How crazy that I originally published this "power of positivity" post six years ago! I've done a lot of growing up in the last six years and now as I'm revisiting some of my older blog posts. I'm also taking the time to update them and to rewrite some of them to include what I've learnt since they were published. This post is such an important one – even more so because as I rewrite this, we are in the grips of the Coronavirus pandemic and positivity is so vital right now. This post wont be pandemic-specific – rather I want it to be a post that is relevant at all times and will be useful no matter when you end up reading this post.
I've always been a very positive person. Sometimes that has been to my benefit and sometimes to my downfall. It's something that I've learned a lot about over the years – ways to maintain it and ways to control it and not let it get the better of me. It might sound strange – but being a positive person can be a steep learning curve as you realise that not everyone out there has the same mindset as you. Sadly, there are other people who will try to tear you down because of it. The important thing is to learn strength of character and to be able to maintain your positive mindset. Even in the face of challenges which will no doubt spring up regularly throughout your life.
Why do I need a positive mindset?
When I first wrote this post six years ago, I was incredibly naive and young. I'm not afraid to admit that I had no idea the challenges that life can throw at us. But the last six years has really shown me that it's not always easy to be positive. I've faced broken relationships, a complete career change and toxic friends. There's been infidelity, domestic violence, threats of harm and I even came close to my own death. But what have I learned from these experiences? That staying positive and believing in my abilities to survive everything that came my way was what got me through.
You see, it's not just about believing you can survive these experiences. It's about knowing you can thrive no matter what. I'm a big believer in manifestation and speaking your hopes and dreams into the universe. The energy you put out there is what comes back to you. If you're putting out negativity, stress and worry, the universe will return it to you. Spreading positivity and hope, just brings more of it into your life and I am walking proof. Even if you don't believe in manifesting your dreams. The power of positivity has a huge impact on your physical health, mental health and those around you. You don't have to walk around with a big grin on your face 24/7. But having this unshakeable positive mindset can have a huge impact on your life.
- Read: Mind full or Mindful? How you can regain control of your life
- Read: Manifestation Guide: How To Manifest Anything You Want In 24hrs
- Read: NHS Guide to Mindfulness
When can positive thinking harm us?
The power of positivity isn't always a benefit to our lives. It can sometimes harm us or make us vulnerable to those who might take advantage of our good will. It's something we can only learn through experience and I've certainly had one hell of an experience the last few years. That's not to say we should stop in our positivity – just that it is a skill we need to cultivate in order to make it stronger. At times challenges will come along and it's up to us to learn the lesson and change the choices we make – that's how we grow as individuals.
Relationships – when positivity can overrule intuition
This is a hard one and I know I am absolutely guilty of letting the power of positivity overrule that voice in the back of my head. Ignoring my intuition for love, or infatuation with another. All those red flags we ignore, all those uneasy feelings deep in our gut. We've all had them and ignored them in the hopes we might be able to change someone, or they might be telling the truth. But sadly the truth is that people can't be changed, they can only change if they are ready to do the work. If your gut is telling you something, always listen, it's always right.
Toxic people – positivity & kindness can blind us to the truth
This was a tough lesson to learn and one that hit me hard over the last few years. When you're a positive person – it's hard to imagine people who are just toxic, broken and narcissistic. It's hard to imagine people who are just there to hurt, harm or break you because of their own traumas that they have buried deep inside. It's so sad but there really is nothing you can do for these people but identify them as soon as possible and cut all contact. Toxic people will easily fly under the radar masquerading as sweet and kind friends until they turn and you are left to pick up the pieces. The most important thing to remember – you don't owe anyone anything in this world. You are well within your rights to cut people out of your life and to remove the toxicity.
When giving the benefit of the doubt is a bad idea
Don't let bad relationships and toxic people stop you from being positive. While these characters will no doubt have an impact on us and shape the version of ourselves we become. It's important to not let them break your power of positivity. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is important at times – people can surprise you and unless we are willing to let them try, nothing will ever change. However, if you have given someone the benefit of the doubt multiple times and they keep claiming "I can change" or "things will get better" or "I can fix this" – you can be damn sure that they won't and they are manipulating you. Step away and remember the phrase – fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!
How has staying positive helped me in my life?
I can honestly say I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the power of positivity. I've had some pretty horrible and scary experiences over the last few years, a few of which have threatened my life. I'm not looking for sympathy – but to show you that staying positive has helped me heal, time and time again. It has built me back up from the depths of despair and has given me a way forward, a way to remain myself even when broken. Positivity spreads easily, so by keeping my positive mindset, I have helped others to do the same and to move onwards and upwards.
How positivity helps me in daily life
On a daily basis – staying positive helps me to get motivated. It gives me the confidence to take risks and it helps me to look after myself so that I am my best self and am able to help and support others. You know that saying, you need to fill up your own cup before helping others? Well it's true and it's so important to do this daily – whether it takes the form of yoga and meditation, or simply eating well, exercising and sleeping enough. By doing this daily, you will feel ready and able to support others as they need and to help them with their positivity. But you can't do this without looking after you first.
How being a positive person helps me as a solo traveller
When travelling solo, things can quickly become intimidating or scary if you let them. It's so important, especially when first starting out, to maintain your mindset and to not let things get on top of you. Instead of looking at the big picture, focusing on smaller steps until you're on your way. Being a positive person also makes you very approachable and open to meeting new people. You will find that positive attracts positive and if you're putting out good vibes, you will attract great people. Whereas those who are more negative won't appeal to those looking to make new friends.
How a positive mindset helped me recover from domestic violence
Escaping and recovering from domestic violence was without doubt the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I won't lie, it broke and changed the person I was into the person I am today. For anyone who is going through the same thing, I have written articles on this topic – find the links below. But I want to focus on how my positive mindset really helped me to heal from domestic violence. I forced myself to focus on what I had learnt from the experience. To think about where I was going in the future. And to feel grateful for what a lucky escape I had compared to many who hadn't managed to get out.
These simple thoughts helped me to stay positive while also going through the negative parts of the healing process. Without both sides of the process, it could have been a very different story for me, but the power of positivity really helped me to get back to myself.
- Read: I survived domestic violence – you can too
- Read: Flexible working helped me escape domestic violence
How can the power of positivity change YOUR life?
Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to some people and others seem to breeze through life? The truth is – no-one breezes through life, it's difficult for everyone. We all face our challenges and have curve balls thrown our way unexpectedly. But what sets us apart is how we choose to deal with those situations. Do we let the negativity take over, or do we tackle problems with a smile and refuse to let them slow us down?
We can't control anything that happens to us – but we can control how we react.
One thing you might not even be aware of is how much your attitude affects your life. Think about days when you spring out of bed whistling, chat to the person who makes your coffee, greet everyone with a smile when you get to the office and help a door open for someone. Those positive days have a ripple effect, so saying thank you and chatting to the coffee person puts them in a good mood which they pass on to the next customer. The person you hold a door open for, might help an elderly person with their shopping. Positivity is infectious and it spreads quickly.
Now think about a day when you get up on the wrong side of bed. Maybe you stub your toe on the bathroom door, put shaving gel on your toothbrush instead of toothpaste. Instead of taking a minute to reset your mindset before leaving the house, you take that attitude outside. Honking the horn aggressively at people crossing the road, pushing past people at the door, not holding the elevator for a colleague, telling the coffee person to hurry up and forgetting the thank you. All small things, but they add up and before you know it, you've had a crappy day. Not only have you had a bad day, but everyone around you has caught your negativity and spread it further.
What small daily changes can I make?
Here are five simple changes you can make to your daily routine that will help you implement the power of positivity, and to stave off negative thoughts.
- Practice gratitude – every night before bed, think of five things you are grateful for – no matter how big or small.
- Say thank you – take the time to tell people you appreciate what they have done for you.
- Set practical and achievable to-do lists – tick off completed items – this helps stop negative build-up of stress.
- Meditate – even just 10 minutes a day can really help clear your mind and change your mindset.
- Get enough Exercise/Sunlight/Sleep/Food – when you feel good, it's easy to be positive!
How do you stay positive – what are your best power of positivity tips? What has positivity helped your to survive in your life? Do you have a positivity mantra?