Self Talk, Positivity & Optimism

There are a lot of great motivational speakers out there.  They have incredible experiences to share and messages to convey. One common theme they all seem to share is that of positivity. And it’s really cheesy sometimes! It’s easy to brush them off and not really take it seriously.

Right! Like just saying you can means you can!

I’ve felt that way. I have my fair share of pessimism.

If you haven’t seen the movie “Yes Man” then I’d suggest you go see it. Jim Carrey starts out in this movie as a pessimistic negative average joe. He had low self-esteem, a recently failed relationship, a boring job, wasn’t a friend you could rely on, and was just unhappy in life. No future.

He ends up getting forced into going to a self-help seminar about saying yes…and never saying no.  Well he misunderstood the concept a bit and took it a little too far, but with all his positivity and saying yes to things his life turned upside down almost overnight. 

He received a promotion at work, found a new girlfriend, was a better friend, talks a jumper off a ledge, and was happy!

It’s just a movie, but it’s not unrealistic.

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The message is true and applicable in almost every aspect of our lives!

It highlights the need to be more positive and less negative.

Negativity breeds negativity, just like positivity breeds positivity.

So if you’re telling yourself “I’m fat and I HATE my body” it may seem like a way to fire you up to work harder, but the negative tone seeps into the subconscious mind and festers.

Negativity and pessimism are hard-wired into us to look for and focus on threats. They’re survival mechanisms that served as well in Paleolithic times when the threat of being killed by someone or something was very real.

Today our threats are much different. The threat of failing or things going poorly lurks in the backs of our minds and can wreak havoc on your life.

“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”

Zig Ziglar

So how do we stay positive?

1) Focus on the future. You cannot change the past, but you can always change your future. Focus on today, on what you can control right now, and make the most of it.

2) Detect negative thoughts and feelings. Being able to detect your own negativity is one of the first steps towards being more positive. Being negative is a habit and exists in all of us, but how we react to those negative thoughts and feelings is what separates us from herd. You have complete control over every one of your thoughts.  So if you recognize yourself thinking in a negative way about your own progress make sure you immediately STOP. Separate the fact from fiction and realize there is a lot of positive you can derive from the situation.

3) Forget about the past. Accept the past and any mistakes as immutable. Learn from them and put them behind you. Focus on the future.

4) Surround yourself with positive people. We are greatly influenced by those closest to us. It affects our way of thinking, our self-esteem, our decisions, and who we are. There will always be critics, and those that subconsciously want you to fail.

5) Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Focus on the positive, shut out the negative. Take time to think about what you’re grateful for. It can actually lower cortisol!

Bringing It All Together

It’s usually a negative thing that led you to begin your health and fitness journey. Something you hated or couldn’t stand anymore possibly, or simply a desire to be better than you were. You were unsatisfied. 

So that got you here, but now you have to put that behind you and focus on the present and the future. Focus on the positive things you are doing for yourself and where you want to be.   If something goes wrong then learn from it and move on.

Love the process. Love what you’re doing. Accept that it won’t always be perfect. Focus on the positive.