Unlocking Positivity in a Negative World

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photo of a sign and eyeglasses on table

Positivity is the practice of being, or tendency to be, positive or optimistic in thoughts, attitude, and actions. It is also being calm and composed, finding peace and passion, and generating energy and enthusiasm.

This sounds like a beautiful way to live and sometimes we can actually find ourselves in this blissful state. But usually, it doesn’t last as long as we’d like.

Why? Because we are surrounded by a lot of negativity in our everyday lives.

The stream of 24/7 news, our ever-present phones, even some of our friends.

It seems like not two minutes goes by where there is not some new piece of “breaking news.”

Seriously, new outlets?! Bold fonts, red banners, all caps, exclamation points?

If everything is this important and urgent, then nothing is important or urgent.

The more we are exposed to these constant “updates”, the more we are left with the sense that everything is close to crisis. It’s not.

Speaking of crisis, how often are we compelled to pick up our phones and check the latest ping, ding, or ring on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, even LinkedIn? We pick up our phones more than 350 times per day and consume nearly three hours of time on our phones every single day.

And we so do at our own peril. So much of what we consume in social media is not positive or uplifting. We see the same “breaking news” items on our phones as we do on our TVs. We fall headlong into a constant stream of beautiful vacations and perfect lives…of other people.

We get lulled into the “compare and despair” mindset. We wish we had that thing or dated that person or had that house or could afford that vacation.

We neglect to realize that all of those people have troubles too. They just don’t post them all over the internet.

And speaking of people with trouble in their lives, how do they find their way into our lives and why do they try to make us miserable too? What did we do to deserve this kind of friend group?

But we can’t just walk away from everything in our lives, can we? Sure, we can…if we want to.

Oh, I hear you. “That’s easy for you to say, Mr. Locksmith Man, but I can’t just stop watching TV (I need to know what is going on in the world), and I can’t delete all those dreadful apps (that’s where my friends and family connect and share photos…and I really like all those puppy videos), and I can’t just ghost all of my not helpful friends (they need support too).”

I hear you and I support you.

It’s not an easy feat to simply shut it all down, and does that really help us anyway? It might for a little while, but it could become unsustainable and actually, that doesn’t help us conjure up the positivity we’re seeking in the first place.

But I do have a shortcut. If you want to generate more positivity, here are the keys.

We first have to consider walking away from BLUE thoughts so we can stride into TRUE thoughts.

I know these terms are new to you, so let me explain.

BLUE thoughts are formed from the acronym BLUE (B-L-U-E):

  • Blaming yourself
  • Looking for the negative
  • Unhealthy assumptions
  • Exaggerated outcomes

When we are stuck in our BLUE thoughts, we set the stage for disappointment, guilt, resentment, and so many other feelings that are typically associated with negativity and poor mood and attitude.

We are literally looking for ways that life is bad, or we, ourselves, are not satisfactory in some way. We assume everyone is out to get us, no one understands us, or nobody cares, and the worst is yet to come.

We know this type of thinking is bad for us, yet somehow, we get a weird sense of satisfaction from it because we think (in some perverse way) we deserve to feel this way or, at least for this moment, we don’t have to figure out a solution.

Oh, we could do a short-term fix and put a band-aid on it, but we don’t. We just want to sit here and lick our wounds.

But licking our wounds is so much worse than a band-aid, because all that licking just keeps the wound from healing. It just keeps slowly bleeding. It’ll take days, weeks, months to make anything right.

When we are in our BLUE thoughts, we are sabotaging our own best interests. We need a shortcut out of this rut. We need to stop the bleeding. We need to move to TRUE thoughts.

TRUE thoughts are formed from the acronym TRUE (T-R-U-E):

  • Treating yourself kindly
  • Reassuring yourself you are…smart enough, strong enough, good enough
  • Uplifting assumptions
  • Empowering outcomes

TRUE thoughts shift us from blame to empowerment. The first, and easiest, way to begin this shift is to treat ourselves kindly. This is a critical first step to begin any movement in the direction of positivity. It may sound trite or even childish, but sometimes we need to be our own best friend.

Once we’ve placed ourselves in a more caring space, we need to switch roles and be our own cheerleader and reassure ourselves that we are whole, capable, creative, and strong.

Sure, we may have times when we are not at the very top of our game, but we have to believe that we are always deserving of a good life, a better life, the best life we can imagine for ourselves.

This reassurance leads us to generate uplifting assumptions instead of unhealthy assumptions. Uplifting assumptions promote positive visioning and goal setting which get us out of that rut and back on the road.

First, we see the light, then we see the finish line, and then we see all that we can be when we get there. When we do that, we generate empowering outcomes. These outcomes foster a greater sense of competence and confidence driving even more positivity.

This virtuous cycle is all made possible by working in the world of TRUE thoughts, rather than BLUE thoughts. It’s a challenging mind shift, but it starts with being kind to yourself and it grows as you cheer yourself on to see and then be all that you’re capable of.

Do you realize what you’ve just learned? You’ve now gained access to increased energy, improved productivity, greater goal achievement, and the potential for lifelong happiness.

I know it sounds like a lot to gain from just reducing negativity and increasing positivity, but that’s why shortcuts are so valuable. They get you where you want to be quicker than you expect, and you can use them all the time.

So how will you get yourself out of the rut of the BLUE thoughts of blame and unhealthy outcomes? How will you stride into a mindset of TRUE thoughts of kindness and empowerment? And how will you use this new thinking pattern to help others generate more positivity in their lives?

I’m not saying this particular shortcut will be easy to navigate, but if practiced regularly, it will bring you the fruits of success and happiness in any facet of work and life.

Walk away from the negativity of BLUE thoughts and shift into the positivity of your TRUE thoughts.

Your Mindful Moment:

You are positively beautiful in every way.

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