Do you ever feel out of control of your world? So many things are out of our control; the choices that our grown children make, the global economy, the weather – the list goes on and on. But the things that are within your control have a huge impact on your life. Your attitude toward life is what determines your actions, which determine the outcome.
Our actions are dictated by our perspective and interpretation of reality. If you are basically pessimistic, for example, you will make decisions that draw more negativity into your life. These will be fear-based actions and decisions, which usually result in a negative outcome. A more optimistic individual is likely to draw desirable events into their life. An optimist will try new things, take emotional risks, and enjoy the outcome. Which way do you tip the scale; toward optimism or pessimism? If you are generally negative, think about how you feel, both emotionally and physically. Could your world be better? Could your health be better? Perhaps it’s time for a change.
But can you simply flip a switch and choose to be an optimist? It’s possible, but not likely. You can, however, make a conscious choice to reduce your pessimistic tendencies and opt for a sunnier outlook on life. You have to exercise our mind, just like you do your body. The more you work toward change, the better your results. Here are three simple steps to optimism; it’s worth the work!
Reframe Your Thoughts
Reframe your thoughts. When you find yourself thinking or saying things like, that won’t work, or I’ll never be able to (fill in the blank), ask a simple question of yourself: Is that true and do I believe it with all my heart? The answer is usually “no”. Oftentimes we subconsciously protect ourselves from the fear of failure by believing that we can’t succeed. If you are prepared for the failure you think it will hurt less when things don’t work out as you would have liked. Truthfully, the weeks, months, or even years spent in anticipation of failure are far more painful than a temporary let-down from which you can recover. You are also inviting failure into your life when you dwell on the negative.
Reframe Your Comments
Reframe your comments. When a negative statement enters your mind or comes out of your mouth, change the shape of it. For instance, if you are approaching someone with an idea, or a sales proposal, instead of, I just know she’s going to say no, list the reasons that she may say yes to your idea. This reinforcement will give you more confidence, make you more likeable, and can even change the outcome.
Reframe Your Critiscism
Reframe your criticism. Entertaining negative thoughts about yourself or someone else lowers your energy; both physically and emotionally. When you make statements like, I can never do anything right, pull a switch and say, I’ve done so many things right in my life – and then go on to list them. There are tons of things you’ve done well; remind yourself of those daily. You will begin to see that your perspective is not based in reality and this empowers you to create a positive outcome.
Reframing is a simple process that is drawn from Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). There is a reason it works (and it will work if you remain committed to it). This process, along with many others, actually “rewires” your brain and “erases” the negative thought patterns that you currently have in place. You can teach yourself to think and act differently, and the outcome will be well worth your time and effort!