A lot has been said about positive thinking, and often times it is easy to dismiss. It is easier said to be positive than to do it, especially if a person tends to be pessimistic and see the glass half empty rather than half full. But the truth is that both positive and negative thinking tend to steer your life like the rudder on a boat.
It is kind of like a chicken and egg sort of thing. If you think negative thoughts you tend to have more negative thoughts, which turn into negative actions and conditions. But if you say negative things and take negative actions, you end up thinking negatively. It becomes a self-reinforcing cycle.
There was a sign in a classroom I recently attended, and a poster on the wall of the classroom is appropriate to this discussion: your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your character, and your character determines your destiny. In other words, your thoughts determine your destiny.
I have found that at times positive thinking can be very difficult. But it takes more, you have to speak and act positively also. When I get pessimistic and think negatively, I tend to think that the worst is going to happen and everything is good or bad with no in between. Maybe you’ve had the same experience. Here are six things you can do to become more positive.
1. Identify what you want to change
This requires some analysis. It is helpful to take a look at major life events, including the things you resent or are bitter about. You have to look for common threads and causes not symptoms. This results in being able to identify character defects that you want to change, to be more successful in your marriage and other relationships for example.
2. Be accountable to someone for the change
An accountability partner is an important part of recovering from past hurts and changing your thoughts, words, and actions. The accountability partner is most helpful if they have experienced the same hurts or have changed the same character defects that you wish to change.
I have been fortunate to have traveled all over the world, and it seems to me that the one universal language is the smile. A smile can always get you much farther in communicating, even if the other person does not speak your language. Not only does a smile give other people a more positive attitude towards you, a smile also reinforces positive thoughts and feelings in yourself.
4. Seek humor
Nothing defuses and helps overcome conflict and miscommunication like a good dose of humor. Humor has always been a part of my important relationships.
5. Take a chance when you fear failure
I’ve talked about conquering fear before. Sometimes fear of failure paralyzes you from advancing or even trying. You let the negative thoughts and talk convince yourself its not even worth trying. But when you tell yourself to go ahead and take a chance, the results are often positive.
6. If you fail, determine to try again
A failure usually also prompts negative thoughts and fear of further failure. But when you tell yourself you must try again, you are usually pleasantly surprised with positive results.
What about you? Try some of those six actions and see if you don’t see an improvement this week.
(The image is from here.)