“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”
– Norman Vincent Peale
I’m going to start off by telling you a story about myself from the past.
Three years ago, I was someone who always had a frown on her face, someone who barely talked to anyone, and someone who constantly snapped at people. There wasn’t any particular reason as to why I was like that. I just wasn’t content. I know how people always tell you- “Be happy”, but here I, on the other hand, believe in being content. What’s the difference you ask? Content is being aware of your situation and your surroundings, flaws and all, and thinking- “This might not be ideal, but I will adapt and make it ideal enough for me.” And that point I was neither happy nor content. I couldn’t really feel anything. I just wanted to be on my own and do absolutely nothing productive.
Then came the night when I decided to change. That particular night, I was bawling on my bed, just being so unhappy with who I was and so afraid of who I was going to be if I didn’t change. I wanted someone to comfort me, but everyone was asleep and I was breaking apart inside. That’s when I started giving myself a pep talk. I said- “Hey, this sucks, but you need to stop right now. You need to go wash your face, go to sleep and tomorrow will be a better day.” I kept saying that to myself, kept chanting it, and eventually I willed myself to get up and wash my face. It was such a small step, getting out of that bed, but that small step convinced me that only I could take care of myself and my mind. And that night before falling asleep, I promised myself I would be kinder to myself and to everyone who maybe, unbeknownst to me, was fighting their own demons.
I spent the next three years trying, in really tiny steps, to be kinder and nicer and positive. Even today, I do sometimes lose my temper or lash out without really meaning to. But I make it a point to make the situation better if anything. I sincerely believe with all my heart, that when you are nice to someone and adore them despite their flaws, they’ll do the same for you.
Positivity is something everyone is capable of harnessing. Every time you go wrong somewhere, or you do something impeccably stupid, don’t bash yourself. Kindly tell yourself that it’s alright, and that you can always try again. Positivity starts when you love yourself and forget about all the things society says is beautiful and is not. Beauty is when you have a good heart and a clear mind. When you love yourself, you’ll eventually begin to see how it is important to smile and let things go, you’ll see how it is essential for your soul that you treat yourself well. Here are some ways you can try to be more positive in your life:
1. Cut out anyone who brings you down emotionally.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. It’s easier said than done. But trust me, this is so very important. I was in a relationship over 2 years ago with a guy who constantly made me feel insecure. He loved me and everything, but he refused to treat me like a partner and I was often left waiting for a message or two. This made me unhappy, and it emotionally drained me. I decided that I needed a new start and I broke it off. Surround yourself with people who want to work, who have infectious energy, who are passionate, and who would never tell you that you aren’t good enough. Again, I know it’s easier said than done, but I promise you, your tribe defines your vibe. If they put you down, you’ll never rise.
2. Believe in constructive criticism.
We all know why we all have days when nothing we do seems good enough. Why? Because of self doubt. That self doubt arises from criticisms we might have heard in the past. It could be about how we work, how we talk, how we smile, or how our body looks. You need to know when to take something in your stride and when to let something pass. Someone said your work needs more…work? Take it in your stride, and focus on being better at it. Someone said your body isn’t attractive? Tell them that’s their opinion and love your body nevertheless. Believe that every critic can help you grow. In both cases afore mentioned, you are growing. One where you learn to work better, the other where you learn to love yourself more.
When I say declutter, I mean both your mind and your surroundings. I’m not telling you go clean out your cupboard right away.I myself have an annoyingly full closet. I’m telling you to spend some amount of time to just sit and be calm. If you some sort of project you need to do, something that is important to not mess up, make sure you have a clean desk. Working on a clean desk will make you feel happy and productive. Right before you start, try to stop worrying and just breathe and smile. Yes, just smile. And then begin. As you’re doing your project, keep taking a break for a few seconds, to organize (in your brain) what to do and how to do it. This will ensure you remain calm and give your best all throughout.
4. Fight your negativity.
Every time the voices in your head say- “Psh, you can’t do this”, I urge you to remind them that you can. You can, you can, you can. And then take little steps into doing it. First things first, you need to stop thinking that the world is against you and all that nonsense. All of that is in your head. No one has the sort of energy to work on throwing your day off, unless you’re James Bond, and if you are, well then, sucks to be you. Focus on all the things you are grateful to have. Like water to drink. Or a clean toilet to poop in. Or having the energy to breathe. Focus on the positive, and the negative will go away.
5. Be kind.
Practice kindness and generosity toward others. Being out of practice, being shy, or not knowing how to reach out to others can only be overcome in the doing, by continually trying until it becomes a natural impulse to be kind and giving to others.Ask for nothing in return. The greatest kindness expects nothing, comes with no strings attached, and places no conditions on anything done or said. Empathize with people. Smile at them. Be the person you want everyone to be so often in your life. Like for example, when you’re driving and want to enter a highway, how many times have you wished the car in the next lane would stop for a while just so you can pass? Be that car. How many times do you wish the person in front of you would hold the door? Be that person. Being a nice person isn’t all that hard. The only ingredients are a smile and a sprinkle of positivity.
6. Love, love, love.
When I say love, I don’t mean fall in love with someone and stalk them to their house and saying this chick in an article told me to. The chick in the article is telling you love the world. Love the pigeons that annoy you so much, realize that that’s just how Nature meant them to be. When you put out love into the universe, the Universe loves you right back and even gives you cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
It’s not that complicated, really. It’s just about being aware, being happy and being content. And then all the little things will fall into place.
And before you go to sleep tonight, ask yourself this-
“Was I a better version of myself today?”