“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” ~Winston Churchill
Step One: Believe a Positive Attitude is a choice
My life—and all of our lives—is often filled with challenges that make it very difficult to be positive at times.
However, I know that choosing to be positive has helped me the most in terms of becoming the person I want to be. Even when things are difficult, I know that being positive—and striving to make the best of whatever situation I’m in—really does make even the most challenging situations easier to bear.
Teaching myself that being positive is a choice has been one of the greatest things I’ve ever done for myself.
Now when I find myself in a bad situation, I know that it’s up to me to find the good, to be positive regardless of what’s happening around me. I no longer point fingers and place blame. I realise that everything happens how it happens, and it’s up to me to choose how I want to feel about it. I am in control of my attitude, and no one can take that away from me.
Step Two: Rid Your Life of Negativity
If you want to live a positive, joyful life, you cannot be surrounded by negative people who don’t encourage your happiness.
This, as you can imagine, isn’t easy. It can hurt to distance yourself from people—even when you know they aren’t good for you or your current lifestyle.
In addition to removing negative influences from me I also had to get rid of some of my own negative thoughts and behaviours.
I learned to focus on the positive things I was doing—This process was not easy and, to be honest, is still ongoing, but I know this: It’s hard to live a positive life when negative people and behaviours continually pull you down.
Step Three: Look For the Positive in Life
In every person, in every situation, there is something good. Most of the time it’s not obvious. We have to look. And sometimes we have to look hard.
Now, when I’m faced with a difficult or challenging situation, I think to myself, “What is good about this?” No matter how terrible the situation might seem, I can always find something good if I take the time to think about it.
Everything—good and bad—is a learning experience so, at the very least, you can learn from bad experiences. However, there’s usually even more to it than that. If you really take the time to look, you will usually find something good, something genuinely positive, about every person or situation
Step Four: Reinforce Positivity in Yourself
Once you start thinking more positive, as with any sort of training, the more you practice, the better you get—and, yes, you can practice being positive.
The best and easiest way to do this is to be positive when it comes to who you are. Tell yourself you’re awesome. Tell yourself you look good. Tell yourself you did a great job at work or raising your kids or whatever it is you do.
Be honest with yourself, but do your best to look for the good. And, whatever you do, don’t focus on the negative.
Step Five: Share Positivity with others
Not only do you need to be positive with yourself for this training to really take effect, but you need to be positive with others. You have to share your wealth of Positivity with the world.
Tell your parents or children (or both!) how much you love them and how great they are. When someone is feeling down, do what you can to cheer them up. Send flowers. Write notes. Don’t gossip. Be kind.
I try not only to treat others as I would like to be treated, but I also try to consider how they would like to be treated. People appreciate Positivity, and the more you share it with others, the more you are practising it in your own life.
When you start feeling like the idea of being a positive person is daunting, remind yourself that all it takes is one small step in the right direction to move yourself toward a more positive attitude.
Believe in yourself and remember the most important lesson of all: A positive outlook is a choice that you can always make.