Confession: I have a tendency to be a “glass half empty” person. I don’t mean to be that way, and I don’t enjoy it; it just seems to be my natural tendency to see the negative before the positive.
For the first time, I’ve really been noticing how much the mood I portray affects the people around me. Bringing a negative spirit into something really does not help anyone. While I was a full-time teacher, I felt like I was constantly around negativity–not even just the students, but especially the teachers. Teachers are really beaten down these days, y’all…and there is a lot of negativity brewing in teachers’ lounges. It was really hard in those days to be a positive light when I was dealing with challenges in the classroom and then surrounding myself with negativity during breaks.
These days, I feel like I have the opportunity for a fresher start. I’m not surrounded by negativity nearly as much, but I have noticed that my brain seems trained to go in that direction. I would like to blame it on the trials of the past few years, but that is really no excuse. Plus, I can remember having a “glass half empty” personality even as far back as middle school.
I am now in a place where I really desire to change. I want to be a light to those around me, for many reasons. First and foremost, I think it’s extremely important for the sake of the gospel. Why would anyone care to know that you love Jesus and live your life for him when you’re walking around like an “Eeyore” all the time? Second, I’ve noticed that my negative attitude really affects my family; in fact, my husband and I talked once about the one thing we would change about each other if we could. His response for me was “to be a little bit more positive.” Third, I’ll be honest–I am a little bit nervous about having a newly-potty-trained 2.5 year old (who is starting to cut back on sleep) and a newborn at the same time this fall, while my husband is 2 hours away for 4 days of the week. I need to work on my heart and mental state now, so that I can survive a crazy season!
Yep, it’s definitely time to make a change. I’m setting out on a “Positivity Project,” beginning in the month of June. (I started today, so I have a bit of a late start. But, better late than never!) Each week, I will write a post on Monday explaining my “challenge” for the week related to positivity, and then I will write a follow-up on Saturday to tell you how it went. At the end of June, I will give a report on the changes that I saw, as well as my plans to keep it up in the future.
Here’s the overall plan:
Week 1: Focus on Gratitude
Week 2: Take Negative Thoughts Captive
Week 3: Be a Light
Week 4: Putting it All Together, Reflection, & Pushing Forward
So, here we go…Week 1!
The theme for this week is “Focus on Gratitude.” In my opinion, if we can simply remember all of the massive blessings that we have in our lives, that should be huge in completely changing our mindsets. That’s why I’m starting out by focusing on remembering and giving thanks for all that God has given me.
Here are my goals for this week:
- Three items of gratitude for one negative thought/attitude – Anytime I am tempted to have a negative outlook on something or have a negative thought, I am going to list (in my head or on paper, depending on what I’m doing) three things I am grateful for.
- Morning and evening prayers of gratitude – As I’m praying each morning and evening (which I try to do already), I will start off each prayer by thanking the Lord for at least five ways that I’ve seen him richly bless my life.
- Increased gratitude to others – I am going to be more conscious of those who regularly or occasionally show great love to me by showing my gratitude in a variety of ways. This could be a small gift with a brief card, a longer thank-you card, or simply just saying out loud, “hey, thank you for what you do for me.” Not only will this remind me of how deeply I am loved by others, but it will make them feel loved and appreciated as well.
Who wants to join me in this challenge? Feel free to participate even starting today, or plan to take it up for the month of July. Either way, I want to hear about it!
Living our lives in awe of the goodness of our God takes the focus off of ourselves and brings us closer to him. That is my goal for this project, and I can’t wait to see what the end of June brings as a result of it.