Updated: Oct 8, 2021
Confession time: I used to be…well…kind of negative. I would focus too much on what was going wrong in my life. I complained. I wasn’t living the life that I knew I could.
A number of years ago, I decided to make some changes. As a psychologist, I recognized that I needed to be the model of where I was guiding my clients.
I started to consciously choose how I was living my life. It started gradually and before I knew it, things had shifted in a huge way. I was happier than I’d ever been, my kids were thriving and my life improved in so many ways.
What was really interesting though, was that my clients were getting better faster. I was so much better as a therapist when I was in a positive, uplifting mood. That one I didn’t really expect.
This can be the case for anyone’s career and life. Want to know how I did it? Here are a few of the changes I made…
1. I set up a morning routine.
And I stuck to it. I got up, I wrote 3 things I was grateful for in a beautiful journal. I meditated in the morning. I did some stretching while listening to inspirational Youtube videos on my phone.
The important thing here is that I set myself up for a successful day before I did anything else. It made all the difference in the world. Over the years I’ve added to this morning routine and it’s now quite elaborate (blog post for another day!). It’s the # 1 thing that helps me be successful.
2. I chose to direct my attention toward things that felt good.
If there was a disturbing news story, I consciously chose not to read it. If a movie seemed depressing and dark, I didn’t watch it. If someone was negative, I didn’t spend time with them.
I’m not going to lie, my social media feeds are all sunshine and rainbows. I “unfriend” anyone who’s complaining, negative or brings me down. I became a conscious consumer of media and it’s really helped me to maintain a positive mindset.
You might wonder, will I be out of touch? Will people think I live under a rock? I used to read the news daily and now that I don’t, it really hasn’t made a difference (any negative difference anyway). Most of the time if something big has happened, someone will bring it up to you.
3. I stopped gossiping.
Most of the time, this one wasn’t too hard for me as thankfully I didn’t gossip too much. I did notice that I tended to gossip with only a few people in my life. I also found out that when you don’t engage in gossip, people don’t gossip with you anymore.
Every once in a while, I fall into the gossip trap, but it’s such a rare occurrence now that I notice it right away and consciously choose better next time. And you know what, it feels really good!
A little tip here…if someone’s gossiping, don’t be the martyr and say, “sorry, I don’t gossip anymore.” Just say, “oh really?” and then redirect the conversation to something else.
4. I cut out complaining.
For this one, I did a 30-day challenge with myself. I’m not going to lie, it was hard. You’d be shocked how much we all complain and if you stop complaining, you notice it far more than before.
What really helped with this one was to set an intention to talk about the good stuff. The first thing I tell my husband at the end of the day is the best thing that happened to me that particular day. When I pick up my kids from school, we talk about our favourite parts of the day on the ride home. We just take turns and keep adding. It’s so much better than venting about what went wrong.
The best part of this one is that it makes you focus on good things all day long so you have something to talk about! At first, when you cut out complaining, you might be hearing a few crickets. Use it as an opportunity to fill that blank space with uplifting conversation.
Can you make some changes to invite more positivity into your life? Tell me what you’d like to change in the comments below!