“You can’t stop the waves but, you can learn to surf.”
Jon Kabat Zinn
Picture this-You are moving through a dark & ominous tunnel. Very slowly, treading with caution.
You can hear creepy sounds from the tunnel, and you are scared but, you keep walking towards the end of the tunnel in the hope of getting out. It’s bone-chillingly cold and, you are worried about what’s going to happen next.
You look for a way to get out. There’s a slight shimmer at the end of the tunnel. A white light illuminates your face and, you start walking towards it. You feel relieved to see a glimpse of hope instead of blackness all around you.
You get exhilarated to know that there’s a way out of this tunnel. Free from darkness, despair, and a daunting hole that sucks the life out of you.
That tunnel is what constitutes a problem in your life. The darkness is the negativity enveloping you to be stuck in forever but, the white light is the positivity that pulls you out when you are just about to give up.
That light, that shimmer, that glow is what positivity is.
Now that you get the gist, what follows are little lines of wisdom. I will talk about what exactly is a positive mindset and how to develop one.
What is a Positive Mindset?
I love to talk in analogies so, I can say positivity means to look at the light at the end of the tunnel.
On a more definition note,
Positivity is the ability to see the good or better in any situation to produce better results.
But to be positive, you need to know that you are in a negative position. It means you need to accept that you are in a dark tunnel.
You need to open your eyes and see that the only way to be positive is to accept the negativity and march ahead.
Positivity is considered a superpower by many because you put yourself in a position where it doesn’t matter if things go well or not. You will still focus on the good. And that is a mighty place to be.
Research says that positivity is related to increased mental and physical wellness.
A positive outlook towards life not only makes you feel better but also helps with your stress management. If you manage to find the good in every situation, you reduce strain on your mind.
The way you look at life changes the way you experience life and, that is where an optimistic mindset comes in and saves the day. An example of a Positive Mindset would be to learn from your mistakes and perceive them as lessons.
Think about it this way, you either win or you learn. How powerful would be a mindset where you think that you never lose. That can keep you happy as a puppy and motivated to do better work.
But is it easy to build a mindset that is positive and free from pessimism?
Well, the answer is, it is simple but not easy because it requires consistent efforts.
Now, let’s take a look at the actionable steps you can take right away to build a positive mindset.
How to Build a Positive Mindset?
1. Practicing Gratitude
The act of being thankful, feeling appreciated, and showing kindness to anything or anyone is called gratitude.
It is a concept of positive psychology that helps you to value everything in your life more mindfully.
In more practical terms, you can start with saying “thank you” more. Or, if you want, you can maintain a journal that records everything you are grateful for on a day-to-day basis.
It helps you shift your mindset from a place of desire to a place of fulfillment. Abundance is a state of mind. When we learn to appreciate the good in our life, we attract good and, the good becomes better.
Gratitude, in general, can make your life a whole lot better in terms of physical & mental health, sleep, relationships, and energy levels.
2. Celebrate small wins
Another practical way to have a positive mindset is to start appreciating your small wins every day. We get so lost in our daily routine that we fail to realize that we win at something every day.
Woke up early today?
Made your bed?
Worked out for 30 mins?
The worst thing you can do is to let someone else define your wins. If you compare yourself to someone who works out for 1.5 hrs every day, you’d obviously feel like you didn’t do enough.
But have you ever thought about how you did 100% better than the day when you didn’t even start working out? The day you let the procrastination win you over, and both of you cuddled back to sleep.
You decide your wins no matter how small and feel good about it. At least, you are better than yesterday and, that’s what counts.
Go ahead, celebrate every small win. I’m rooting for you!
3. Avoid negative self-talk
Have you heard about the mind inside your mind called the subconscious mind?
Too many minds. *Phew*
The subconscious mind is a slave to your conscious thoughts.
For Eg: When learning how to drive a car, You have to focus on the gear, steering wheel, and the breaks simultaneously.
But once you learn it, you are just bangin’ some good music and breezing through the city without giving a second thought about how the three things are working so well together.
That’s because your subconscious mind is doing its job and saving everything in its memory. The subconscious mind is like, “I got this.”
It is like your past learnings are served on a hot platter every time your conscious mind needs it. It is also precisely the reason why you need to stop talking negatively to yourself.
We go through a lot of stress-inducing situations, moments of failure, and whatnot.
But every time we say something like:
“I’m so bad at this.”
“I’m a failure.”
“It’s impossible for me.”
Your subconscious mind hears it and, in fact, stores it.
That is not what you want to be stored because these negative affirmations can become a part of your identity.
Instead, always stay stuff like:
“I can improve.”
“I can always do better.”
“I’ll practice more.”
Your habits help you shape your identity and, the more you recognize yourself as someone who is positive and trying to improve, the better it is.
Your subconscious mind will believe it.
You will start seeing changes over extended periods and, you can come back and tell me all about it in the comments below. *winks for engagement*
4. Focus on progress, not perfection
You are not born perfect. Nobody is. But everyone strives for it and, I understand that. Being the best requires some progress and the drive to be better every day.
But what most people fail to understand is that your results don’t define you. Your practice does.
Everyone has bad days and, it’s okay to feel sad. What’s not okay is tying yourself to the outcome because the outcome can depend on other external factors, whereas your process & progress depends on just one factor.
Build habits so that you do it every day, focus on consistency rather than a goal.
I’m not saying say no to goals. They are great to motivate and get you going. But, motivation is like the waves of the ocean. It has highs and lows, but habits are a simple tactic that no one can rob you of.
Get on with it and try to be a little better than yesterday instead of being the absolute best, like an overnight success.
P.S Overnight success is a myth. Sorry to ruin your fairy tale but, every overnight success has failed so many times. They just never gave up and eventually became better at being better.
So what’s stopping you? (I’m serious. Tell me in the comments or mail me)
A Positive mindset is not an easy journey but the one that provides the most amount of satisfaction.
Your future self is happy that you took this decision today. You upgraded your mindset to improve. You became the best version of yourself and knocked negativity right in the teeth. *Ouch*
Adopting a Positive mindset today is an investment for tomorrow. You will start seeing the changes slowly but, they would be worth your time and effort.
You have only one chance at this beautiful thing called life. Why would you blow it by focusing on the negatives? Be grateful, celebrate your victories and, talk to yourself like you absolutely adore this human.