Over the past two weeks, I have been working on a Positivity Project to alter my frame of mind, transitioning to increased gratitude and joy for all that I’ve been given by God’s grace.
This week (Week 2), the theme was “Taking Negative Thoughts Captive.” My goals were as follows:
- Any time I think a negative thought (and catch myself), I will immediately counteract it with a positive thought about the same situation. (For example, if I think, “man I am so tired, I wish I could take a nap,” I will instead think, “wow, I am really grateful for how productive I’ve been today. Lord, will you give me the strength to joyfully complete the work that I still need to do today?”
- When approached with negativity in a conversation, I will do all I can to flip it around to focusing on the positive aspects of that topic. (For example, if someone says,” “ugh it’s horribly hot outside!” I will say, “yes, but thank goodness it’s finally warm and we aren’t faced with the never-ending cold anymore!”)
I think I struggled with this part of the project more than I did the Gratitude theme of Week 1. It’s a lot harder to change your mind about a bad situation than it is to simply counteract it with the things in your life that you have already decided are “good.” I struggle with feeling like I’m trying to deceive myself. It’s almost as if, when I flip a situation into a positive, my brain goes, “girl, who are you kidding?!”
It’s all going to come down to practicing it over and over again; this is not something that is going to come quickly, but like all good things, is going to take time and diligence. I believe that, as I press on, the negative voice in my head will go away. I won’t have to turn negative thoughts into positive ones, because my brain will be trained to think positively in the first place. When you’re trying to change something you’ve done for as long as you can remember, your mindset is not going to be reversed immediately. I plan to keep pressing on, and know I will see positive change over time.
As far as my second goal is concerned, I felt like I did pretty well with this one. As with everything in life, it’s a lot easier to pick out the faults of others than your own. When you notice negativity in other people’s mindsets, it’s quick and easy to turn that around. However, even though it’s easier, I think it’s a worthwhile venture. I think people are automatically inclined to think you’ll just agree or go along with statements both positive and negative. When you turn it around and help them see the bright side, it’s a little unexpected jolt in what is customary. Who knows, this could lead to an improvement in their overall mindset as well!
While this week was a little bit discouraging, it was also a great reminder that this is going to take practice. While this month is going to be an excellent starting point, it’s something that I’m going to have to practice daily until there is a true change in my habits. I am excited to keep working towards my goal, and I’m looking forward to moving into Week 3!