I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and my overall positive attitude in dealing with life. Maybe because I had a couple of really challenging years and thought of how I managed to bounce back from each one of these challenges relatively quickly. When I say ‘bounce back’ it’s not that I don’t think about what happened or I don’t get sad. I just don’t let these thoughts define me and rule my life.
For many years especially when I was younger I was drawn into dramas. I wanted to be all my friends therapist and saviour, a good listener and always ‘taking home with me’ everyones issues. Their issues, were becoming my issues. ‘How can I possibly get on with my life when someone I care is going through a tough time?’ I thought I was helping.
Well I wasn’t. What I was achieving instead, was to drowning myself in a negative unhealthy space. Surrounding myself with people that wanted to offload their issues on me so they didn’t have to deal with them by themselves.
As I grew older I started noticing patterns in behaviours. I had friends that were constantly negative, they wouldn’t/could’t accept a complement, always putting themselves down, always seeking to find ‘the problem’ and everything in their lives was a big deal. Others they were abusive, making me feel constantly guilty, like I wasn’t giving them enough attention or I wasn’t caring enough or I wasn’t there when they needed me. So I wasn’t a good person!
And there it was. Patterns of behaviours in people that would carry on for years.
When I met my fiancé, I was in the best place I could be, mentally. But he also has the most positive outlook in life I’ve ever experienced before in a relationship. His glass is always half full. In every problem life threw at us there was always an upside. A completely different state of mind from what I was used to before, and it was then when I started noticing the other side of things.
The more I was engaging in this positive attitude, more good things were happening and I was drawing more positive people towards me. Was it that we didn’t care about the problems, or we weren’t facing any issues? No, it was more that we were dealing with any problem as best as we could and then choosing to focus on the positives and move on. When you take your focus from the negative to the positive it is like the universe opens up and says, “ok, now you are ready to embrace life, here is some more good stuff for you”. I look at my friends and the people I interact with on a daily basis and the majority of them are people with a very positive attitude in life. They are doers and achievers but most of all they choose to live in joy.
I read somewhere:
Positive people, or “lighters”, are not just happy – they encourage, inspire and motivate with their energy. Instead of just having a “good” day, these people “make” a good day . Lighters are people who add real value to us, either intellectually, emotionally or spiritually.
The difference between a negative and a positive person dealing with a problem is:
Negative thinkers: “I’m facing this problem now, the world is ending, everyone has to know about it, I’m in a really bad place and I need your support. But at the same time I’m not open to any of your suggestions/solutions. Regardless, if you are not there for me exactly when I need you, you are not a good friend.”
Positive thinkers: “I’m just facing this problem now, how can I fix it, can you help me fix it by doing this…? and when I have fixed it, what can I do to prevent this from happening again and what can I learn from it?”
You see the difference? Negative thinkers reaching out to offload their problem, while the positive ones, will reach out, might ask for help with a specific possible solution in mind. Always thinking how they can resolve things for the best.
It is not that positive people are not dealing with issues, it’s how they deal with them.
You can choose if you want to live in a negative space or a positive space. If you want to be this positive person and surround yourself with positive people you need to become one first!
That’s the only way. You need to do that work, you need to start shifting your attitude and behaviour towards life and start learning from your experiences. Notice your behaviour patterns and ask, where are those behaviours leading you?
The ultimate source of happiness is within us. Not money, not pawer, not status. Some of my friends are billionaires, but they are very unhappy people. Power and money fail to bring inner peace. Outward attainment will not bring real inner joyfulness. We must look inside. Sadly, many of the things that undermine our joy and happiness we create ourselves. Often it comes from the negative tendencies of the mind, emotional reactivity, or from our inability to appreciate and utilise the resources that exist within us. – Dalai Lama
My six key takeaways:
So if I could possibly give you some advice if you want to start being more positive:
- Start noticing your behaviour patterns
- Stop engaging in gossiping or negative conversations
- Dig really deep to find joy within yourself. Accept who you are and what you have in life as is. It is all enough and you are enough!
- Remove negative thinkers from your life
- Shift your focus on that one positive thing you can hang onto when times are difficult
- Find positive ‘lighters’ and likeminded people that inspire you and help you become the best version of yourself
Have I mastered a complete positive outlook? Not yet, but I’m working hard towards it and I have to say, I am really enjoying this journey!
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