Just be more positive they said. It’ll be better they said. Just get over it they said. You'll be fine they said.
Well, they were wrong.
Being positive isn’t that easy for some people (I'm hesitant to say for most people). For me, as that's the only experience I can truly attest to, my anxiety and patterned behaviour that is rooted in years of reinforcement wins all too often. It’s stronger and more rote. It controls the wheel and gets us stuck in a rut.
But! It’s not impossible to become more positive. It can be done, as long as you want to. That’s where you start, internal motivation. When you’re really ready to make changes in your life, they will happen.
It’s not magic. Being positive and opportunistic requires thoughts that are rooted or sprouting from a healthy mind. It requires effort. It also requires knowledge on what it means to be positive. So how do you get a healthy mind?!
One day at a time.
One struggle at a time.
A particular baby step I like to work with when I’m really in a rough space, is watching my words (why yes I’m a writer of course I believe in the strong power of correct wording). Watching my words requires me to be aware of what word I choose to say. And I find it makes a large impact. It can de-escalate a situation real quick. I’ll give you a real life example before I tell you some of the words I choose to replace.
Years ago I ever so nearly missed t-boning a car during a rainstorm on a tight corner. I hydroplaned and someone must have been watching over me because I JUST missed a truck. We both took a couple minutes on the side of the road before walking towards each other. He was upset, his voice sounded mad as he spoke, “you’ve gotta slow down on this road especially when it’s raining.”
Now this was instinct, but I responded by asking “are you okay?” And you could see his shoulders drop and his face relax. If I had said anything different I can’t say how he would have reacted or if he would have reacted the same but I feel it in my gut asking about his well being instead of arguing back defused the situation.
So what phrases do I watch for? And what do I replace them with?!
Here are a few:
I’m sorry → Thank you for understanding/waiting
I’m stupid → I am learning
I can’t → I am trying
I don’t know how → I need to ask for help
I know → That’s a good idea/you’re right
I want → Can we do this ____?
You’re not → I need ____ from you
It’s okay if you only use these words once a day or even once a week to start. You’re just starting, you’re removing the weeds per say.
Be kind to yourself, you’re still growing.