Staying Positive in a Negative World:
4 Keys to Positive Thinking 4 Life
by Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC
For centuries positive thinking has been described as
the power to change our attitudes, well-being, and
destiny. Countless people can attribute positive
thinking to their faith and inner strength. Spiritually and mentally they are able to stay focused, hopeful, determined and motivated because of the way they choose to think.
But, how can you think positive when there is so much negativity all around? And, how can you stay positive when your circumstances are bad, or you are going through problems and losses?
Regardless of what is going on around you, there are things going on inside of you. There are feelings and thoughts that you continually experience. They lead to attitudes and actions. For example, if you lost your job there would be many thoughts and feelings associated with that loss. You are not able to stop the fact that you have feelings and thoughts about this situation. However, you do have some control over them. You can choose to think, I am finished. What am I going to do now? I will never find another job that pays me enough to take care of my family. I feel like a loser. Everyone is disappointed in me. Life is so unfair. Why don’t I ever get any breaks? Or, you can apply positive thinking to your situation and tell yourself, I can make it through this. Another door of opportunity will open up for me. I will keep trying until I find another job. I believe in myself, and I can do what it takes to make it. This is a temporary setback, and I am going to come out of it stronger. God is with me—helping me and guiding me.
Look at the difference between the two ways of thinking described above. You might say the one is negative and the other is positive. But, actually it is more than that. The negative thinking reveals a loss of self-esteem and a lack of faith. Hopelessness is soon to set in which can lead to a lack of motivation, bitterness, and depression. The positive thinking example expresses more than just words that feel and sound good. It reveals determination, a will to succeed, confidence in a power greater than oneself, and belief in the goodness of life.
4 Keys to Positive Thinking 4 Life to be effective and powerful:
1. Positive thinking must be founded on a positive belief system. How do you see the world? Where does your security come from? Do you love others, yourself, and life? Do you believe opportunities and good fortune can come your way?
2. Positive thinking means you replace all negative thoughts with hopeful, faith-filled thoughts. You dwell on the good, not the bad. You talk about what is right, not what is wrong. You focus on the possibilities and not on the losses. You keep on practicing and practicing this step until it becomes a part of you.
3. Positive thinking must be reinforced with positive actions. If you have a solid foundation and genuinely believe for the best and not the worst, you are ready to step out and take some positive action. Knock on those doors and keep knocking until one opens up for you. Keep looking until you find what you are looking for. Persist and stay focused on the goal.
4. Finally, positive thinking requires persistence and resilience. Your faith will sometimes wane. You will be tempted to get negative. You might be tempted to think, This is not working, what is the point? But it does work. It is not simply a formula; it is a genuine power that has creative influence in the world and in our lives. If you fall, get back up again. Renew your faith. Practice positive thinking. Act on it and you will succeed!
You can be positive for life, and it begins with your beliefs. I encourage you to believe that life is good. Today is a new day. That means we have new opportunities to learn, grow, love, and laugh. It means we have new mercies and a clean slate to start fresh. Let us stay positive and hopeful. Let us make the best of today and enjoy it!