The Power (and Struggle) of Positive Thinking: How to Shift Your Attitude


Hey everyone, happy Monday!

I know, you’re probably thinking: “Why on Earth would you say that a Monday is ‘happy’?” Well, in the spirit of this musing, I want us to begin with a positive outlook. So, try to consider Mondays as the start of a new week, with the potential for new opportunities!As I recently mentioned, I have been reflecting a lot over the past few months on how our mindset, intentions, and subsequent actions can truly influence our lives. On a basic level, I believe that we all know this to some extent. But, something that I did not fully realize was how much a positive outlook could help me accomplish my goals – and how much of a struggle it can be to maintain that positive outlook.

This is especially true when you consider the life of an entrepreneur. More often than not, you will have minor setbacks as you begin to build something that is 100% your own. Many people will not understand your decision, may consider it too risky, and will consequently advise you to choose a “safer” or “smarter” path. Can you imagine if every business owner let those setbacks and negative feedback influence their decisions? No one would truly accomplish anything, because they would be too afraid to try.

Now, this principle can be applied to anyone; whatever path you’re on, wherever you are in life, and wherever you want to go. If you don’t find a way to believe in yourself, your dreams, and your ability to achieve them, then all of the help in the world will make no difference. Our outlooks and intentions lead to our actions and outcomes. They can either skew positive, or negative. Which would you prefer?

Obviously, all of this is much easier said than done. As the cliché goes, “If it were easy, everyone would do it!” The point here is to begin with baby steps, and to eventually get to a place where you are happy with your capabilities, your potential, and your direction. But, this all starts with you. Are you kind to yourself, or are you too demanding? When you screw up, do you berate yourself or do you treat yourself as you would a good friend (i.e. forgiving, understanding, and assuring that things will get better)? And when you think of all of the wonderful things that you would like to have or do in this lifetime, do you shoot down the ideas – or let them blossom?

All of these seemingly small choices can have massive influence over our general mental wellbeing, and this in turn translates to the reality that we create for ourselves. It’s too easy to tell yourself that you’ll never accomplish X, never go to Y, or never make Z amount of money. On the flip-side, it is a constant challenge to believe that you are capable of whatever you set your mind and intentions to. Nearly everyone – family, friends, enemies, society as a whole – may tell you to play it safe, that you won’t be able to accomplish such big goals, and/or that you’re better off doing something traditional rather than chasing a dream or two. But you have to ask yourself: will this make me happy? Will I regret staying on the safe path just for the sake of meeting someone else’s expectations? Or, would I rather give this all of my good energy, try my absolute best, and see where it gets me?

I know which one I would choose.

As I’ve already said, this is not easy stuff. I have trouble sticking with it as well, quite often. So, don’t beat yourself up for not sticking to the positive intentions! As I’ve learned from some of my reading (see below), sometimes the universe will throw you a massive curveball right as things seem to be picking up for you. Do not let this get you down! It is in these moments of trial and frustration and hopelessness that we can realize our true mental capacity, and come out of the situation(s) as a stronger and more determined person than we could have ever imagined. It’s all about how you confront the challenges that arise against your positive and mindful intentions.

If, after all of this, you’re still thinking to yourself, “Well that’s all well and good for Chelsea, but that kind of stuff just doesn’t work for me”, I would counter: just try it. Put in the effort, read books that help to coach you through making that mental change, and just try it. For a week. For 30 days. Maybe for months to a year at a time, depending on how determined you are.

Try seeing at least one of your dreams as a reality.

Try taking some tangible steps toward realizing one of these dreams, even if no one else is in your corner.

Try telling yourself, every morning, that this will be a day where at least one good thing will happen.

And above all, try just being nice to yourself. Try treating yourself as a dear friend. Be supportive and encouraging. Don’t be overly critical when you mess up or have a setback. Be your best and loudest cheerleader. Give yourself a hug (seriously, wrap your arms around yourself) when you need one. Tell yourself things will be okay, even if nothing is going your way. Because that is what you would do for a good friend – and ultimately, you should be your own best friend.

My Recommended Books:

1. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

2. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

3. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

I hope that at least some of these considerations resonated with you, and help you to strive for a more positive mindset! The books that I’ve recommended all touch upon different topics, but have the same core message about setting positive intentions for yourself and believing that you have the power to make them a reality.

What methods do you use to stay positive even during challenging times? What books are your favorite for building a positive mindset?

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