Welcome to my first ever Motivation Monday post! Like I mentioned last week, this month’s calendar is all about making weekly strides toward achieving all around holistic health. I plan to use my Motivation Monday posts as a way to share a bit more of the personal side of my life, what I’m struggling (or succeeding!) with, things I’m learning, and more in hopes of encouraging you if you’re on a similar path.
This week’s goal: Think Positive.
Easier read than done. At least for me.
I’ve always been a glass half empty kind of person, seeing things as they are without candy-coating them or looking at life through rose-colored glasses. That said, I’ve learned that one of the most powerful ways to stay motivated in achieving goals, working through obstacles, and maintaining motivation is by setting myself up for positivity instead of dwelling on the negative.
Whether it’s a big deal (like working on a major job-related project) or a little deal (like tackling a tough workout), staying positive keeps me going forward with laser-sharp focus. When I let doubt, negativity, and fear start to rule the roost, things take a turn for the worst and I end up losing my footing, so to speak, and sinking into a downward emotional spiral.
I didn’t always used to be a positive person…and to be honest, it still doesn’t come naturally to me. There are situations (many, actually) where all I want to do is slap a frown on my face and wallow in my comfy although gloomy world of I-can’ts, I-shouldn’ts, excuses, and fears. So how do I turn the ship around and get from a place of pessimism to a place of true (not fake) optimism?
On this first Motivation Monday, I thought I’d share a few tips that work for me.
Imagine that you’re on your computer and you’ve hit zoom about five times over a picture. All you can see are big, chunky pixels that seem to be arranged haphazardly on your screen. Even though they comprise the most beautiful image of a flower, all you see is a whole lot of ugly chaos.
Now you zoom out. As you take one step back after another, you start to see the big picture—literally! All of sudden those chunky pixels begin to fit together, meshing into that lovely image.
That’s kind of how I think about my response to tough situations. I usually zoom in WAY too far, focusing on the most minute of issues and wasting tons of my energy on something as trivial as one little pixel in a tapestry of thousands. When I “zoom out” and view the situation on a bigger scale as to how it relates to my life, I almost always find that things are not as bad as they seem. Just getting a new, broader perspective is often enough to help me realize just how unnecessarily negative I was being…which in turn opens the door to a more positive outlook.
Talk it out.
Maybe this is just because I’m female, but doesn’t talking about stuff just make it all seem so much easier to bear? “Airing out the laundry” has a way of casting my oh-my-gosh-this-can’t-be-happening-to-me circumstance into a brighter light that helps me see it’s not so bad after all. Talking about my problems or struggles with a trusted family member or friend lightens the load in a most welcome of ways, even if no solution is reached on the spot.
When you share what’s going on in your life with someone else, they give you perspective. Perspective leads to a more open mind and heart. An open mind and heart pave the way to positivity.
Focus on your positive traits.
Kind of a no-brainer, but when all you do is focus on your negative qualities, you become pretty darn nasty.
When I tell myself that I’m not as successful as so-and-so, not pretty enough, not smart enough, too stuck in my ways, just too resistant to change, or any number of negative accusations, I start to believe them! We become who we believe we are, and if we believe we aren’t good enough for this or that, we’ll constantly put ourselves down and dwell in a shadowy world of doubts, fears, and crushed dreams.
Instead, I’ve found it incredibly helpful to direct my mental energy towards my positive traits. Not in a “look at me I’m so great” sort of way, but in a self-affirming, encouraging, YOU CAN DO THIS! sort of way. I do talk to myself from time to time (yes, aloud!) and it really works. A simple word of motivation spoken aloud to myself shoos away the negative and opens up the path for positivity to bloom.
Wake up with gratitude.
When I stop and take account of all of the wonderful things, people, and opportunities that I have been blessed with in my life, I find myself speechless. It’s staggering. Reminding myself of what an abundantly blessed life I lead gives me perspective on my “problems” in a profound way. Every moment spent wanting something I don’t have, worrying about something I can’t control, or hating myself for something I’m not is a moment wasted.
Life is precious, far too precious to spend dwelling in the shadow of negativity. In the past few months, I’ve tried to make a point of waking up every day with gratitude. Before my feet even hit the floor, I remind myself of something—even something small and seemingly insignificant—that I’m grateful for. Sometimes it’s as simple as the breath in my lungs. Other days I give thanks for the sun’s warm beams creeping through the shades.
There are blessings all around us. When we soften our hearts and allow the magnitude of their abundance to sink in, it can be truly life changing.
So there you have it. My first Motivation Monday post. I hope you find some truth here that resonates with you and that your week starts off wonderfully! I’ll be back tomorrow with a fun and refreshing new recipe.
What helps you set the stage for positivity in your own life?
(Psst!….If you don’t have your June calendar yet, you can download it HERE!)