A few days ago, my wife Amanda and I discussed the power of having a positive mindset, the impact on our life and the importance to nurture and maintain a positive attitude. Everyone experiences setbacks in life and when that happens is hard to keep a positive outlook. Things can look gloomy and dark for awhile. I do believe it is okay to embrace those emotions as well. The emotions of fear, insecurity and anger are valid feelings that confirm our humanity. In my opinion, understanding our emotions helps us reflect. They allow us to eventually reframe and refocus our energies so that we can move past them and feel joy. We shouldn’t avoid them, or feel guilty about feeling what we feel. We must recognize that it is through validation and reflection that the change for the better happens. At the end of the day, that’s what we strive for: Continuous improvement through meaningful and positive change.
With that being said, I often try to keep a positive outlook even in the worst case scenarios. After being angry, sad, or confused, I believe it is important to clear our minds and begin to see things through a positive lens. From my experience, when we do that, new opportunities begin to show up. New challenges begin to knock on my door and new excitements begin to occur in my life. One of my former mentors once told me, when you are down, you can stay down or you can get up and take action. You decide!
Over the years, there have been many instances when I have felt down. For the most part, I can take ownership for the reason for my setback. Whether is something small like losing track of time and being late to a commitment to something more significant such as losing sight of my fitness and gaining weight uncontrollably. Whatever the circumstances, I know and can attribute my positive thinking and ability to reframe and refocus my mindset to being able to come up from the setback.
I don’t intend to sound like being positive is easy, because certainly there are times when it is really hard. But one thing I know for sure is that is harder to live a life of pessimism. Being positive is not only better, but it will encourage us to smile more. That is the power of a positive mindset, to be able to challenge ourselves to tackle our struggles with a smile, and being thankful for the learning and growth that will occur as a result of our setbacks. Let’s be thankful for all that we have, our successes and our challenges. Both make us who we are and guide us towards improvement and growth.