I have to admit that jumping into this 31 day challenge has caused all kinds of doubts. Who am I to share how to be a positive thinker? With no previous planning, this whole series is going to be chaotic. I am probably going to want to re-do/ re-arrange the whole thing. Do I really want to pour my heart out in public about why the topic I chose is meaningful to me?
So, let’s get to it. My only qualification in writing a series on positive thinking is that I want to be a more positive thinker. So if by sharing some of my journey I can encourage anyone else, then great. If not, well, at the very least I am going to spend 31 days focused on something that I really need. In fact it goes right along with a couple of my 2013 goals (writing more and working on gratitude.)
If you know me, you know I am uptight. I like things “just so.” I don’t do spontaneous. I only like attention when I am prepared for it. I like to be in control. I notice lots of things that are wrong. I repeat… I notice lots of things that are wrong. This is where I have found myself in the habit of thinking negatively. On one hand the ability to see what could be improved in a situation is a great gift. On the other hand, if the gift isn’t used sparingly, gently, and constructively it can result in earning you the nickname “Debbie Downer.” No one has called me that… yet. But I recently had an overdue wake up call to just how my outlook on life affects those around me.
I read this article and got a well-meaning but unpleasant pricking of the heart when I realized that the challenges I have with one of my children may very well stem from MY thoughts and actions, not the child’s. I see that I give too many criticisms and not enough compliments. I prefer things to be done “my way” when another way would be just fine. I say too many no’s and not enough yeses. It’s a real eye opener… not that I am the way I am (I have had 40 years with myself,) but to see how some of these tendencies negatively affect the ones I love. When I choose to be Ms Reality Check instead of Ms Let’s Give it a Try, I am adding disappointment and stress to my home and relationships.
Recognizing the need for change is always the first step, right? I am grateful that I read the above article and for the insights I received. This is a big part of why I really want to (need to!) develop the habit of positive thinking. Ultimately, the goal is two-fold- 1) to improve the atmosphere in my home and family and 2) to just feel happier and lighter myself.
I will talk about another of my weaknesses that relates to this goal in a future post. Better not to air all the dirty laundry at once, I figure.
Invitation: Read Rachel Macy Stafford’s incredibly honest article Taking Away My Daughter’s Smile and pay attention to the thoughts and feelings that you have.
Continue to Day 5, Balance.
For the introduction and list of daily topics for my project, go here.