The Path to Positivity
I set a personal goal of bringing more positivity to my life. Despite the stressors life threw my way, I knew that having the armor of a positive mindset would help me to stay grounded during turbulent times. For the most part, I am a believer in the ‘you get what you give’ adage and although I do not believe that to be true in every single circumstance, the general idea resonates with me. Not only will the type of energy you put into this world will come back to you, the perspective you take on your own life will guide the type of life you have and how you interact with the people in your life. If that perspective is a positive one, you will be a happier person and happier people just lead better lives.
Learning to ‘let go of doing’ was my first step on the path to positivity. By nature, I am a planner. I plan things and I plan them well so oftentimes the people around me expect me to be the planner of all things great and small. Years ago, I decided to change that. I figured it would be nice if I did not have to plan everything, all the time, and made a conscious decision to relax and let others take the lead. That was difficult decision because it also meant I could not complain if things were not done to my standards or liking! People still expect me to be the planner but I have learned to say no and only plan what I have chosen. Not doing turned out to be just what I needed to be a little more positive and a little happier.
“When you relinquish the desire to control your future, you obtain happiness,” is one of my favorite quotes. My second step towards positivity was learning to let go of my desire to control things, especially when I had no control over them. After I got used to truly being okay not actively planning things I knew I could, it was easier to let go of being unable to plan for things I could not control. Letting go of the desire to control the uncontrollable was one of the hardest, but most important, of my steps towards a more positive me.
Overall, learning to let go made me a happier person because it enabled me to stop beating myself up over mistakes. Now when I mess up I make a note of it and move on. Self-forgiveness has been one of my biggest life lessons. Self-forgiveness opened the door to self-acceptance and self-acceptance is a blessing. There really is no sense in crying over spilled milk, beating myself up would not put the milk back in the carton, and I could not drink the milk from the floor so all ‘could have, should have, would have’ offered were big headaches and unnecessary feelings of inadequacy, which detract from my path to positivity.
The third step of a more positive me was affirmations. I started visibly posting positive affirmations around my house and office and made my mantra, “everything happens for a reason.” Even when I do not understand the reason at the time, I remember that things eventually work out for the best. The affirmations and the mantra are what keep me grounded and stop me from feeling bad or sad about certain situations. If a relationship ends, even if it was unexpected, it ran its course and was meant to be over. Something better is most likely on the horizon that may have been obstructed by that relationship. Everything happens for a reason. If I did not get a job I thought I was perfect for, maybe I was just saved a lot of future heartache. Stressing about things and being bitter will not help the situation or my growth and development as a person, but continuing to affirm the positive will.
Surrounding myself by positive, supportive people continues to be essential in my quest for positivity, and is my fourth step in the process. It is very easy to have a “woe is me” mentality so getting help from friends, family, significant others, or co-workers is completely unnecessary. Negativity does not need any help to prosper so I try to limit my contact with negative people, as much as possible, and avoid them altogether if I can. This can be very difficult if you have to work with negative people or have negative people in your family. Since I have learned that moderation is key, I have also learned that keeping exposure to negative people to a minimum is also key. When dealing with family, I remember that distance often makes the heart grow fonder and that not being under them 24/7 does not mean I love them any less, just that I do not have the desire to let anyone else’s negative energy affect me.
Life is a series of learning and growing experiences that is too short for anything other than what makes me happy! I keep that thought at the forefront of my mind and know that in order for me to be happy, positivity must stay at the forefront.