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Having a Positive Attitude - Easy or Difficult?

Jul 11, 2008
Yes, it's pretty easy to have a positive attitude when things are going well and life is hunky-dory. You know, the times when you feel really well, full of vigor; the times relationships are easy and fulfilling; the times you feel valued, seen, respected; when you are engaged in activity that brings you joy. In other words, the times when you feel the most wonderful and free from stress.

If you're in that zone right now, isn't positivity all around you? If you aren't in that zone right now, think back to a time when you were. When in that zone, isn't virtually anything possible for you? Don't you feel upbeat and notice that life flows smoothly?

On the other hand, when life gets us by the jugular and wants to shake us about like a rag doll, positivity can disappear right off our radar screen. And it can happen in an instant. The positive energy drains from us just like water out of the basin when the plug is removed. As the positive energy drains out the void is filled with negative energy that leaves us feeling "down", "low" "depressed" and possibly "hopeless" and "fearful".

The other day we were talking with a mutual friend and colleague thanks to internet conferencing. It transpired that her Mother is just back in this "low" place (for yes, we do cycle in and out of positivity). She's been on a roller-coaster ride with her health and her relationship with her younger daughter. In the good times she was reading our book "Your Life Your Way: The Essential Guide for Women" and doing well. Then life presented her with more challenges and now she feels powerless. Although she was practicing some of the techniques and principles from our book, the latest circumstances of her life have thrown her off track.

This happens - it's normal and it's natural. As humans we have desires, expectations and many times we are overly attached to "how" our plans are to come together; "how" it is all to look--as well as how "soon"!

The trick is to recognize what's happening and find a way back to positivity. It's difficult to say exactly what anyone's particular "way" will be. From person to person and from situation to situation, how quickly one can bounce back into positivity varies. In any case, it is important to remember that this is a cycle and the "low" feelings are temporary. There are ways to reclaim a positive attitude.

Let's spread before you the veritable buffet that we all have at our disposal and we can choose any mixture that helps get us back to that positive attitude that allows us to make better decisions and puts us in the driver's seat of our life.

Do a perspectives exercise - how are you seeing what's going on for you?

Write it down. Then come up with other negative AND positive ways of seeing what's going on for you. Try some more outrageous perspectives such as "the Oscar-winner's way", the "triple chocolate ice-cream way" or anything else that pops into your head. Discount nothing. Somewhere in the midst of the various perspectives you explore, there is a valid and more positive viewpoint for you to adopt.

Re-visit one of your wonderful times - allow yourself to sense it fully . . .and smile at the thought. What was present that made those times wonderful for you? Think of the environment, the people, what you were doing or not doing, etc. As you revisit those times, feel and allow the positive energy to surface again.

Listen carefully to your mind chatter and let the real you have a conversation with your inner critic. Get clear on what the facts truly are versus the negativity of the inner critic

Use your body consciously to get yourself in a better space - exercise, pampering, sleep, deep relaxation - the choice is yours.

Find the access point through spirituality. By creating a quiet mind through meditation, silence, prayer - whatever works for you - you will allow your stronger, intuitive self to step forward.

Do a guided meditation that enables your subconscious to give you the opportunity to meet the essence of the person you know you are.

Stay aloof from the mayhem and melee around you so that you do not get "pulled" by other people's realities which is so easy to do when you are in a heightened sensitive state of negative energy.

Pick up a self-help book like "Your Life Your Way" and commit to reading a small amount each day . . . if you can do it with a beginners' mind, even better.

It's all about choice (your choice, no-one else's) and action. And the more positive you can be about what is happening to you, the wiser you can be about the choices and action you take; the smoother will be the journey and the more in charge you will remain.
About the Author
Lynn Hull and Julie Molner are Certified Professional Co-Active Coaches and Co-Authors of Your Life Your Way: The Essential Guide for Women. Lynn is British and lives in France; Julie is a life-long resident of Michigan. http://www.essentialguideforwomenblog.com; http://www.essentialguideforwomen.com
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