This world is a chaotic one. Just when you think you’ve found your footing, something shifts. You end up in a completely different place than where you expected to be.
That’s why it’s so easy to become overwhelmed. This chaos is why we get so discouraged and caught up in all the negativity that surrounds us. It’s addictive to our nervous systems, and it becomes the comfortable “norm” (no matter how uncomfortable the experience may be). We get used to our suffering in harmful ways which change our mindsets. In those negative states, it’s impossible to get the lives that we crave.
The mind over matter conundrum.
There’s been a lot of toxic positivity making the rounds in self-help and personal development communities over the last decade. Much of it has been encouraged by toxic systems like “The Secret” which ultimately convince readers that they simply have to change the way they think in order to change the entire realities of their lives.
It’s a half truth.
Mindset is certainly a part of the equation to changing our lives, but so is action. It does all begin with what’s going on in our heads, however. If only negative is swirling around, creating tension and anxiety – we will act in more negative ways. We can’t help but do otherwise. When you are caught up in rumination or negative thoughts, you can’t think clearly and you can’t see the more positive outcomes that may be waiting on the other side.
For total transformation in action, we have to transform the way we think. This means creating an optimisitc, but realistic, outlook on life. No, we’re not looking for toxic positivity, but a real world view that seeks to find the positive in the negative spaces and experiences it also acknowledges.
Creating a new mindset for ourselves.
Easier said than done, right? How can we possible create a more positive mindset when we’re living in poverty, struggling with health issues, and emotionally crumbling inside? It’s not a trick question. We can’t ignore our problems. The true secret is finding your personal power in the midst of it all.
1. Acknowledge the survival rate
To start your journey to a better mindset, you must get realistic about how affected you actually are by the negative experiences in your life. You meltdown. But why? Be honest. Will it really kill you? Wipe out all the hard work you’ve done? Or will it simply be a matter of emotional discomfort? Temporary upset? Will your survive, relatively unscathed, to a day that looks much the same as all the others? Acknowledge the survival rate of what you’re going through and start looking forward to the inevitable conclusion. When your brain knows there’s an ending in sight, it can relax and get better at waiting through the discomfort
2. Find the silver lining
Demanding that everything your life is “good” becomes toxic positivity. Life is not all good or all bad. It’s a mixture of both. In order to be healthy and emotionally regulated, we have to hold space for the experience of both. So how can we create a more positive mindset in the midst of adversity? We find the silver lining. While admitting that we are in a horrible, pointless, impossible we situation, we ask ourselves a crucial question. How can I gain from this? If I have to suffer this, how can I make sure it makes me better? How do I make sure it never happens again? That’s the silver lining that spins a positive angle.
3. See the challenge as an opportunity
Cliche as it sounds, every challenge we face in this life is an opportunity. My mother’s death gave me the chance to emotionally heal. When a toxic partner leaves, they create the opportuntiy for a healthier, kinder partner to enter your life. Every bad thing that happens gives us the chance to reset and recalibrate. It’s a starting point which we can choose to see as a clean slate and a new opportunity to get whatever was denied to us in that moment of misery.
With a better mindset, there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome. Don’t fall into the toxic self-help trap. You won’t magically wake up one day and be free of all challenges. Life is hard. Being human is hard. Having emotions is hard. Embracing that is the only way to deal with it. Accepting reality is the only place a new mindset can take root.
Choose to find the light while holding space for the shadow. By creating healthier, more balanced mindset you will change the entire course of your future – one better decision or relationship at a time.