How far will positivity go….

Throughout my life, I have struggled to accept that no one is perfect, that perfection does not exist and therefore cannot be achieved. Perhaps this is because it has always felt like everyone else is the traveling dreamer, the one nobody forgets, the one whom friends flock to, the one dressed to perfection, the one whose intelligence people want to tune into. A culture of motivation has also taught me that if I want to achieve something, I can, with just enough drive and intention—but when does motivation and personal criticism become destructive? I know my imperfections all too well, and I think most people can relate when I say I am my worst critic. I would tend to put myself down on a regular basis. I started noticing that I was not the only one viewing my life with negativity. I began to realize how often people are negative, and I commonly heard the use of the phrases, “I’m tired,” “It’s cold,” “It’s cloudy,” “Traffic sucked this morning,” “I’m going to bomb this test,” “My day has been so crappy,” or “I just want to go home.” I wanted to change so I thought about how I could change the conversation around if I was the positive factor. How could I be the catalyst in changing these conversations? So, for every negative comment someone made, I counteracted it with a subtle, positive one. For every person who passed me and seemed to be having a bad day, I smiled their way. I came to find that it changed my entire outlook.  I noticed within myself that I was just simply happier. I wasn’t constantly putting myself down for not doing enough; I was instead praising myself for the wonderful things I did accomplish and learning to love the mistakes I made, even turning them into lessons and more opportunities. However, positivity is also something that can easily fade, if you let it. Hre are some ways to sustain positive thinking. Start a positivity wall with words of encouragement, pictures of places you have traveled, letters from family and friends, fortunes, drawings, photography … if it inspires you,  display it. Start to write down one thing that made you happy each week, as well as one thing you would have liked to improve upon (that was realistic). And every time mean thoughts start to arise, simply stop, take in the thought … and then let the criticism go. I know it’s hard but it is definitely worth the effort. I am so grateful for the life that I have and the people in it. I still find myself getting into bouts of trying to do everything and to do it perfectly, rather than just trying to do my best. But these bouts don’t last nearly as long as they used to. By having more confidence and focusing on what I am rather than what I am not, I am much happier—and I see now that that’s “enough.”


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