How to think Positively
At the end of the majority of my keynotes/masterclasses I get the same question.
How do you think so positively?
I think about the negatives – a lot.
However, I work on being positive even more.
And that’s the secret.
It takes work.
Unfortunately a lot of people fall into the trap of staying where it’s almost comfortable to think negatively.
Being a positive person can have a knock on effect to your:
The good news is that I believe you can change it.
So let’s dive into how we can start to think positively as a default mode.
View positive content
When I was a young kid, I was inspired by athletes stories, especially underdogs.
I fell in love with Adidas’ ‘Impossible is Nothing’ campaigns.
I would watch endless videos of these inspirational stories.
Then I would click on motivational speeches.
Sometimes I’d fall asleep with them playing.
I would then take any inspiration quotes that I heard and liked, and I would print them off and stick them on my bedroom wall.
Everyday I would wake up and see these positive phrases.
Now they didn’t embed themselves straight away.
Nor did I wake up and stand there reciting them.
I think, subconsciously, I was taking it all in at all times.
I then often found myself saying things to others that were similar to the ideas from these quotes. Or I began to embody them more and more.
Now, while I don’t have the quotes on my bedroom walls.
I constantly watch motivational videos, listen to inspirational speeches.
When I go out running, sometimes I listen to them instead of music.
For you, it may be about putting up quotes in your room, bathroom, locker, desk.
It could be listening/watching motivational videos.
But social media can easily send you down a negative content loop.
In the MindStrong Academy we place motivational videos, books and listening for members to help spark these positive ideas.
The more content that you’re viewing that’s positive, you’ll begin to repeat in your life.
Catch your inner critic
While this could have easily been option 1 as a self awareness tool.
I also believe that once you start listening to more positive content, you’ll notice when your inner chatter is doing the opposite.
What I do is actively try to catch myself saying something negative.
Even if the words do come out, I will correct myself.
But I will try to be aware of what I’m about to say, and whether it’s going to be negative or positive.
This process stems from meditation and being able to view your thoughts as they appear, and requires practice in real life.
Look out for those times where you’re being your harshest critic.
If you’re not sure of this, in the MindStrong Course, Chapter 1 – Exercise 4 – Inner Critic vs Inner Fan, could be a great place to help you be aware of that.
Surround yourself with positive people
One huge change I have made in my mental health and positive thinking, is the people I’m around.
Sometimes this isn’t always possible because you can’t always decide who you’re around (i.e. teams, work, school)
Sometimes it could be friends and family that you feel you should be around.
Yet, if this is true and you find the majority of your time around people that are negative, I’d encourage you to find other people to add into your life that are positive.
Remember: You are the sum of the people you spend your time with.
If people around you are negative and pessimistic all the time, then you may find it weaves its way into you.
Therefore, a couple of things you can do:
- Try to reduce the amount of time you spend with negative people. (e.g. Turn down a meet up, turn going out with someone into a coffee, turn a coffee meet into a phone-call/text)
- Add new positive people in your life. (e.g. Go meet new groups, organise more meet ups, activities)
I don’t discount that some of this may be difficult.
To ‘cut’ some people out could be challenging and painful.
But ultimately, if you want to live a more positive life, and are tired of being dragged down, you’ve got to start actively making the decisions to create that environment for yourself.
- View positive content
- Catch your inner critic
- Surround yourself with positive people
These aren’t a quick fix and the results are subtle over time.
As always, start small.
You’ll then see positive changes that could have big positive consequences.
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