Someone asked me, “How do you make the switch from a negative mindset to a positive one?” It begins with a simple process: awareness, reflection & rephrasing. I grew up emulating my parent’s attitudes, beliefs, and words. It’s what we know, even if it isn’t the best for us, it’s what is comfortable. Parroting words we’ve heard all our lives is easy and requires no effort on our part. Almost everyone begins life this way.
If you’re fortunate, one day, someone comes along and jars you out of your comfy, autopilot zone. They challenge you to examine what you’re saying, what you’re thinking and what you believe. You become aware of your words. You notice the things that trigger certain words and situations that trigger others. You may even notice the impact of your words.
It most visible on a child who has not learned to guard themselves. They appear smiling and hopeful and bright eyed and negative words hit them like a punch and they wilt. They may even cry and turn away. That’s what negative words do. They crush, hurt, undermine, steal and destroy. Partnered with antagonism and sarcasm they’re even more toxic. Words like that don’t make things better. Negative words are evidence of the heart.
A Well-Timed Life Changer
Someone literally handed me the instruction book about the benefits of being positive and how to become positive. That’s when I became aware of the words coming out of my mouth and how depressed I’d been feeling. I committed to change my polarity. It didn’t happen overnight, but journeys seldom do. You begin one step at a time. You become aware of what you’re saying and weigh them, you reflect on them. Where did that come from? Is that how I really feel? Did I need to say that?
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” ~Proverbs 18:21
I once heard a story years ago about a woman who noticed her own negative utterings. She decided for a week, that if she couldn’t say anything nice, she wouldn’t speak. She had a husband and a family and didn’t tell anyone her plan. She passed an entire week in silence.
No one noticed. This exercise led her to make drastic changes.
We’ve all heard these words, haven’t we? “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all?” We can take those words to heart. We do not have the right to hurt, discourage or destroy people with our words.
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” ~Proverbs 12:18
If you can find a group of positive minded people, ask them to (gently) help you with your talk. They can help you learn how to reframe your thoughts. Which sounds better? “You will never amount to anything!” Or, “You’re a work in progress!”
All of us are a work in progress. Make that the first part of your journey. And along the way, you will notice how many people are hurting and how many people are encouraging.
Staying the Course
The road to becoming a positive-minded road is not a bullet-proof vest, without its trials and tears. But you will find that you are more resilient, more healthy, and live more joyfully. You’ll notice gratitude and smiling have become part of the package. When you experience a setback, it will be easier to recover. As you progress, you’ll discover living with a positive mindset is a sunnier path, with brighter skies and sweeter music, a longer, more interesting road revealing more opportunities. You will find more interesting, joyful people willing to journey with you even if it’s only for a season.
One day, you’ll wake up to find that years have passed. But they were different. They were happier and you will be encouraging those who know you to be more positive.
Are you making significant changes? I would love to hear about them. Comment below so I can encourage you.