Chapter 2: The Power of Positive Thinking

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‘The Pessimist Sees Difficulty In Every Opportunity. The Optimist Sees Opportunity In Every Difficulty.’ – Winston Churchil

Positive thinkers accomplish many things in their lifetime. Negative thinkers, on the other hand, often remain in the shadows. They live unfulfilled lives, seemingly suspended in a dreamless state, unable to go any further in life.

Positive people can enact positive changes within themselves and within their surroundings. They lighten up a room simply by being in it. Other people gravitate towards them because they know they’ll benefit from them – whether it be through words of encouragement or even just a simple smile directed their way.

When you learn to think positively, you will see the difference between your old self and your new self. The difference is like night and day. When all you can think about are negative thoughts, you never see the light. But when you start viewing things positively – no matter how negative it may seem – then you’ll have a bit of light shining through, and you can see clearly, even in the darkest of days. Thinking positively helps you see the light. It helps you look beyond the darkness.

My grandfather worked in the early 20th century as a gas lamp lighter. Every night at dusk, he would go out and light the gas street lamps and just before dawn everyday he would have go out and quench those lamps. When I was a young child I asked him if was he ever afraid of the dark as he was quenching lamps and he said. ‘No I always focused on the next lamp so in my head it wasn’t about the darkness but instead focusing on the light.’ That thought stream kept what was a sometimes dangerous job much easier. All these years later those words stick with me and even if I encounter darkness – and we all do from time to time – I know there’s always going to be light nearby.

You seek out that light and let it shine in the darkness. You watch the black dissipate and slowly turn into the light – that’s the awesome power of positive thinking!

Here’s how you can transform your life with the power of positive thinking:

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  1. Think about what you want to achieve and why

Everybody can answer the ‘what’ part easily but not so many people find it easy to answer the ‘why?’ part of the question. That is because it takes some soul searching. If you know the why, the how comes more easily. We all have hopes and dreams in life. Sometimes, however, we get so down that we think we’ll never be able to achieve what we set out to do.

The best way to combat this is by reminding yourself why you chose that goal or that dream. For me I have the three ‘things’ I want to have in the next three years as a screen saver on my phone so I see it regularly every day. The why part of the question is simple. They are three things I feel I was born to do.

Having set up Keepwell Holistic Wellness last year, one of those ‘things’ has been achieved and I can see the difference it has made to peoples’ lives. Two people who came on the program last year were suffering from severe panic attacks, forcing both of them to be hospitalised on more than one occasion.

They both figure out their ‘why’ and now one is training to be a yoga teacher, the other has received her diploma in life coaching. As well as asking the ‘Why’ question you also have to answer the following as they can cause blockages in you achieving your goals. Did you choose it for yourself? For your family? For your community? Who’s going to benefit from your success?

Put things into perspective, and you’ll motivate yourself to continue what you started. You may doubt yourself every now and then, but don’t ever let it cloud your path to success!

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  1. Do everything in your power to achieve your goals

There’s a lot of ways you can go about achieving your goals in life. You can break down your goals into mini-goals to make it easier for you to achieve something. When you achieve a milestone, treat yourself for a job well done. You don’t have to splurge on expensive items, just remember not to ‘reward’ yourself with something that will set you back from achieving your goals.

For instance, if you’re trying to lose weight, then you may not want to treat yourself to an all-you-can-eat buffet at your favorite restaurant but you can treat yourself to something that will help improve your health further like a health supplement or green tea. Something indulgent that lets your brain know you’ve achieved something special.

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  1. Talk to yourself out loud (But be careful where you do it!)

Hearing your own voice can sometimes do wonders for your thoughts. We can sometimes get so caught up in our own thoughts that we don’t hear ourselves think. When you do talk to yourself, try not to be too loud (especially when you’re in public.)

Seriously though. It’s okay to talk in public, just learn to modulate your voice, so you don’t get stared at. But when you’re all alone, and the negativity starts creeping back in, then talking to yourself is not a problem.

If you’ve never tried this trick before, you may be in for a surprise. A stern talking down from yourself will help shut down your inner critic. You can verbally direct your negative thoughts and pivot it towards a more positive line of thinking.

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  1. Learn to say ‘yes’

Learning to say ‘yes’ is important. If you’re the timid type and you always hear the word ‘no’ in your head, then it’s time for a change. You may even be surrounded by people whose favorite word is ‘no’. Just ignore them especially if you know you’re doing the right thing.

When you learn to say ‘yes,’ you become more positive, and you start enjoying life a little more each day. Over time, you’ll be able to add more positive words to your vocabulary. Don’t get me wrong, the word ‘no’ is just as important as ‘yes.’ It all depends on the situation really.

The point is, you’re not going to be tied down to your comfort zone, too afraid to chase your dreams simply because you’re being held hostage by the word ‘no.’

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  1. Drown your negative inner voice with positivity

The best way to block out your negative inner voice is by replacing it with positivity. If your inner voice is pointing out all the negative things about something, then point out the positive things! Talk it out with yourself.

Being objective is not the same as being negative. Weigh the pros and cons if you must. But don’t focus on the cons alone especially if you know the pros more than outweigh the cons!

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  1. Look for positive things always

You’re probably inundated with negative things from the moment you wake up or from the moment you step out of your comfort zone. Don’t you worry. There’s always two sides to a coin, don’t ever forget that.

When life presents the negative side, try to turn it over until you get to the positive side and then zoom in on that! That’s how successful people deal with negativity – by looking for the silver lining. There’s always a silver lining somewhere. You may not see it at first glance, but sooner or later, it will make itself known to you.

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  1. Be genuinely happy for other people’s success

One of the things that negative people dwell on is their jealousy of other people’s success. They often compare themselves to successful people. Just because their friends have made a name for themselves and are now success stories, they start feeling sorry for themselves. If you think like this, you’ve got to put a stop to it now.

You’ve got to look at the hard work successful people put into their craft. It’s not like their success was handed to them on a silver platter. Don’t feel bitter if your friends can no longer hang out with you as often as you’d like. It just means you need to start living your own life.

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  1. You have more than enough blessings in your life

Sometimes your negativity gets the best of you, and you fail to see what you have in front of you. You’re so consumed by jealousy, disappointment, sadness, and anger, that you take all the blessings you have in your life for granted. You only realize what you had in front of you when you’ve lost it.

Before it gets to that point, look around you and be grateful for all the blessings you currently have.

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  1. Practice positive affirmations

Positive affirmations work when you believe in it so at the very core of your being you really have to believe that you will reach your perfect weight or you will have a successful life.

If you don’t believe that you will have these things deep down then you are simply uttering senseless and random words that make you feel better in the short term but will do little in the long term to get you the life you desire.

The one I used most for myself when I started working on positive affirmations and visualisations was ‘I will not let the negative energies around me affect my mood or get me down.’ Or how about, ‘I am not a procrastinator. Today, I am going to finish all my tasks on my to-do list because that’s the right thing to do.’ I would then turbo charge the affirmation with visualisation to imagine a force field protecting me from the negative energy as well as seeing myself with all points on my to-do list marked off.

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  1. Think happy memories and just be happy

Happy memories often lead to happy feelings. This is why remembering fun times and happy moments is always a great idea when you’re feeling down. You can recall the wind on your hair when you were out driving with the top down, you can smell the breeze from the ocean when you went to the beach last summer.

Always have something nearby that will help you recall happy thoughts to chase away the bad ones. Little things like this can help you with your positive thoughts

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