Helping You Plug Into Your Positive Side
Being positive – that’s been a struggle for me! Sadly, for much of my life I have been a “glass half empty” sort of gal. I have an eye for what’s wrong or could be better.
If pressed, I’m able to come up with some pretty good reasons for being less than positive. As a D/C for those of you familiar with DISC, my C side has a way of honing in on the negative, the mistakes, the problems, etc. That’s not always a bad thing, depending on how I express the negatives. I’ve learned the hard way that being critical or being hyper focused on the negative isn’t always helpful.
Another good reason for the negativity is the environment I grew up in. A negative environment rarely produces positive people.
But perhaps the greatest reason for the negativity: it was a bad habit.
You will be happy to know that I’ve made changes! I desire to be a more positive person. Negativity limits me in so many ways. It limits my influence, my creativity, and keeps me stuck. Yes, stuck because my focus is on the problems, rather than the solutions, and whatever you focus on – that’s what grows!
I’m thankful that God has strategically placed people in my life who are wonderful examples of positivity. They have motivated me to be more positive because positivity is contagious!
Being positive is a choice. While becoming more positive doesn’t happen overnight, I am proof that change is possible.
Making A Difference
Being negative surely make a difference – just not a positive one.
I bet we have something in common – you want to make a difference too! A positive difference!
One of the many things I adore about being a coach is the opportunity to partner with people in ways that positively impacts and makes a difference in their lives personally and professionally.
Jon Gordon describes leadership as “a transfer of belief” in his book The Power of Positive Leadership. In other words, leaders spread their beliefs to those around them – the positive beliefs as well as the negative ones! You choose!
If you want to influence your kids for the better, be positive. Want to increase the productivity and effectiveness of your team at work or in ministry? Be positive. If you long to truly bless and help those you serve professionally or in business, be positive!
Where do you begin? The process of becoming more positive isn’t something that just happens. It requires a change of heart, being intentional, and cultivating some new habits like these:
1. Spending Regular Time With God
For years, I began my day alone with God every morning but Saturday morning. I enjoyed sleeping in and lingering over breakfast with my family. It didn’t seem like that big of a deal to deviate from my normal routine one day a week, yet I struggled to have a good attitude on Saturdays. It became obvious to me that I needed that time with God to set my heart for the day.
God is the source of all that’s good – who better to start your day with? In His presence, you are reminded of who you are in Christ and how deeply you are loved by Him. Your is hope renewed and, you are encouraged. And you are reconnected to the fact that the Creator of the universe is for you. Wow! That’s a powerfully positive way to begin your day!
We so quickly forget and need fresh reminders each day!
2. Hanging on to Your Purpose
You are a one of a kind original! God has a purpose for you that ONLY you are able to do.
Did you know that your purpose is not accomplishing something grand, although it might lead to that. Your purpose is a way of doing life – a way of being. It’s who God created you to be.
In life there are seasons where everything seems to be going brilliantly, and there are seasons that seem dark and discouraging. It feels like all momentum has come to a screeching halt. Those are the moments to lean all the more into who God created you to be.
Your purpose is not dependent on how things appear. Walking in your purpose is about trusting God enough to be who He created you to be even when you can’t see any fruit.
3. Letting Go Of…
Fear, anxiety, anger, un-forgiveness, and bitterness which keep you spinning in a negativity and keep you stuck. Hanging on to these feelings fosters negativity and adversely affects your health. When you don’t feel well, it’s all the more difficult to be positive.
What’s interesting about faith and fear – they both believe in a future that hasn’t happened yet. You get to choose!
Beware, it’s not enough to just let go, you have to consciously choose new thoughts and beliefs to take the place of the negative ones or you are sure to drift back to your old ways.
4. Watching Your Words
One of the delightfully positive people that God has placed in my life exudes positivity through her words. Her tone is warm, her words are uplifting, she is quick to offer a hug, and she makes it a point to address me as friend – treasured friend! Words are powerful!
Where’s the perfect place to begin practicing speaking in more positive ways? Your own self talk! Perhaps the person you are harshest and most negative with is you! And if you speak that way to yourself, there’s a good chance that’s how you will speak to others. What if you spoke to yourself and those around you as treasured friends?
Your words matter even when communicating by text or email. Interestingly enough, people who are outgoing, friendly, and wildly enthusiastic in person often communicate in a curt and abrupt way in writing. Make an effort to communicate in a warm, friendly, and positive way no matter how you are communicating!
5. Practicing Gratitude
Being more intentional about practicing gratitude changes your perspective! Here are a few to weave more gratitude into your life:
- Express what you are grateful for with others in the moment as you go through your day.
- Take a gratitude walk; a pleasantly paced 10-minute walk (or longer) while saying out loud what you are thankful for.
- Keep a gratitude journal; write down 5 things you are thankful for every day.
- Take the Gratitude Challenge.
6. Resisting the Urge to Complain
Would people describe you as a “complainer?” Being positive and a complainer don’t coexist! You might be surprised by what you are really expressing when you complain. You are voicing your fears! It’s a “safe” way of saying here’s what I’m afraid of or masking what I really need.
7. Looking in the Mirror
It is easy to blame those around you for your negativity – your kids, your team, the organization, etc. The truth is that you alone are responsible for what you present to the world. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to experience YOU? What if you were to look in the mirror and honestly answer these questions?
- What’s it like to be around me – not just in my good moments, but in my not so good moments?
- How positive am I? (Scale of 1-10)
- What keeps me from being optimistic?
- How deeply do I believe that I am loved by God? (This belief overshadows nearly everything in your life.)
- How am I walking in who God created me to be?
8. Identifying Your Positivity Zappers
Who are the negative people, or “energy vampires” as Jon Gordon calls them, in your life? Negative people suck the life out of you and drag you down. Nobody needs that! Remember, attitudes are contagious, spend time with positive people!
A few other positivity zappers include lack of purpose, fear, or perfectionism which also nibble away at your positive side.
You would be surprised how this little habit affects your attitude! And while you are at it, check your posture as well! How you carry yourself also impacts your attitude. Start smiling. Standing up straight. These small physical changes add up to a more positive you!
Just for the record, being positive isn’t about denying your negative emotions. That’s repression. Being positive is about acknowledging your negative feelings and taking the opportunity to view hardships in a more positive light so that you are able to make positive changes.
As you seek to be more positive you will inevitably encounter negative thoughts along the way. When you do, play a little game with yourself. For each negative thought, challenge yourself to come up with two positive thoughts to counter your negative thoughts.
A positive person has tremendous influence! Their winsome ways have the potential to change the world! I want that, don’t you?
How would being more positive make a difference in your life, your work, and in the lives of those you have the opportunity to influence?