direction. This practice is my step ladder out of the dark pit of negativity and despair. Everyday I climb a rung and everyday I get closer and closer to the brighter surface ahead.
I think if you are experiencing depression this practice may help you, as well. Depression is the darkest fog of all and this may be the beam of light you need to help you find your way out of the darkness. However, please understand that having experienced depression myself, I am aware no single step alone can conquer it. I know it is a complex state of being and I do not, in any way, want to diminish that fact. If you are depressed, I’m not suggesting this is your cure. I’m not suggesting overcoming depression is as easy as taking advice from a blog because I know, intimately, it is deeper than that. What I am suggesting is this could be one of the many steps you take to make yourself well.
My practice is simple: create positive thoughts for 30 minutes everyday.
Now, I’m not asking you to sit for 30 minutes trying to think positive thoughts. Not only is that boring, it is nearly impossible. When you have a negative mindset you are void of positive thoughts to begin with, so I’m asking you to spend 30 minutes per day engaging in activities that cultivate positive thinking, that plant positive thoughts in your mind.
Creating positive thoughts can take on a variety of forms, so find what works for you.
Here is a list to get you started:
-Read an inspirational blog or book
-Use guided meditations centered on positivity
-Listen to positive music
-Listen to a sermon
-Watch an inspirational or educational video
-Paint, draw or doodle positive images
-Play with your kids, nieces or nephews
-Listen to a stand-up comedian
-Listen to a positive podcast
-Research someone or something that inspires you
However you spend your 30 minutes, make sure you are really focusing on the activity at hand. If you are going to listen to positive music, for example, don’t check email or scroll through Facebook while listening. Simply listen and let the words and melodies sink-in to your soul.
Also, make sure the activities you are doing are actually promoting positivity within you. You can’t read a sad book and expect to be uplifted. A lot of comedians write books – start there!
I have to say this practice has really started to change my thinking and my life. Before, my head was consumed with thoughts that held me back. Now, my head is being filled with thoughts that are propelling me forward. In fact, this daily practice inspired me to start this blog. I watched videos and read blogs and books that helped me to see how important writing was in my life. Creating positive thoughts helped me overcome the destructive thinking that stopped me from doing what I loved and gave me the courage to put my writing out there, to share my voice.
What’s more, creating positive thoughts is not a burden on my day. It’s 30 minutes of stretching my mind and stretching my heart and laughing and singing and playing. It’s 30 minutes of enjoyable activity.
We will always find time for the things we truly enjoy.
I encourage you to try creating positive thoughts for 30 minutes everyday. I wholeheartedly believe it will start to change your life. You may not wake up tomorrow blazing new trails with a renewed outlook on life. It takes time, but keep climbing the ladder with me – one rung, one day at a time.
I’ll see you at the surface.
(I would love for you to share some of your ideas and resources for creating positive thoughts. Feel free to post in the comments below.)