"How do you stay positive?"

By Katherine Hood on January 08, 2024


This post is an answer to a submitted question. It aims to provide help and solutions to overcome the issue.

Podcast version: HERE

Quote: “Our life is what our thoughts make it.” – Marcus Aurelius

Submitted Question

"How do you stay positive? I am a very negative person about myself, I try and do things but I expect most of them to fail or achieve nothing, when I meet someone I don't expect the people to take an interest in what I have to say or to build a friendship or relationship even if I would like to (I don't really know how to socialize), I admit I don't really know how to handle negative emotions. I have been told that I need to change my attitude because that way I'm not really searching for good things to happen to me. That being the case I would like to ask tips on how do you stay positive? How are you supposed to do so when life just keep giving you slaps in the face? Do you just not give up until it finally comes?"

My Response if we were in a coaching setting. Although without being able to ask questions, I may assume or use scenarios to fill in the gaps.

My heart goes out to you as you navigate this difficult journey.

Believing that you are a negative person won't turn things around.

Your beliefs become your reality.

You have the power to change your thoughts, beliefs, and ultimately your reality. Feed your brain with what you want, and train your mind to work for you, not against you.

It's important to understand that the power of our thoughts and beliefs can shape our lives.

Become more mindful and conscious to redirect and command thoughts by taking charge, living how we want to vs on auto pilot. Shifting to being in control of our brain not our brain in control of us. This is done by training your mind to be more present, in the now.

Contemplation and Reflection, is a really helpful practice that requires slowing down stepping back and having deep reflective thought identifying negative thought patterns and correcting or redirecting them.

Become more self-aware noticing thoughts without judgement. Seeing your thoughts for what they are, just thoughts, programming, conditioning that's served you in some way in the past but outdated and needs unlearned. Being curious, open and willing to experiment with a new way of being.

When we have a declaration or an identity statement, usually beginning with "I am," we are declaring our existence as that specific thing. However, it's essential to recognize that these statements and thoughts generate feelings, which then lead to actions. In this particular case, consistently believing and identifying as a negative person can create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It's vital to your overall happiness and wellbeing to challenge these negative beliefs and replace them with more positive and empowering ones. By doing so, it will reshape your reality and you'll experience life completely differently.

HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL?

I suspect from this statement you’re living life mostly from survival mode. This is living primary on the left side of your brain (super generalization).  Often this occurs when living in an environment where you’re having to protect yourself in some way from mental, emotional or physical harm. As a result there’s a habit of thinking that occurs because at least once this way of thinking your brain saw a positive benefit and also feels familiar.

Taking action from love/curious-based thoughts vs fear based, choosing how we want to feel and acting from this energy.

Your brain will pull you towards what feels good and familiar.

If being negative feels good in some way, has kept you from getting hurt by people, and is familiar well that’s the natural default and loop you’ll stay in.

You’re aware you’re negative, and you’ve been told that you are, this is awareness, acceptance and the first step.

Next it’s articulating how you want to feel. Often this is a difficult thing to explain in words for those that have lived in survival mode for years or decades. New coaching clients will often be able to state one or two words and quickly veer off into the land of negative language, judgment, blame, shame and guilt.

If we were in a coaching relationship I would ask you to describe how you want to feel with 10 or more positive words.. You might come up with: relaxed, at peace, calm, happy, funny, strong, brave, creative, attractive, accepted, enough… The how to stay positive comes from you. Your own words, how you want to feel. The energy and meaning these words bring to you, your heart, your soul. Being uniquely you is what makes a person attractive, magnetic and charismatic.  People are drawn to imperfections and uniqueness. Being positive can’t be faked or learned in a book, a course, a program a conference, it’s being. We are human beings not human doings.

This leads me to the last question you’d asked, do I just give up and let until it finally comes? You could and that’s a choice. I do know your energy enters a room before you physically do. We humans by science and stats are much happier, healthier mentally, emotionally and live longer when we are connected to other people.  I have asked 100’s of clients what’s going to matter most when you are 80 years old and every single person answers it with in some variation of “the memories, experiences I have had throughout my life and the connections to other people that I care about”.  We need a social circle, the amount in that circle is subjective to each person, can be a tribe of 2 or 100.

Expecting to fail, well you will.

The thoughts we feed, fuel and cling onto will create the life we live.

Instead of telling children “don’t eat on the couch” we are supposed to say eat at the table. Pilots know this it is well known among pilots, they do mental fitness exercises, that when you tell a pilot don’t hit the obstacle they will hit the obstacle. Because what they are doing is focusing on the obstacle. Skiers focus on the trail the well groomed maintained path, not the trees. The same thing goes for you if you focus on the obstacle or the problem all you will see is the problem. What you choose to focus on you will find evidence and go towards. Feed your brain what you want, train your mind to work for you, not against you.

How do you want to feel? Being able to answer this powerful question with 10+ positive feeling words form your heart and soul without judgment, without analyzing, overthinking, clearing your mind of all the past events and experiences along with what others are doing or thinking and the future will offer some clarity.

We are usually much harder on ourselves than others. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy.

Our relationship with ourself and life sets the foundation of how we treat and act with others.

If I was your coach I would help you access and be able to list off how you want to feel, and imagine it as if you had it already and work on the relationship you have with yourself and life. The energy a person has will either attract or repel people into your life. The relationship you have with yourself and life is what is projected outward. The level of kindness, compassion and empathy you have with yourself is the same level you’ll be able to put out into any relationship.

By consciously choosing to feed your brain with positive and uplifting thoughts, you are empowering yourself to create a life that aligns with your truest dreams.

I hope this helps. I wish you all the best. Please share this with anyone you believe would benefit from the insights. Post a comment, I read and reply to them all. Thank you in advance!

If you want to send a question, please send to [email protected] please include:

  • A coachable question (something that addresses what's in your control, your thoughts, feelings or actions.)

  • And context, explain a situation in the past, currently going through, or worries/concerns of the future, giving me some details on your thoughts and feelings about it.

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