February 12, 2009

Changing My View – from empty to full

Posted in Life at 9:47 pm by Katelyn

Glass Half Empty or Half FullI know and have known that I tend to be a pessimistic person. I have trouble being bubbly and happy all the time and I’m not good at faking something when I don’t feel it. But up until last night, I always assumed that I was just predisposed to this way of thinking and that I should blame the genes I was given. I want to put a disclaimer on that – I don’t know that I truly believed I was hard-wired this way, but rather that I accepted it as who I am rather than thinking about change. But after a couple weeks, months of not being excited about much at all, and those feelings just feeding the thoughts about my so-called boring life, I have decided to take a stand and make a change.

This is not going to be easy. I am changing the way my mind has been trained to think for years. So, where to start?

First of all, I’m making my commitment public, which is what I’m doing now. I’ve also let those who are closest to me know about my new goal and I’ve asked them to make me aware of when I am not being positive. I definitely won’t be able to catch all of the slip-ups on my own!

Second, I am going to return to my lost habit of journaling. I used to journal almost everyday as a way to calm my over-active mind, but this has gotten pushed to the side as other things fill my day. So I will write every day, or every other day and include 1-2 positive things that happened or that I accomplished that day.

Third, I am going to pick up some reading materials at the library. My mom actually suggested “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” which is a book I have often thought of reading. Anyone have any other suggestions?

Bear with me on this! I’ll keep you updated as to how it’s going.

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2 Comments »

  1. Josh R said,

    I have two suggestions.

    My friend Senia is a bona fide smartypants and one of the most positive and upbeat people I’ve met ever. So upbeat, in fact, that if I had not spent years as her classmate I might have thought it was an act. But she’s for real, she’s a positive psychology coach, and she’s spreading the joy (and some terrific research) via http://www.senia.com.

    Second, despite his cultic following, I’m a fan of David Allen’s Getting Things done. Admittedly it’s more about productivity than positivity, but you mentioned your overactive mind, and that is the focus of Allen’s method. He describes the zen-like “mind like water” of “relaxed productivity” that I find quite empowering.

  2. Megan said,

    I believe most of us allow negative thoughts to penetrate our mind, occupy themselves there, and then sift to the bottom of our thought river. Every once in a while, those thoughts are stirred up and come back to the surface.

    I suppose I am describing more than just pessimism, but what you focus your mind on…is important. I urge you to continue on your positive path!

    Note on 7 Habits, while it is a great book, it is also overwhelming, and I believe most people who read self-help books fail when trying to implement the processes, because we are not perfect. Plus, is reading 7 Habits going to make you more positive? I think no, perhaps more organizes and time management savvy. I would focus on the little successes as you are doing, and just spend some time each day reflecting on what was good and pleasant about your life. Being positive is also about being grateful. Its hard to be optimistic when (me personally), I am criticising myself and others.

    Sorry for the rant. Love your blogs….

    Meg


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