Regardless of your circumstances, you have the innate, God given ability to choose your perspective and improve their reality, by harnessing the power of positive thinking. I believe that our mind is our most powerful possession… and it’s also our most loyal companion – which can be a double-edged sword.
This poem about habits, written by an anonymous author may very well sound like a message from your mind:
I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do, you might just as well be turned over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. if you just give me guidance
I am easily managed–you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great men and women and, alas, of all their failures, as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a fine machine plus the intelligence of the smartest person you know. You may run me for profit or run me for ruin — it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me, casual with me, convenient with me, and I will destroy every single dream you have.
Jesus said “according to your faith, be it unto you.” Napoleon Hill said “whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.“ Buddha said “the mind is everything. What you think, you become,” and modern scientific research proves that positivity can improve your health, your productivity, and your creative potential. In other words, the beliefs we hold in our minds can truly shape our outcomes. Happiness is the cause of positive results in life, not the effect.
Before going into what positive thinking is, let me tell you what it’s not: it is not escaping reality or ignoring your challenges. Major disappointments, hardships, frustrations, and tragedy are real parts of our life experience, but adding negative self-talk and a pessimistic perspective to the mix can create unnecessary stress in our lives. While positive thinking may not remove your struggle, your positive attitude can enable you to cope with the process, and empower you with the energy to face your day.
Positive thinking is NOT a reminder to beat yourself up because you “should” be more positive (that actually defeats the purpose). As a matter of fact, if you don’t practice any positive thinking exercises ever, just follow this suggestion, and you’ll be way ahead in your positive thinking journey:
Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else.
Of course, as soon as something judgmental to limit, sabotage, or bully yourself crosses your mind, you can choose to immediately expel and dismiss that thought by saying one of the following phrases:
- cancel, cancel
- delete, delete
- erase, erase
Then, make sure you replace your negative thought with something positive to describe yourself (even if you don’t YET believe it). Some ideas:
“I’m unstoppable,” “I know I can do it,” “Go me,” I’m proud of myself,“”I deserve to be happy,” “I can master any skill,” “Yes, I can” or anything else that makes you feel good about yourself.
I used to think this was weird when I started doing it in front of the mirror, but when I see my toddler kissing her reflection in the mirror and calling herself beautiful, I tell myself that we are both adorable LOL and I remind myself that we are a lot happier for doing this.
I have had numerous moments in my life when my self-motivation is the only support I had and what kept me going in life. I highly recommend it.
And I say that like you can do it, because you can. Positive is not a personality type. Positive thinking is a skill, a practice, and a discipline that can be learned and cultivated to create a joyful, balanced, successful life. No matter where you are in the journey, you can get better at thinking and learn to turn negative thoughts into more uplifting, positive ones.
Is it easy? No, my dear, it is challenging, because we’ve been programmed and trained to buy into lies of lack, hopelessness, and doom. But given the power of our mind to turn our life into a dream or a nightmare, I would say it is worth it to learn how to think positively and create a better life.
I learned 5 ways to practice positive thinking from Tony Robbins:
- Focus on the positive. This is done by focusing on what is right, rather than on what is wrong, focusing on what you have and not on what you don’t have, and focus on the solution, not on the problem. Positive people simply give a different meaning to their challenges, so they find a way to live a happy life, rather than allowing their circumstances to make them miserable.
- Become curious. Much of the negativity (gossip, and aimless, meaningless talk) in our lives is caused by judgmental thoughts, resentments, and grudges. When we are curious to learn the full story, I believe your understanding leads you to feeling compassion and thinking kind thoughts for the other person.
- Become appreciative. Find something to appreciate, compliment, and be grateful for, even when a person or situation seems to be negative. There are many things that aren’t working, and it’s okay to address that, but an attitude of gratitude will get you to the solution faster than criticism or complaint.
- Decide not to be perfect. Don’t strive for perfection, because perfection is an unattainable goal and a trap. Instead, strive to be great, to do your best, and to get better.
- Use The F Word: faith. Robbins says “your faith is your ultimate power,” and I agree with that. Put yourself on the line even if you may fail, because that’s the only way to get a chance. I believe that faith is not a “feeling” – it shows in your body language, your chosen words, and the actions you take. I love the Wayne Gretzky quote:
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”
Positive thinking is really critical thinking, it is actually deciding to think for yourself, and to harbor beliefs that make you happy, rather than adopting the popular “truths” out there. Yes, you must be willing to be a little uncomfortable because you’ll need to say NO a lot more than before, but that’s a nominal price to pay for elevated self-image and sense of self-worth, massive resilience and strength to overcome life’s obstacles, and epic happiness on your own terms.
And these days, you don’t need to take Norman Vincent Peale’s word for it. Researchers have found a long list of tangible benefits produced by the power positive thinking: improve your body’s immune system, lower your stress levels, increase your life span (and the quality of your life), ability to reduce or better cope with depression, and many more. Sign me up!
What do you say? Are you willing to harness the power of positive thinking to transform your life? Let’s chat on the comment section below!