Growing a Positive Mindset: A Beginner’s Guide to Finding Optimism

People often ask me how I am so positive all the time. When I tell them it’s a matter of a choice they usually wave with their heads in disbelief. It’s an illusion that people are either “positive” or “negative” as if that is something set in stone. Like a trade that you are either born with or without. And what does it mean to be positive anyway? Well, in my opinion a positive person is an umbrella term for anything between: choosing to see reality with optimism to being simply joyful for the most part… And anything in between. If there is anything left in between of course. And although there is much more to the subject of positive mindset than it can be put in one blog post, I found that these aspects, that I’m about to mention, are the best place to start when contemplating one’s own positivity. So let’s talk about how you too can grow a positive mindset:

Assuming The Best

It can seem hard to assume that the best thing will happen when you have a challenge in front of you. But think about it: even in the worst case scenario, if you have to go through something bad, go through it only once- when it actually happens. And not a thousand times (in a minute) in your mind. Besides, I’m a huge proponent of law of attraction, what we think and believe- we attract. I had many (many) situations that proved me that. The key is in catching yourself in thinking negatively early enough and replacing them with these questions:

  • What is the best possible outcome?
  • How would it feel if it happens?
  • What would I do after?

And about that “worst case scenario”…. A man late for a flight, devastated and angry, he was supposed to be somewhere, it was very important, finds out that the same plane (he supposed to be in) crashed and no one survived- suddenly that man is the happiest person alive. My point is, that “worst case scenario”… you don’t know what it might’ve saved you from.

Choosing To See Good In People

In the end, people are just trying to do their best. That might be far from your best (at the moment), but it’s their best with their upbringing, society and situations they are dealing with on a daily basis. Start with yourself, on the day when you wake up all crappy and angry and someone steps on your toe, you behave the best you can and that’s probably far from your best on the good day. Also, you never know what day someone is having. Person, that cuts you off in traffic or rude person in the supermarket- you don’t know why they’re like that, what’s going on in their lives. Maybe the person cutting you off really has to make it to the bathroom, maybe the person rude to you is going through divorce or their family member is sick- you just never know. There’s an old saying: don’t judge a person until you walk ten feet in their moccasins.

And by the way, this doesn’t mean that we are excusing them or supporting those behaviors. Oh no. All that we are doing is removing the clouds of judgment and anger, so we can see more clearly what is going on. And with that how to better deal with the situation on hand.

Choosing Your Thoughts

Another illusion is that our thoughts are real, and can’t be controlled. Yes it’s hard, and it’s a practice but that could be the most important skill of your life because it will determine everything around you. Two people in the same situation may have a completely different reality just because of the thoughts they are choosing to have. And not everything your brain comes up with should be acknowledged, some of these fears, judgments (and what not) are simply unnecessary and not true. They don’t define you as a person and they don’t mean anything. That’s why meditation is so amazing, it’s a great tool to find awareness “behind” all these thoughts and allows you to see which ones are worth investing your attention (uplifting, loving, positive, compassionate) and which ones should be let to pass (anger, fear, jealousy, resentment…). And trust me, when unacknowledged- they will.

Try some of these ideas, and tell me how it went <3

Great books on the subject: