Positivity can be a challenge, but don’t let negativity be your default mindset.
I’ve often been branded as an optimist. That’s not necessarily true all the time, but for the most part I’d agree. I do what I can to spread good vibes and nurture positive thought wherever possible. Sometimes that’s harder to do than it sounds. These are some of the things that have helped me stay positive even in the most difficult times. It’s my hope that you may find them useful too.
Be Open to Practice
One of the first things they teach you in improv is the idea of “Yes, and...” The simple idea is that you go along with the suggestions you are presented with instead of saying “no.” This is something I try and keep in mind, on and off the stage.
Use the new challenges that you are presented with as opportunities to think positive. Baby steps in positive thinking. Being positive comes more natural to some people, but it’s still a choice. Some people are more natural at running, but they still have to work on it to keep up their endurance. Think of these actions as exercises without the sweat. So share a smile, look for opportunities to say yes and learn something new about yourself!
Learn By Example, But Don’t Compare
I’ve met a lot of people with tremendous joy in their hearts and great attitudes, but who experienced more hardship than one person should ever have to endure. These people are shining stars in the dark, illuminating positivity to all those who are fortunate enough to encounter them. These are the people I want to emulate. I want to be an example of positive energy just like they are. This gives me a goal to work toward. Maybe you know someone that you can learn from as well.
However, one of the hardest things to do is to stop comparing yourself to others.When it comes to hardships, there is always someone with a bigger fish. Try not to overthink about someone else’s life and focus on keeping on your own path. Step back and do an inventory of your awesome self. There is always something to stay positive about. And if you feel like there just isn’t anything, then identify what could change that thought.
Enlist Help from Others
When I was in boot camp, my division was always at odds with our instructors. They’d make us do Eight Count Jumping Jacks, Mountain Climbers, and whatever other exercise they wanted until we were beat to hell. It was worse because the division repeatedly failed inspections and we had a few troublemakers that made it harder for everyone else. So eventually we came together as a group and decided that if we were going to get beat anyway, then we might as well try to enjoy it. So when our instructors told us to drop and give them 20, we did it with a cheer, trying to enjoy the pain with the knowledge that we were getting stronger even though our bodies wanted to give away.
Soon the instructors commended us for our enthusiasm and said the physical punishment was no longer effective. So instead of doing the same physical exercises again and again, they decided to have us make our beds over an over until they were perfect. This was fine by me. I loved making my bunk.
Don’t Give Up
The fear of failure is always present. It hangs over our heads waiting to strike us down and destroy our confidence . So while it may feel easier not to try at all, you need to get into the mindset that it’s okay to fail. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t let that failure ruin who you are or who you’ve built yourself up to be.
Do your best. In the end, it doesn’t matter if the glass if half full or half empty. It can always be refilled.