Positivity creates an upward spiral. It builds resources, resilience, and opens new possibilities. It propels us into action and keeps us battling through obstacles. A negative mindset fogs our judgement. It makes it difficult to connect to our strengths, tap into our motivations, and keep moving forward toward our goals.
Over the last 5 or 6 years I've made a series of huge changes in my life. Change has never been easy for me. The anxiety & self-doubt creeps in. It tells me all the reasons why I can’t or shouldn’t try something. It tells me my goals are unattainable and impossible for a person like me. It tells me to resist what I really want in life.
Fortunately, with lots of trial and error I've learned how to resist the resistance.
1. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN ADD IN
Instead of focusing on the limits of your situation, focus on all the incredible possibilities ahead of you. Approach the world with an abundance mindset. Pay attention to what you can add into your life, not what you have to remove from it.
This is a particularly useful tool for making a diet change, something that served me well after my Celiac diagnosis. As I removed gluten from my diet I quickly became overwhelmed with everything I couldn't have. Along the way I learned to reframe that focus to one of abundance - there were so many delicious and nutritious foods I was now experiencing! I made it a point to buy at least one new vegetable or ingredient each week. It was a fun way to change things up, learn about new foods and cultures, and keep my energy positive amidst a difficult situation. Focusing on what you can add to life with help you to create new options, discover new interests, and broaden your possibilities.
2. REFRAME GOALS AS EXPERIMENTS
The thing about making a big change is that it doesn't always work out the way we expect it to. Even change changes. Sometimes we change and whatever it was that we were working towards just doesn't fit for us anymore. We have to scrap it, pivot, and find a new direction. Framing goals as experiments helps to avoid some of the gut punch of things not working out as planned. It takes us off the hook - there is no attachment to the outcome, it's about the process. We learn from experiments, refine the method, and try again in a different way. This reframe often helps clients feel more secure in exploring new and fun creative changes in their lives.
3. DISCOVER YOUR PROCESS
We all have our own approach for how we learn and how we work best. But do you really know what works for you? Many of us are so goal driven and ambitious that we are unsatisfied until we cross the finish line. We forget to slow down and pay attention to the process. When we barrel through life without paying attention we work 10 times harder than we need to. As you make lasting change in your life take time to reflect on what is working in your approach and do more of it. Duplicate the process into other areas of your life. While the context may be different, the method is the same.
4. GET BACK UP
I've already said it - things aren’t going to always go the way you planned. You will have days where you slip up. Maybe you procrastinated on the blog post you were supposed to write or you ate a candy bar during a 21 day sugar detox. Maybe something completely out of your control took the rug out of your business plans. Whatever it was let it go. Don’t let one jiggle back turn into a land slide. Make note of what didn’t work, but don’t dwell in it. Instead think back to a day where your progress towards your goal felt effortless. What did you do? What were your thoughts like? Do more of that. View a setback as a set up for a comeback.
5. SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE
Talk about it. Whatever your change is, talk about it and share with someone else how you are doing it. Not only does this help us to discover our own process, but the experience of sharing is capitalization, one of the building blocks for creating positive emotions. My husband and I are lifelong learners. If we aren’t taking some type of class we are immersed in our own research. To really comprehend and apply what we are learning we always make a point to share it with each other. It helps us to fully grasp it and find our own voice on the topic. I now know more about black holes than I ever imagined and he knows enough about positive psychology to open a private practice. The more you immerse yourself in it, the most lasting change you will create.
Need a little more support to make that change stick? Let me help you with Health & Wellness Coaching!