Being positive doesn’t mean staying positive. We all have negative moments, moments when we doubt ourselves, when we make mistakes, when someone lets us down, and so on. Being positive is how you bounce back from those moments. It’s about not letting those moments slip into weeks and months and years. It’s about talking to yourself, putting faith in yourself, and loving yourself despite those moments. Life is more than those moments. Once you figure that out, positivity will flow naturally through your veins.
Our weaknesses are not a life-sentence. We can always practise. We can always learn. We can always adapt. We can always embrace. We can master our weaknesses. We might lack confidence, patience, determination, optimism, discipline, or another asset. But that doesn’t mean we cannot master them. Whether that’s to hone that new skill or just to accept our weakness and adjust. Because all that really matters is that we don’t let them limit us, but that we push ourselves forward despite them.
The noise of the world and the noise in our heads often drown out confidence, optimism, and reason. Sometimes the noise of the world becomes the noise in our heads. We are told we’re not good enough. We are told we’re nothing more than our mistakes. We communicate in negatives, in lacking, in problems. Who’s dictating? Don’t let the noise suffocate your voice. Ignore the noise and get out your microphone. Sing a new tune, one that you actually want to listen to. Because the only one talking in your head should be you.
People sometimes push the wrong buttons. And fiercely, anger overtakes us, jealousy engulfs us or hurt consumes us. Whilst we should never feel ashamed of these feelings, hanging onto them indefinitely only harms us. We may try to convince ourselves that these emotions only reflect other people and their character, but really they just begin to define who we are. Don’t let someone’s stupidity, insensitivity or wrongdoings pollute you. Don’t let them steal away your focus, faith, happiness and optimism. Because otherwise, it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
Light is always its brightest in the darkness. It signifies hope for better things to come in a time of trouble. But we cannot expect better things to just fall at our feet. To surround ourselves with light, we have to seek it. We actively have to move towards the light, how ever slowly that may be. Because it’s only when we are truly willing to change, that change can actually run its course, whether it be a lifestyle change, a shift in mindset, or a cutting of negative ties. If you want light to come into your life, you have to stand where it’s shining.
When we face a difficulty, we sigh in despair or cry out in frustration. We’re blinded by the work, the time and the poor odds. But out of every difficulty, a seed sprouts. We can choose to be a fighter or a quitter. We can choose to be versatile or stale. We can choose to find the beauty or the hindrance. It’s hard at the time to be an optimist. But in every difficulty, we’ll find the greatest glory once we realise we conquered it.
Life is all about perspective. We can look at the glass as being half empty or half full. We can shrink away from the world in fear or we can embrace it with open arms. We can assess situations with vigour, candour, ignorance, or cynicism. We can live in pain and loss or gratitude and fullness. We can see another side to every story. Life is all about perspective. Sometimes it’s hard to grasp that perspective is something we own. Our circumstances, our fate, our relationships may all colour it, but it is ultimately in our hands. We just need to learn to master it. There’s always another way to look at things, and that makes all the difference. Don’t let go of that power.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. – Wayne Dyer
When we talk about our glasses being half full or half empty, we immediately think about optimism and pessimism. But does that mean that what we have and what we don’t have defines our perspective of the world? Maybe we shouldn’t only be looking at the contents of our glass. Maybe we should look at the whole picture:
We each have a glass. We each have something in that glass. We still have space to add and we still have something to lose; we have something to strive for and we have something to cherish. Let’s appreciate the beauty and value of what we hold in the palm of our hands. Let’s be grateful that we still have purpose and ambition on the soles of our feet. When we can understand this, that’s when our perspective of the world is truly cemented. That is when optimism springs and continues to grow.
Sometimes it seems so much easier to be pessimistic and wallow in our misery than to be optimistic. But where would we be without positivity? Positivity means aspiration and hope; it gives us the power to use our imagination to build the kind of life we want to live in and actually believe that the life we imagine is conceivable and obtainable. And if positivity means aspiration and hope, then positivity means motivation and persistence. Optimism allows us to act on those ambitions and ideas, and to keep trying new ways of achieving and succeeding, no matter how many times we fail. And finally, positivity means progress. All those times we didn’t give up on ourselves or our dreams and all those times we didn’t give into that negative energy of defeat or discouragement has now united into that final product. Without positivity, we never go anywhere and nothing ever gets better. Even though we have to work for positivity, positivity can also work for us.
Whether you’re filled with self-doubt and no self-confidence, or you know that you didn’t spend enough time writing and revising, anticipation hangs in that moment before receiving a grade. And once its there in your hand, completely unexpected and foreign in the worst way, there is no better way of describing the feeling other than like the end of the world, however clichéd it sounds.
Sitting in the toilets of the English Department at my university, I cried whilst reading over the comments of the paper I had worked so hard on. There wasn’t any possibility of me spending more time on that paper than I did. Is this really what defines my best? Does this mark define my abilities? How can I ever do better than this in the future? At the time, my answers to these questions fell to the negative end of the scale. And that is probably because my head was clouded with self-loathing and my throat clogged the sadness. But once I got over that initial stage I had to ask myself one final question: was I going to let myself be brought down by this unlucky experience, or was I going to pick myself up, take some action, and really show that marker what I could do? I hope everyone in a similar position would pick the second option. So here is a little action plan to get you started:
- I think its ok to cry at the beginning to let out all the frustration, sadness and disappointment you are feeling.
- Talk about it with someone who you know will be supportive and comforting – they will make you feel better by listening and give you some good advice and reassurance.
- Don’t waste your time crying about it, but resolve to take some action. You’ll kick yourself for wasting energy on it later; in a few years you’ll look back on it and think how trivial it actually is.
- Book a meeting with your teacher or tutor about what went wrong. Although it can be hard to hear, it will help you in the long run because they’ll give you pointers on how to improve. In the end you might even see that you’re doing even better than you would have done if you hadn’t had this bad grade.
- Don’t give up. Even if you’ve had a few bad grades, there is always time to change things around. You just have to believe in yourself and your capabilities and realise that things can be achieved if you put in the work.
- Don’t compare yourself to others, but remember that other people are or have been in a similar position, and you are not alone. Everyone sometimes has a bad mark or day and its best to acknowledge it, deal with it and move onto better things.
“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” – Unknown Author