• Lifestyle

How to Have a Positive 2018

January 1, 2018

Let’s face it. Sometimes the things we view as what it takes to be a “success” aren’t really the things that make us happy…

The thing is, to really be a success in life: You need to fulfill your life’s purpose. And, yes, that means doing what makes you happy — even if it’s just in your “off hours.”

But how on earth are you supposed to know what would make you happy? Or what the heck your life’s purpose is? These are HUGE questions! And they likely have equally huge answers. Well, the first step is to…

Foster Self-Awareness

How well do you really know yourself?

Sure, you spend 24-hours a day with yourself, but do you really know yourself?

If things are not going well for you or you are finding it difficult to take your life or business to the next level the answer may lie within you.

Before you waste thousands of hours — or spend thousands of dollars! — making external changes to your life and career, it may be worth it to take time out and look inward. I know. Pretty scary. But you may be surprised at what you discover!

Kick Low Self-Esteem in the Butt

If you’re suffering from impostor syndrome, a lack of confidence, or low self-esteem — it’s time to kick it in the butt.

A lot of “successful” people (especially women) have suffered from one or all of these things, but they managed to “make it” anyway. Because they found a way to work through it.

You write the script for your life. Do you want it to say “but they were never truly happy because they held themselves back”? Or do you want your story to read “after a long struggle with self-doubt, he/she finally did what it took to be truly happy.” The choice is truly yours to make.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

I love my comfort zone. I’m often happiest when I’m sitting in front of my PC, vaping, and playing a video game. If I could, I’d probably do that all day every day. But would I truly be happy? Maybe for a little while, but, ultimately, no.

I step out of my comfort zone every time I sit down to write one of these blog posts. But I do it because it needs to be done. It’s my way of contributing something to the world (that hopefully at least some of you enjoy) and validating my existence as a human being. It’s what makes my life worthwhile. And, in the end, it’s what makes me happiest.

You have to step out of your comfort zone from time to time in order to be happy.

If you’re on the lookout for a potential partner, you’re going to have to leave the comfort of your own home to meet them. If you’re looking for a new job, you’re going to have to do the uncomfortable thing and apply for said job.

The nice thing is: Your comfort zone will always be there for you to return to after you’re done being awesome. (Yeah, I’m totally going to go back to gaming as soon as I’m done writing this).

Surround Yourself with Support

No friends are better than bad friends. But you know what’s even better than having no friends? Having great friends.

Surround yourself with friends and family members who support you and your quest for happiness — they’ll help you find your way there more quickly.

Stay Positive

Having trouble staying positive? Here are 10 things you can start doing TODAY that can help:

1. Find the One Good Thing

For every bad situation, there’s (at least) one good thing. Even if it’s the classic, “At least it’s not raining.”

Each time you start to feel negative, stop and ask yourself, “What’s the one good thing that’s happened today?” Even if it’s something small – like you drank clean, fresh water! – latch onto it and don’t let go.

2. Express Gratitude

Speaking of drinking clean, fresh water… Isn’t it about time you said “thanks” for that privilege?

Expressing gratitude throughout the day, even for the small things, is a great way to refocus your mind on the positive.

3. Ditch Negative Self-Talk

Instead of saying things like “I’m so fat” or “I’m so stupid,” tell yourself “I’m a little chubby, but I’m working on it” or “I’d love to learn more – what can I learn today?”

Or, even better, say something genuinely nice about yourself! You do have good qualities. What are they?

4. Cull the Negative People from Your Life

We all have difficult people in our lives – and they can usually be dealt with. However, there are some people that are determined to be miserable no matter what and you don’t need to join in on their self-pity party. Misery loves company, but that company doesn’t need to be you.

5. Learn from Disappointment

Instead of wallowing in disappointment: Learn from it. And then move onto the next project/lover/whatever.

Every disappointment comes with a valuable lesson, but it’s up to you to figure out what it is.

6. Go Slowly

I’m admittedly not a fan of Ferris Beuller’s Day Off; however, I do love this quote: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

The faster you go, the harder it is to take a moment to think positively. When you start to multi-task at a million miles a minute and you feel your stress levels starting to rise: Stop. Take a moment to breathe to calm your body and your mind.

7. Cut Catastrophizing

This is the area I struggle with the most. When something does go wrong, my mind likes to make it seem much worse than it actually is.

Take a moment to stop and ask, “Is this really that bad?” and try to find the one good thing (see #1!) about your situation.

Chances are things aren’t as bad as they seem and you’re just overthinking things. Pro tip: If any of your thoughts start with “What if…?” then it isn’t a real problem – it’s just something your mind made up because your brain is being a butthead. Don’t make mountains out of molehills.

8. Help Others

It’s hard to stay negative when you’re helping someone else in a positive way.

Not to mention, helping others puts the focus outside of yourself (where your brain can sometimes be an ugly mess) and onto something greater than yourself. Whether you’re volunteering at a shelter or simply listening to a friend talk about their day, helping someone else will help keep a smile on your face.

9. Take Care of the Basics

You can’t have a healthy, positive mind if you don’t have a healthy body.

Remember to take care of the basics! Eat, drink, sleep, shower, exercise… Do all the things you need to do to keep your physical body in tip-top shape and your mind will follow suit.

10. Keep Practicing

Make positivity a routine and keep practicing.

It might take a while for your brain to readjust – especially if you’re coming from a place of extreme negativity – but you’ll get there if you keep practicing.

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”

Staying positive is a great way to find your path to happiness. Because if you aren’t optimistic about something as elusive as true happiness, then you probably won’t find it. A lot of finding that path has to do with your attitude and willingness to look for it — even in the most unexpected of places.

Stop Apologizing

Some of us (me!) feel selfish when they do things for themselves, especially things they know will make them truly happy. Well, it’s time to stop apologizing and do what you gotta do.You do deserve to be happy, I promise.

Take a moment to reflect on everything that you’ve brought into your life thus far and celebrate your successes. You’re a wonderful, talented, beautiful person and working to find your happiness will ultimately make those around you happier too — not selfish at all, really!

GET TO WORK

Going after your happiness isn’t an easy task. And it won’t just fall out of the sky onto your lap as you sit around daydreaming. You have to actively seek out what would make you happiest in life. And once you figure out what that is: GO AFTER IT!

Let’s all make 2018 our best year ever!

Lauren Tharp is a freelance writer and the owner of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She's a proud member of the 133T team, working as their Head Writer and Head Editor, and is dedicated to helping YOU with your business and career.