Are you feeling less than positive about a certain area of your life? Maybe it's a close relationship, your job, or a recent experience. While I know it can be frustrating to hear in the moment, being positive is incredibly essential to creating a life you truly love.
Being joyful, passionate, fulfilled and having relationships that lift you up begins with your mindset and ability to put a positive foot forward in everything you do.
The first step to shift towards a more positive mindset is becoming aware of your vocabulary and the effect it has on your life, what you attract into it and how joyful you feel.
This isn't always easy and I also know it may sound a little out there to think changing your vocabulary can actually change your life, but I'm living proof that it has tremendous positive effects.
Words carry energy, actual vibrations that affect you and those around you.
One of the first things I did when working to change my life was to change my vocabulary and how I verbally and energetically responded to situations.
I distinctly remember when my old computer died, right after moving to Hawaii, when I had no money and no job. I was trying to start a business and I had clients back in Colorado with looming deadlines.
With the previous two years being some of the most trying, stressful and tumultuous of my life, my habitual reaction was to freak out. But this time, having recently discovered the world of self help books, I made the choice to stay positive and speak positively.
To say things like, "it's going to be fine, I can make this work" instead of the hundreds of negative things I could've said. It was stressful and hard, make no mistake, but it was also the first truly trying experience in two years that I handled gracefully and without feeling like my whole life was falling apart.
When you're stuck in a negative mind cycle, you begin to feel like life is out to get you and things are happening to you. Dramatic statements like "I'm screwed" or "crap like this always happens to me" creates those frantic feelings and keeps you stuck in negative situations.
So even though it may feel hard, the first step to changing your life is to be positive and practice gratitude. Again, I know that when you're in the muck of it, that's the last thing you want to hear, right? But just like we talked about in the first part, you are 100 percent responsible for how you choose to react to everything that's happening in your life.
Positivity and joy are a choice, one that you have to make every single day.
Sometimes, it seems like everything in your life is going poorly and it's hard enough just to get up and face the day, let alone put on a "happy face" while you do it. But here's the thing, this isn't about false joy or any kind of "fake it 'til ya make it" attitude. This is about really, truly shifting your perception of the experience, relationship or situation.
Let's talk about gratitude for a moment.
Wikipedia says, "gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive."
There are two things I love about this definition.
First, gratitude is an attitude as well as a state of being and a practice. Second, gratitude in acknowledgement of a benefit one will receive! It's easy to experience gratitude when people help us or things go our way, but what about when they don't?
Practicing an attitude of gratitude is about choosing to be grateful for the lessons, experiences and gifts in every situation, and there's always a lesson! Even when we're in the midst of it, amazing things are happening to us and we're being pushed to grow, shift and expand in new ways.
When I was personally in the midst of my trying times, I came across a very powerful mantra: "Ask that what is happening to you is happening for a reason."
So, I began to repeat this over and over. "I ask that what is happening to me is happening for a reason." Now that I'm through it, solid in myself, who I am, my relationships and my life, I can see every single lesson and gift from those trying years. How those experiences were necessary for me to be able to serve and support people in the way I desire to. How the rocky relationships taught me how to be clear about my needs and to never settle for less than I deserve. How to manage my money better, how to trust my intuition, and most important, these experiences pushed me to grow in ways I never would've otherwise.
This isn't easy. You have to make the choice, every single day, to stay positive.
It's a powerful choice.
The art of practicing gratitude on a regular basis is also difficult. There will be moments and experiences that you feel like it's impossible to find something to be grateful for, but if you just start, even with the most random thing, it will begin a snowball effect that will elevate how you feel in the situation.
Take a Positive Look Exercise
If you take the time to work through this exercise, every single time you feel negative, frustrated, or overwhelmed, you will experience shifts. Before you know it, life will feel amazing and you'll feel so much happier. Not only that, amazing experiences, opportunities and people will begin to show up.
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Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com;, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to access her Foundations for Unshakable Joy free video training series now!
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