I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying “Is the glass half empty or half full?” This illustration exemplifies the two different outlooks a person can have on life: pessimistic or optimistic. For the most part, a negative attitude is the default setting we turn to when things get rough. It is so easy to just focus on all the bad and ignore anything positive. This type of thinking will hurt you though. It allows the feelings of fear, doubt, worry, and being overwhelmed to take root in your life. It can cause you to run off the people around you; it can cause demotions or lack of promotion because you’re not as willing to work hard; and it can ultimately destroy everything in your life. It is very harmful to be a pessimist.
On the flip side, being an optimist fills you with belief, faith, confidence, and love. It is said that attitude is more important than skills and knowledge. Someone may be the most qualified for a job, but if their attitude portrays that they don’t care about it, then the job will go to someone who does. Attitude is so important to take control of!
How to Change Your Thinking
So how do we become optimistic? The good news is that having a positive attitude is a choice! You just need to make a decision to think positive! Now that sounds very simple, and technically it is, but it does require work. As I said, our autopilot mode is to think negative. We need to teach ourselves to get rid of those negative thoughts quickly and fill our heads with the positive. We need to create a new habit of positive thinking!
Alright, so you might be thinking: So, how do I teach myself to think positive? I’ve been thinking negative thoughts for so long; I don’t know where to start. A great place to start is by making yourself write out a list of all the things you are grateful for. This might start off small at first, but as you keep thinking about it, you will start to find things to add to it.
Another great way to stay positive is to make sure you are aware of when you are being negative. Try to catch yourself thinking negative thoughts or saying pessimistic words. Have others catch you as well. Sometimes we don’t notice when we are being negative, but having others around to help you out is very beneficial to forming this new habit.
Be careful who you spend time around. If you spend time around a lot of negative people, it will become harder to stay positive. Try to surround yourself with people who will build you up, and make sure you do the same for them. If you are able to build people up, others will like to be around you. If no one wants to be around you now, think about whether your attitude is the reason.
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