It’s something I’ve written about before, but I was reminded of this recently.
As someone who’s struggled a lot through their life on various levels, I’ve often felt like my life was doomed to stay on negative paths. When your brain is so used to things going wrong, it just assumes everything will, and so it’s hard to stay positive. One of my big resolutions this year was to keep a positive mindset, no matter what shit came my way. It’s been really fucking hard at times, but I’ve overall managed to do it. And WOW, what a difference I’ve seen.
Does bad shit still happen? Of course. A positive mindset doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen. They will. That’s life. But, whenever I have a setback, here are a few things I do to stay positive:
- Remember the end goal. I recently started writing Seaside Valleria 4. Usually, I’ve already thought of the first scene and, once I write that, I can shift into the rest of the book. Not true with this one. I didn’t have it. I had some vague ideas, but usually I have a concrete scene started in my head before I start writing. So what happened? I delved down the path of negativity (where I started doubting myself and my ability to write). Instead of continuing on that path, I reminded myself of the end goal (finishing the book), which leads into my overall life goal/dream (publishing and selling enough books to write full-time). I always remind myself of my dream goal every time I get dismayed.
- Remember your successes. If I can’t write an opening scene the way I usually do, that doesn’t mean I’m a failure. I have succeeded at writing opening scenes before (17 other books before this one). Even if I was writing my first book, I still have successes (and so do you!). Just making the decision to write a book is a HUGE success because you’ve mentally committed to doing something new or something that you may have been afraid of. Cheer yourself on!
- Talk to someone. I have a friend going through a tough time right now. She’s suffered one setback after another, and it’s been hard for her to remember the end goal. When you’re mired in the shit, you don’t always see the sun. But talking to someone (even if that’s by text or email instead of in-person/on the phone) can make a big difference. Sometimes we need that outside perspective to put ourselves back on that positive path.
The biggest change I’ve seen from focusing more positively may seem pretty simple, but for me it’s been life-changing: I don’t automatically think negatively about myself anymore. That’s it. Simple, right? But after so many years of being stuck in the negative, I always thought negatively first. I’d blame myself for things that weren’t my fault, or I’d be an obsessive apologizer (do you say ‘Sorry’ in emails a lot? I know I did), and on and on.
Now, I take a moment to stop and think when something negative happens. Why did it happen? How can I stop it? What can I do to prevent this from happening again? Sometimes you won’t have all the answers (or even any of them), but just stopping your brain from automatically thinking negatively can be a huge life-changer. It was for me. I never believed people when they told me what a the difference a positive mindset could make. I was stuck in the negative where I thought I could never be free of the shit I was dealing with. It wasn’t until I decided to make that change for myself – and stuck to it – that things started to change. It’s not easy to break bad habits, and thinking negatively about yourself is a bad habit. It takes time and dedication to overcome that, and I’m so glad I’ve started to work on that this year.
Have you tried shifting to a positive mindset? Comment on this post and let me know (if you’re receiving the blog by email, just click “Read More” to navigate to the blog page to comment).
This is Post 96 of 100 as part of the #100DaysofMKAuthorLife.