I have a young friend who has a very negative outlook on life. Whenever anything goes wrong for him, he whines and wails about how unfair life is and that he doesn’t deserve what is happening to him. I’ve tried to help him change his mindset to something more positive but he’s one of those skeptical people who just doesn’t believe that you can use your mind to change your mindset. So instead of asking how he can change things to have the life he wants, he goes on being a victim of his own mind, hating where he’s at but unwilling to change.
So how about you? We all get caught in bouts of negativity once in awhile, but do you let it stop you from moving ahead with your goals and dreams or do you make the choice to dive in and change your thoughts to reflect what you want instead of what you’ve got?
You Really Do Have a Choice
You can choose to focus on the positive things in life, or you can choose to focus on the negative like my young friend.
When you focus on the negative it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and you end up getting more of the same, with some pretty disastrous consequences. Not only do you feel miserable, you make others around you miserable. Pretty soon no one wants to talk to you because you never have anything good to say, and the “bad vibes” roll off you in waves. And no one wants to have to deal with that.
On the other hand, when you choose to be positive about life, you feel more happy, you smile more often, and you’re a joy to be around. Your good mood rubs off on everyone you come into contact with and all the good things you’ve been dreaming about start happening for you. Suddenly life is filled with possibilities, all because you believe that you can have everything you want in life and are willing to do what it takes to get it.
That’s one of the big differences I’ve noticed between positive people and my friend. He’s not willing to take the steps he needs to create the positive mindset that will ultimately change his life.
Creating a Positive Mindset
Once you make the choice to be positive instead of negative, there are a few steps to take. I’d be willing to bet you’ve heard them all a time or two, but they’re so important to having a positive mindset and living a happy life that they’re worth repeating.
1. Focus on the present moment.
When you stop and think about it, all we really have for sure is this moment. You can’t go back and change what’s happened in the past, and there’s no way to know for sure what the future is going to bring, so why not focus on this moment in time and make it the best and most positive moment you can.
2. Ditch the stress.
Stress, by it’s very nature, breeds negativity. You worry about the bad stuff, you get stressed, you start thinking more negative thoughts, you get more stressed, you think about even more bad stuff…. it never ends!
If you can find a method of relieving your stress that works well for you, you will find that it’s much easier to create and maintain a positive outlook. For some people it’s yoga or meditation, and for others it’s something more vigorous like running or boxing. Me… I swim. There’s nothing that calms me down and gets rid of the tension for me like plowing through the water as hard as I can. It’s really hard to stay stressed out when you’re completely exhausted.
3. Visualize the good stuff.
When you find your mind being overtaken with negative thoughts, immediately visualize something positive to replace them. Think about the things that make you feel good, or the goals you want to achieve and see yourself doing them. There’s no room for negativity in your mind when all you’re thinking about is how great it is to achieve your goals.
4. Write it all down.
Once you have those pictures in your mind, write down what you’re seeing and the thoughts and emotions that come up about it. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard was from Bob Proctor when he said, “Write out how you want to live and then start living that way.”
Use a journal to record everything good that you’ve already achieved and everything you want to achieve. Record your thoughts, your feelings, and anything else that can help you to achieve the positive mindset you desire.
5. Use positive affirmations.
Affirmations are an amazing tool for creating a positive mindset. Write them down, carry them with you in your pockets or in your wallet, and repeat them as often as you can. The more you say them, the more you believe them, and the more they become your reality.
You can use ready-made affirmations, but it’s really easy to write your own as well. There’s an article on The Acorn Stash website that gives you a quick primer on how to write affirmations.
In the end, creating a positive mindset is a choice you have to make for yourself. When you do make that choice, the next best thing you can do is love yourself enough to not beat yourself up if a negative thought does creep in. Keep repeating your affirmations and visualizing your success, and you’ll have banished the negative attitude in no time.