“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
One of the very first things I started to work on consciously with my own personal development was to improve my outlook on life.
An attitude that would over time become more and more stable so that I could not only look at the world in a positive way during good days, but I could also stay positive and be open to constructive critique even during tough times and keep working towards something better.
Improving your attitude and living a more positive life overall can take a lot of time and effort. But a part of it can also be simple. You can spread positivity around you with small actions. This will make you and other people feel better today, but you’ll be rewarded in time for what you give back. All in all, you will make it easier for yourself to live a more positive life in the long run too.
When you’ve just failed it will most likely hurt. Sometimes a bit. Sometimes a lot. And that’s OK.
Don’t try to push it away by distracting yourself or by trying to push the responsibility onto the rest of the world (if deep down you know that this one’s on you partially or even fully). Don’t try to paint it over with a smile. I’ve found that it works better to not let yourself be led away by those options or impulses. Don’t fall for such destructive and sometimes self-fulfilling prophecies.
Instead, remind yourself that:
- Just because you failed today or yesterday doesn’t mean that you’ll fail the next time.
- The truth is that this won’t last for the rest of your life if you keep moving forward if you take action and you keep learning, and it doesn’t label you as some kind of failure (unless you decide to create that label in your own head).
- We often only hear of people’s successes, but the path to those milestones tends to have many setbacks. The story of someone’s success may seem only bright and fast-moving in what’s told in the media or what we see in our minds. But the reality, and the useful way to approach setbacks is most often more like this quote by Michael Jordan:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
A conversation with someone close to you can be very helpful. Another thing you can do is to learn from those who have reached where you want to go. Read about how they handled setbacks and low points before or during their success in books, on websites, or in online forums. Or you can simply tap into the enthusiasm or motivation of someone else by listening to a podcast or audiobook for maybe 30-60 minutes.
This may not be specifically about your current challenge but can help you to shift your mood and mindset back towards optimism again. Self-doubt can be a troubling and persuasive voice that holds you back and it holds you back from seizing your opportunities. It makes starting or finishing things harder than they need to be.
Sure, it can sometimes be useful as it helps you to soberly see your current limitations or simply recognize a half-baked or bad idea. But mostly, those negative thoughts hold you back in life and from many of the good things and good times in it.
When you constantly worry about and have a hard time with what others may think or say regarding your actions your level of self-doubt can quickly increase. When that happens then a good idea is to remind yourself that the truth is that people don’t really care that much about what you do or do not do. They have their hands full with thinking about themselves, their studies, jobs, families, upcoming matches, and events and ironically, what people may think of them. When someone criticizes you then it’s easy to start doubting yourself. When someone rejects you and you don’t get a second date after that first one it is only normal to doubt yourself. But what if what he or she said or did isn’t about you at all? Perhaps your co-worker that verbally lashed out at you is having a bad day. And you might not have gotten that second date because the other person’s mother fell ill, and he had to focus on that or because he reconnected with his ex-girlfriend and wanted to give their relationship another shot. You don’t know everything that’s going on in another person’s life. And the world doesn’t revolve around you. Be mindful about misinterpreting and building self-doubt unreasonably.
One of the best ways to create a happier life for yourself is to make other people happier. What you send out you tend to get back from the world and the people in it. Not from everyone, and not every time. But what you are able to give back matters more than you can measure.
The manner by which you treat others and how you think of them also tends to have a big effect on how you treat and think about yourself. Therefore, appreciate its value and spread the positivity.
How you start your day usually sets the tone for the rest of your day, which means that you need to be careful about how you spend your mornings.
If you get going at full speed, lost in future troubles in your mind then the stress, perceived loss of power over your life, and negative thoughts will ramp up quickly.
Start your day by having an uplifting conversation with your family or friend. Additionally, spending some time reading, listening to inspiring and helpful articles or podcasts over breakfast or during your bus ride to work can significantly change your outlook for the day.
When you spend your time in the present moment then it becomes so much easier to access positive emotions and to stay practical about what you can do in your life.
By moving slowly through your morning and hopefully through much of the rest of your day it becomes easier to mindfully stay in the moment you are in.
Another simple way to reconnect with the moment is, focus on what is going on around you right now for a minute or two with all your senses. As insignificant as this might sound seeing it, hearing it, smelling it, feeling the sun, rain, or cold wind on your skin can put things into perspective for your day.
All this may seem like just another list of things that’ll ensure you a daily dose of positive vibes, but sometimes, you do need to go that extra mile to truly make a change within yourself.
Rtr. Oshini Hewawaduge
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