What is Reflecting back at you?

LionCatHi folks, how are you all doing?

I want to start this post with an illustration:

John wakes up to a beautiful, sunny morning. The birds are singing and he gets out of bed and thinks to himself “Today is going to be a great day!”. On the drive to work he gets stuck in traffic, but isn’t too phased by the hold up because he realises that that is just part of living in a major city. So he turns up his radio and sings along to the song that is playing. When he finally gets to work, he smiles at his colleagues and greets them. They smile back and return the greeting. They like John because he is usually happy and cheerful and lights up the work place with his positivity.

During the day, he receives some bad news. A deal he has spent some time on has fallen through. Even though he is upset over the news, he just accepts that sometimes “You can’t win ’em all.” But even though he has lost that deal, he usually considers what may have gone wrong and takes learnings from it. Then gets on with enjoying the rest of the day. 

Let’s consider another person, Don:

Don wakes up to the same sunny, beautiful day that John had woken up to. Don just knows that today is going to be an awful day. Why? Because Don says that everyday is awful. Don is always quick to point out what has gone wrong, who is to blame for things going wrong and reasons as to why he should not bother. “What’s the point? Things will just get screwed up like they always do.” 

Don is caught in a traffic jam, he toots his horn and screams out at the cars in front of him. When he arrives late for work, it is not his fault “The damn idiots on the road made me late!” His work colleagues try and avoid him because he is always moody and negative. In the afternoon, he is told that a client he had been talking to for a major deal has declined to go ahead with it. Don says “I knew that would happen. Things like that are always happening to me!” 

In the 2 illustrations we have two different individuals sharing quite a similar day. But what is the difference? Simply, the mind set between John and Don! Don is so negative and with this negativity he is focused on everything that goes wrong around him. John, on the other hand, is always looking at the positive things that happen in his day. Sure, he missed out on the deal, but it didn’t affect him like it did with Don.

When you are in a negative frame of mind you are always looking at all the negative things that happen and use those things to justify why you are so negative. The same is also true for people who look at the positive things in life. They see the good things that happen and put those things forward as evidence for their positivity. Does that mean that bad things don’t happen to people who are positive? NO! It just means that instead of treating the bad things as a major catastrophe, those with a positive outlook reframe the event and look at it as maybe a slight set-back, a challenge to overcome or just simply something that was beyond their control to deal with.

How do you view your world? Do you always see the negative things that happen? Do you always focus on the negative way people have treated you? Are you always quick to blame others for the problems you face? If so, then I recommend that you change your mind-set! How do you change from a negative view of the world to a positive one? It will not happen over night. You will not magically go to bed thinking “In the morning I am going to be so positive and happy and love the world!” and then wake up in the morning with a complete personality change. It takes small, progressive steps.

Here are some things you can start doing:

  1. Show appreciation of yourself! How can you get others to like you and accept you if you do not love and accept yourself? Make a list of your positive qualities. Look at that list everyday and tell yourself that you are a beautiful, unique individual.
  2. Smile: When you smile, even when you don’t feel like it, you will be amazed at how your thoughts pull into line!
  3. Practice gratitude: How often do you thank somebody for a kind word they have said, or a kind deed that they have done?
  4. Do a selfless act: Each day make it a goal to do a random selfless act. The joy and appreciation you will receive will make your day!
  5. Focus on your successes: What have you done well? What are you good at? Is there anything you have accomplished? If so, then think about that accomplishment and then focus on what you want to accomplish next? If you are yet to accomplish something, then go out and do it!

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a step in the right direction.

Let me know how you get on!!



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