I was one of the few people who fell prey to self-help books telling you that positive thinking will enable you to achieve all that you have ever wanted. That your life will change magically without any effort except for changing the way you think. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?
Well, I found the thought quite appealing.
Unfortunately, the trick didn’t work its magic on me. I imagined myself being successful and handling any difficult situation with confidence. I ended up with being even more frustrated, because I tried really hard to see everything that happened in a positive way, even if there was nothing positive about it. In the absence of the desired results, I started doubting myself and my ability to become a happy person ever.
Fortunately, I quickly realized that there was nothing wrong with me. You still can be able to succeed and live a fulfilled life, although you cannot change your personality from being a pessimist to being a true optimist entirely.
Prepare and Take Action
In itself, the concept of trying to think positively is not a bad idea. I’d suggest it needs to entail a slightly different angle. Being positive is just one side of the medal. There’s more to it than just thinking about what you desire to be happening in your life.
Let me explain why.
There are people who are optimists by nature and others tend to be worrisome. Moreover, throughout our life, we have acquired certain ways of behaviour. So just trying to force another mindset on you is not going to get you anywhere if this is not who you are. Simply, because it is not convincing. You cannot trick your mind. However, your mind can be convinced.
Having a positive attitude should mean that you are positive about your ability to master a particular situation. The difference is, you bring the situation to your mind and prepare yourself for it instead of dreaming about how you would like to have it happen.
By doing so, you are about to get yourself ready for the actual situation. This is sort of learning by doing before facing the real challenge. Once you have practised this procedure a few times actively it will be less intimidating when it’s really happening.
Whatever it is you wish to change or accomplish, or you’re afraid of, you can gear yourself up in advance. Most of us know exactly what is causing us trouble, and this is the heart of the matter. The idea that scares you most is probably the thing you would like to work on. You might want to try this small exercise:
- See and feel the situation
First step is to feel as if you are already in the situation. The more detailed you imagine the scenario, the better. For example, if you want to ask for a pay rise you’re going to meet your boss in her office usually. What does it look like? What does she look like? How are you dressed? Are you nervous when you enter the room? Could she be in a good or bad mood? Be as detailed as possible.
- Imagine what’s going to happen
Most of us have a pretty good picture of what is likely going to happen. However, things can take a turn we are not prepared for. That’s usually the thought that intimidates us the most. Try to imagine what would be the best case, but more importantly, the worst case. It’s not going to feel good, but that’s what you need to prepare for in advance exactly.
- Find solutions
The more resistance you feel at this moment, the more you know that you have to work on it. Now, come up with solutions. How are you going to react? What are you going to do? Be insistent: Is this really the best possible answer or reaction you have in place?
- Make notes
Write down what you have just learned about yourself. Keep a journal where you make notes about how you could handle a possible situation or what you need to be ready for. We tend to forget quickly if we don’t see the words written down somewhere.
- Be proud of yourself
Even if it is just a dry run, be nice to yourself. You just decided to tackle something that makes you feel uncomfortable, but will bring you ahead of the game.
You should try to repeat this exercise a few times until you feel more confident about yourself than before.
- Do it
Don’t evade the challenge, tackle it. The more often you expose yourself, the more natural it will feel with time.
No one is doomed to stay a hopeless pessimist forever. We can change any way we want. You can teach yourself how to act with a constructive mindset and regain your fearless heart. Just once, you have to be bold enough to start doing something that brings you a step closer to the person you want to be. In order to change, you need to make positive experiences that will make you feel more confident about yourself. With time, you will become a more positive thinking person – in a constructive way.
What would you like to change but never dared to do apart from dreaming about it? Feel free to share your thoughts below.