The idea to write this seems hilarious for me. Because to be honest, “positive” is not something I would describe myself.
See, I think I was born a cynic.
You wouldn’t believe how easy it is for me to see the bad things—expect them even! So every time something’s on the news that’s bad (and there are tons recently) I can hear my cynic self poking at my mind like,
And I told one of my friends about it. How I feel sad whenever I prove my cynic self right. And my friend told me this… really simple yet amazing thing:
“Then one of your goals in life would be to prove your cynic self wrong, right?”
The moment he said that, I was instantly filled with this purpose.
I mean. I wouldn’t call it the Ultimate Purpose of My Life™. The world didn’t turn upside down. I didn’t discover the fountain of youth. I wasn’t enlightened the way Buddha was.
But it was something.
Something that won’t keep my entire mind submerged beneath the murky waters that my cynic self so lovingly dwells. Like a grumpy old troll who lives under the bridge.
I’ll have to tell you, though: being an optimist and creating a positive mindset is slightly different.
I mean, think about it. I would never call myself an optimist because it’s not something ingrained in me. That’s just not who I am. I’m still a cynic; I’m just trying to build myself a positive perspective. And yes, you can be an optimistic cynic, Psychology Today said so!
So here I am: a self-proclaimed cynic building a positive mindset for a year or so, sharing to you the reasons why I chose to have one.
1 | It does not mess up with your thinking — and your health
The thing with being a cynic is that you’re cautious with everything you see, hear, feel and read. And you expect bad things to happen. You see a guy wearing a long coat and a bowler hat and every alarm in your body sounds. Unless you’re a Riordan reader then you’d be like, “OMG is that my Uncle Amos who’s gonna tell me I’m a host to an Egyptian god??”
Outside that, your first instinct is going to be: AVOID THAT GUY LIKE A PLAGUE.
All that suspicions and skepticism, all that negative emotions can mess up with your mind — and even your physical health. And the thing is, we’re naturally skeptical. Expecting the worse is part of our innate survival instincts. So having a positive outlook can balance out that natural skeptic within us.
Also, I did mention above that having a positive mindset kept me from being submerged into the Deep Depths of Negativity, right? So yeah: a positive mindset is like a life preserver keeping you afloat.
2 | It helps build your resiliency
This one’s no question. Creating a positive mindset can help in building your resiliency amidst any adversary you may encounter. And people who have a more positive outlook in life are able to cope better when the going gets tough. Because they can see past the problems they’re presently facing. They also have that admirable ability to see the good in whatever scenario.
This is something that I actively practice everyday, whether that be through gratitude or just a conscious veering of my mind to the good stuff.
3 | You won’t overly panic when dealing with problems
I’d like to think that I’m not the kind of person who easily gets overwhelmed with problems. I’ve even been told that I seem calm at the most stressful situations.
The thing is, that’s probably just my poker face working wonders.
More often than not tho: I do react; I just do the reacting mentally. So in scenarios like when we aren’t halfway through a group project that’s due in two days, I’m basically like:
So yeah, I do panic. I just panic mentally.
But then over-panicking of any kind is never good. Which is why building a positive mindset helps a lot. Telling myself “You can do this, Kate!” and thinking that I am capable of getting through this problem are good morale-boosters.
Related read: 5 Motivating Mantras for when You Think You Can’t Do It
But you shouldn’t just rely on positive thinking for you to overcome obstacles or reach your goals.
4 | If you add in realism, a positive mindset can lead to greater success
It’s been long proven that believing you can succeed is important to succeeding. But believing you will succeed easily? Like without all the hard work and the sweat and tears and blood and a part of your soul dissipating into the void?
Not good yo.
This is where being realistic comes in. In fact, believing that the road to success will be rocky leads to higher success rates because it prompts you to act. There was even a study conducted about this. So don’t just be all cliché and say, “I know I’ll succeed! Sure, it’s gonna be a rocky road BUT I WILL SUCCEED!” Because while this is good pep talk, it won’t be enough to drive you into action. I talked about my two cents on failure here.
Actually freakin-acknowledge the hardships you’ll be facing! List them down if you must!
For example, you believe that 2017 is your year. You just freakin-feel it in your bones: you’re going to get that limited edition Rainbow Unicorn Kit that they only sell in Target like once in a blue moon. Yes, that’s good for morale.
But for you to actually get that glorious kit, you have to list down all the problems you expect to encounter. Traffic, big crowds who also want that Rainbow Unicorn, wailing kids who cry to get what they want, and other things. See the difference?
5 | It can affect the mood of the people you interact
I read in this article that we humans usually reflect back how other people behave towards us. So if you’re being snappy to someone, there’s a high chance that person’s going to be snappy to you as well. And if you’re being a quiet, awkward potato, people will be quiet and awkward to you too. The same goes with positive emotions.
I mean, have you ever wonder why smiles and laughs are so contagious? People unconsciously and automatically mimic whatever emotional expression is thrown their way. This is another reason why having a positive attitude is a quality a great leader should have. It inspires his team to do their best. It’s a subtle yet really good motivator — for anyone, really.
And so, you don’t only help your own disposition, you can affect others’ as well!
Do you think having a positive mindset is important? Do you also have a hard time thinking positively? How do you cope with it?
And the most important question: DO YOU LIKE RAINBOW UNICORNS??
Photo from Ivory Mix