So, here we are, nearing the end of March, which was designated National Optimism Month in the U.S. Earlier this month, we challenged you to make a conscious effort to notice the negative, then another conscious effort to turn each negative around to a positive. How did you do? It was probably easy to notice the negative. The challenge came in turning the negative to a positive.
As Lou Tice once said, “The first thing I realized was just how negative the world around me really was. I hadn’t heard it before, but once I became aware, I couldn’t hang around in the teacher’s lunchroom. The negativity actually soured me on lunch!
“Just getting away from the negative conversations wasn’t enough. I needed to take hold of the world around me. First, I needed to internally refute the negativity I was hearing, and change the picture in my mind to a more positive one. Then, once I was more confident and comfortable with in my internal conversation, it was time to externally stop the negativity, by literally saying, “Stop. No more. This isn’t helping the situation. What if…” and then I’d go on to paint the picture of a solution rather than continue to dwell on the problem.”
If this whole idea of taking a negative and rephrasing – or reframing – the conversation into the positive is new to you, then this will take a little practice. However, it is possible, and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. In no time at all, it becomes automatic for you, as this new habit pattern becomes a part of who you are.
Once you get the hang of it, and become mindfully effective at moving to the positive, it’s almost a guarantee that you will be calmer, happier, and able to handle whatever comes your way. And those around you? Well, they will want to be just like you. Go ahead, give them the secret. Maybe it’s time optimism goes viral . . .