What is the point of being positive?
My question for you, my dear, dear reader, is why do you try and remain positive throughout your day, thoughts, and life?
Because honestly it can be exhausting. Right? I mean, sometimes it would be so much easier to give in to doubt, despair and let the waves of depression roll over you and sink down, muttering to yourself that it’s no use and nothing ever changes.
The Negative Cycle vs Positive Cycle
The problem with that approach is that giving up breeds insecurity, insecurity breeds contempt for yourself and contempt gives way to half hearted expectations about life and yourself.
When you’re caught in this vicious cycle, if you attempt to accomplish something, be it starting a new relationship or a job or learning a new skill, in the back of your mind you’re quietly wondering when you’re going to fail. You’re wondering when it’s all going to go wrong. And then when it does, you crow triumphantly, “See! I knew it wasn’t any use! I can never do the right thing about anything!”
Our expectations have a tendency to come true, in my experience at least.
Maintaining a positive outlook starts a different type of cycle: positivity instills confidence, confidence makes you try more things, which generates more confidence and excitement, which creates the biggest and most important attribute of all….COURAGE.
Why I Believe In Being Positive
The reason I know these cycles exist and why I try to be positive no matter what the situation, is because I’ve experienced both first hand.
I have chronic Lyme disease and almost 3 years ago I was so sick I couldn’t walk on my own. Lyme manifests itself in a lot of really unpleasant symptoms, but my main contender is pain. Chronic pain in the shape of joint pain, back pain, muscle pain, head pain, bone pain…you name it, I’ve dealt with it. During the time when I couldn’t walk, my pain was so horrible that I was on Vicadon pain pills around the clock. When I fell asleep at night, even while I was asleep I hurt. That doesn’t give you much rest or relief, and I was trapped in a cycle of expecting the worst.
I wasn’t being negative per say, but I wasn’t trying particularly hard to be positive either. I was just existing, trying to make it through each day without being overwhelmed at the prospect of living through an entire week with the pain. When I woke up, I expected that the day was going to be long, hard and physically painful, because the previous day for a few years had been like that.
Can’t Take It Any More!
And then a funny thing happened that helped bust me out of my negative cycle...I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t handle being trapped in my own little world of pain, sad expectations and not living life to the fullest. I asked my DR for some help and his solution was Medical Marijuana or Oxytocin. The only people I knew who’ve taken either of those were either stupid, or dead, respectively. I desperately didn’t want to be stupid or dead, so I changed a few things.
Makin’ Some Changes
I decided to take control of my life and not just exist anymore, but live. I tried to think positively about how my days were going to go and when the pain became too great, I would get someone to help me and I’d stretch a little. I also changed everything I ate to non-preservative and organic and slowly learned to listen to my body.
And just making the decision to take control of my lifestyle and thought process, gave me a spark. And that gave me some confidence which led me to have the courage to make bigger and better changes in my life….and well here I am now! I ran 2 miles today. For some people that’s just the warm up on their daily run, and while I hope to be one of those folks one day, for me just knowing that my legs can carry me all that way and back...it’s incredible.
I’m overwhelmed everyday because I’ve been at the bottom, depressed and hurting, and today I can look back at how far I’ve come, and I feel joy.
It’s not all bubbles and giggles and plushy life all the time now. Far from it. I have to work to remain positive, to make a conscious decision every day to wake up and make it the best one yet. I have to work to make choices that will only make me better, not hold me back. Some days I still have pain that shocks me and frightens me with the thought that I could go back to being the way I was before.
But I believe with a little positivity, confidence and courage, I can overcome anything. I know you can too.
Time For A New Outlook
So start today, and make a few changes towards being positive in your outlook towards life if you’re normally a Debbie Downer. How do you start to do that?
You can start by waking up in the morning, and looking at your coming day. Tell yourself that THIS DAY, you are going to approach it with a smile. Tell yourself that you will try your hardest at whatever it is you have to do, be it roping cows or finding a cure for cancer, that you’ll give it your best shot. And if you mess up and make a mistake, or everything just goes horribly, totally wrong? Then take a deep breath and challenge yourself to think of the situation in a new light. Instead of blaming yourself for not being perfect (Um, hate to break it to you but NO ONE IS), take it as a challenge to try again. To be better…To show the world what you’re made of…
It can take a while to get into a habit of thinking and acting positively if you’ve been on the negative cycle for a while, but hang with it. You owe it to yourself, and you are so worth it.
xo xo Liz