Let’s start this from a place that is real and transparent so we can share this conversation as friends (which I hope we already are! #tribe).
At the end of 2015 I was in a personal low. All of the details would be long, boring, and non productive to this story, so I will give you the brief synopsis. To start I was in the worst physical shape of my life; I HATED how I looked in the mirror. Can anyone relate? My job was at a stalemate and I had failed a certification exam that I had spent weeks studying for. I was in a rocky personal situation with a long time friend, which made me feel isolated and alone. To top this all off, I was on non-speaking terms with my father. Sounds like a plethora of positivity don’t it?
Before I tell you how all of this sorted out, I should add that all my life I have been someone whom other people would describe as a “positive person”. Natural positivity had been my norm, but in this time period I felt stuck. The details may be different and circumstances may change, but I think everyone can relate in some way to this feeling. Negativity, however, does not always look like these major lows or life altering sad times. Negativity can creep into our daily lives in the smallest sometimes seemingly unnoticeable ways. A thought about how another girl looks on social media, a self-loathing comment while passing a storefront window, or an unkind remark about a co-worker are just some of the little ways that negativity can infiltrate our potential for happiness.
So, how do we turn the corner and kick the negativity?
Check Yo’ Self
How often are you giving yourself a quick check to see where your emotions are? So often we analyze these things in retrospect after having some sort of break down or having gone into a total spiral. Emotional awareness will help you first recognize the negativity and then allow you to implement some positive strategies before getting too far down the rabbit hole. When you first wake up and throughout the day try asking yourself, how am I feeling? You’d be surprised what comes up when you give your inner “you” the chance to release it!
One step at a time
I realized when trying to fix my situation, to create space for happiness, I was overwhelmed by the chaos of my life. I believe we all function in four different realms of wellness; mental, spiritual, emotional and physical. Wellness in this scenario reminds me of a pendulum (see Newton’s cradle for visual reference). When all of the spheres of the pendulum are swinging in the same direction there is an equal exchange of momentum. However, if even one is off it causes a shift in energy of the remaining spheres. I believe our wellness is similar to that. So with this concept in mind try taking a look at your areas of wellness and identify where the needs are. Create small strategies to improve your happiness factor in these areas and approach them slowly! It would be silly to assume that we could keep this pendulum swinging perfectly at all times. However, for the times when things are out of whack, try to focus on the small step by step changes we can make to get us swinging in our best direction.
Stop the Comparison Game
“Comparison is the thief of joy” spoken by Theodore Roosevelt. Read that out loud. Speak it over yourself. We are running our own race. Favor, blessings, promotions, boyfriends, children, etc. all of the things we strive for do not come from a limited supply. Favor comes from a river that does not run dry! When we see another person’s success we must celebrate it and recognize that it in no way affects our own potential for success. Be proud of those around you, and your true joy for others will enhance your positive mindset!
There are so many things that occur on the day to day that shift us into a negative mindset. I spilled coffee on my favorite blouse this morning, traffic was worse than normal, or I woke up to a broken air conditioner. All of these things can shift us into that negative headspace. In these times try giving yourself a big picture perspective. In a year from now will it matter if you dropped that coffee, clocked into work late, or had one restless night of sweaty sleep? The answer is probably no. These things that get us so frazzled in the long run are nothing but small potatoes. So when you catch yourself upset over something give yourself a gut check and ask, how will this scenario affect me one year from now? Even one day from now? You’ll find it’s much easier to let it go Elsa-style when you’ve given yourself some fresh perspective.
So often people get to a place where they are unwilling to admit when they’re wrong or when they’ve played a significant role in certain situations. When we feel like our lives are out of our control it leads to a victimization mindset. When you own your role in the bad job, bad relationship, or bad friendship it can actually give you a sense of empowerment on how to fix it. What things are in our control and how can we influence a seemingly negative relationship/scenario? A “woe is me” mentality will continue to fuel the negativity. Own up to your role and make moves on changing it!
Last but certainly not least, remember to embrace yourself! You are the only you that will ever be! Take off the mask of expectations and live yourself out loud. Make the choice to show up and be real. Live your life being loved for who you truly are and let go of who you think you’re supposed to be.
Here is the truth my tribe. It all turned out okay. I got things back in motion one step at a time, I took ownership of my wrongs and flaws, I remembered it would all seem so insignificant, and I moved forward chin high. We all have the right to happiness. Sometimes it’s just a matter of whether we choose to recognize who is in the driver’s seat of making it happen.
Natalie is a pediatric cardiology nurse who sees life in all of its glorious highs and lows. Serving her patients and God rank at the top of her priorities. The reality of life’s fragility inspires her to live to the absolute fullest! She enjoys traveling, hiking, live music and spending time with her pup Gus. Food is her main love language. She makes sure that anyone who meets her walks away with a smile and a big hug.
*Photo by LtL Photography