Nov 05, 2014

4 Steps to Becoming Amazingly Positive!

If you ever find yourself feeling down or in a negative frame of mind and you would like to find an amazing way to be positive, I have 4 important steps that will walk you into living the positive life you want. Now, look, I want you to know straight away that these steps aren’t the Rah-Rah, ‘tell yourself how good you are’ stuff. These 4 steps are the real deal. They create a sustainable path for you to get “unstuck” and live your life in forward motion. Ready? Let’s get started!

#1 Get Rid of the Things that Hold You Back
2 things that I see that hold people back are the Beliefs-Thoughts-Words Loop and Automatic Behaviors.


The Beliefs-Thoughts-Words Loop is common to us all and here’s how it works: There is an event that happens. We experience the event and describe it through our senses. With our past experiences and with the sensations and feelings we get from the new experience we infer meaning to the event. Then we create an identity for the experience and bring it to life by giving it a label. From this point forward, all of our thoughts and words are used to support our belief about this event. Unfortunately, the world we create in our minds isn’t usually the real world ‘out there’. It’s a faulty “map” of the real “territory” based upon our inferences and meanings we give to the world. So, what’s the fix for this? Regular examination of our beliefs, thoughts, and words. When you find yourself using negative words, such as when realize that you just seem to be mad at the world, ask yourself what’s really going on. What event took place that your mental filtering system caused you to give a negative meaning to it? If you go back and re-examine the event objectively, you’ll discover many times that you missed something important by not taking the time to remove the emotion and other inferential information from the event to see the event more accurately. Another helpful hint to bring yourself from negative to positive is body posture. Many studies validate the teaching that by bringing your head up, shoulders back, and putting even a fake smile on your face for long enough will cause a change in your body chemistry and result in a change in your thoughts and attitudes. Of course, there’s much more to consider on the subject, but not within the confines of this post.

Automatic behaviors are another enemy of being amazingly positive. Once again it is the mind that uses automatic behaviors to limit the amount of energy that it consumes. But, like so many things, it’s better to use a little more energy upfront, because it will require much more energy on the back end to fix a problem we may create. So, let me share an example. If you’re used to automatically becoming sad or upset over something, then stop the next time it happens and choose a reaction, rather than just letting whatever usually happens happen. Take a few moments and examine if the usual reaction is the option you want to choose to get the outcome you desire. You see, our minds work on a lot of If-Then statements. “If this happens, then I do this.” By making a choice, you’re living intentionally, instead of on automatic pilot. Does that make sense? When you combine the information above with this information, then you begin understanding your world more accurately and as a life of choice!

#2 Know who you are and live congruent with that knowledge
So many people that I work with don’t have a clue as to who they are if they don’t have a role associated with it. Mom’s can’t describe themselves without the description being tied to their kids or family. Many can’t describe who they are without it being associated with their job. It’s amazing what happens when you discover who you really are. The clarity, insight, and direction is awesome! When people live accordingly, they find that they can create a very positive world.

#3 Knowing your belief systems and rules for life
Did you realize that you have rules for life? How many times have you said to yourself or others, “I’ll be happy when _____.” We have many similar rules for other things in life. Where did those beliefs and rules come from? Most likely, they were learned. The thing about rules is that they are only good within certain parameters. That’s why living by principles is so much more satisfying. You see, principles are ever-enduring and can be applied at any time and in any situation. Let’s go back to the “I’ll be happy when ____” statement. If you watch children before the age of about 6 or 7, you’ll discover that they’re happy for no reason whatsoever. They don’t need a reason to be happy. In reality, neither do you. You can use happiness and joy as guiding principles in how you live life and create a very positive world!

#4 Knowing that you control the “How”
When there is a problem, most people, including psychologists, therapists, and counselors, want to know “why”. Sigmund Freud was famous for this concept. To me, “why” only elicits reasons and excuses. Think about it. If you have kids and they came home late, you probably asked them, “Why did you come home late?” And, they proceeded to tell you all the worn-out reasons and excuses. Which, by the way, you have no way of changing or fixing. You do the same thing with yourself, don’t you? You do something and you get a negative result and then you ask yourself, “Why did I do that?” You can’t fix “why”. However, you can fix “how”. Without going into the mental processes to explain it, “how” elicits the strategy of yourself or another person. If you ask your kid that came home late, “How did you decide to come home late?”, the answer (which they’ll have to search to find, because they won’t immediately know) will tell you their thought process they went through to make the decision. That’s something you can work with and fix! Just suppose you could exert control of your thinking, behavior, and feelings by asking “how”. Now consider how that will help you become amazingly positive…You’re welcome!

You don’t really need to be aware of an in-depth process I take clients through that help in all these areas and more, but just suppose it could help you beyond anything you can imagine.

Creating life in forward motion,

Dr. Edward Lewellen