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Can You Make Positive Thinking A Habit?

Only if you want it to work!

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We know all the wonderful ways thinking positive affects us.  We’ve listed countless studies showing that those who maintain a good attitude are healthier, more successful, and just live better danged lives.

So you don’t have to undertake this as a project.  What you allow purchase in your mind is absolutely your choice.  Your emotions will follow your thoughts, and if you want to remain in the negative cycle, you surely can.

I know I do, now and then.  My friends can tell you this!  Even though I’m focused and working diligently to maintain positive energy, I backslide.

Why, just recently, I caught myself slipping into those old tapes.  But the key is, I caught myself.

I was talking to my good friend, author and fellow spiritual seeker on the path, Jinny, and mentioned this to her.

And of course, as good friends are wont to do, she said, “Didn’t we just talk about this a few weeks ago? Sitting on your deck over a glass of wine?  And we agreed you would replace the negative thoughts with positive ones as soon as they popped up?”

Yep.  Of course we did.

Old habits truly can be difficult to break.  And isn’t that a nice little meme that just showed up!  Perhaps I’ll spend some time changing that thought!

But the point being (sooner or later, I do get back to the point J), once  you set the intention to change the way you see things, backsliding can be part of the process.  In fact, this has proven true for everyone I know on this path.

So, that’s not the problem.

As with everything in life, what we do with whatever we think and feel, experience and deal with, will predict which direction we go.

How we react to life is what we will create in the future as well.

So many people have told me they think this is all bunk.  I can’t count the times I’ve heard: “I tried being positive and it didn’t work for me.”

And it won’t—if you do it and then quit.  Thinking positive, being motivated, only work if you practice them.

As Zig Ziglar said, ““People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

If you decide you want to run a marathon, do you go out for a jog one day, have soreness the next, and decide training just didn’t work for you?  If you commit to eating healthier, fall off the wagon and have a piece of cake, do you decide your body just isn’t meant for healthy food?

Okay, that last may be a bad example, as so many diets fail this way!  But if the next day you re-commit to fruits and vegetables, you’re back on track.

Tiger Woods may have won the U.S. Amateur Championship at the tender young age of 18, but he’d been practicing since he was 2!

So why would practice work for any and every thing—except changing the stinkin’ thinkin’ going on in your brain?  Who, exactly, makes that decision?

You do.  I do.

Whether I perceive an event as the end of the world, or an opportunity to learn and then refocus on the goal, is up to no one in this Universe but me.

The event is, well, just the event.

If you believe something isn’t going to work out, all you’ll see is obstacles.  If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities.

It’s all within your own head.

I do have to smile when I realize that although yep, I fell off the wagon—again—it didn’t last long.  What would have once sent me into a tailspin of despair for weeks, lasted about 2 hours.  Because the new habits I have formed are gaining strength and prowess every single day.

And that’s the thing about backsliding—about anything—you don’t end up back at the starting line.  It’s not as if you have to begin the entire endeavor again.  Progress has been made.

You’re stronger, wiser, and better at whatever you’ve been practicing.

It’s like that marathon goal—you may fall, but when you get back up and running, you’ll still be far faster than the day you began to train.

Everything, in the end, comes down to focus and practice and committing to your goal.  That’s how any habit becomes ingrained.

And that’s how it works.

I’m quite partial the author Neville Goodard’s teachings of the mind, and how that impacts our lives.  And often come back to his saying:

“Man’s chief delusion is his own conviction that there are causes other than his own state of consciousness.”

How do you commit to your goal?


This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Ashley

    Anyone can make positive thinking a habit; however, it’s not always easy for someone to do that. I think the person needs to be ready to make that change and things have to be just right in their life for it to happen. I know for me, I TRY to be positive, but it’s not always easy. It seems like I’m always going through some crappy situation and it’s difficult to try to be positive.

    1. Susan Malone

      You know, Ashley, sometimes life just brings us a sack of coal. I know how that is too. And I’ve found that if I allow myself to wallow in it for a bit, and then go straight back to my psychological tools, I now weather the storms better (and more intact!).
      But you’re absolutely right–it’s not always easy. Sending you lots of peace to get through!

  2. GiGi Eats

    I TRULY believe that my diet plays a HUGE ROLE in my positive mindset!!! Honestly, that and exercise! So if I keep those things up, then I stick with my positivity!

    1. Susan Malone

      Agree 1000%, Gigi! We know so much about food and moods these days, and of course the endorphins from exercise. No wonder you’re so positive!

  3. Mimi

    I believe that we can make positive thinking a habit. Should our minds veer to thoughts which aren’t congruent (e.g. negative or stressful thinking), it is possible to identify and replace the thought with something positive – thus redirecting our focus and minds . After a certain duration, this positive thinking becomes a formed habit and we’d have built new neural pathways. It’s important to be patient with yourself whilst you develop this. Focussing on your proficiencies will also aide self esteem.

    Answer: I commit to my goals by reviewing and acting on them daily 🙂

    1. Susan Malone

      That is perfect, Mimi! Re-framing, redirecting, are such wonderful tools.
      And thank you for adding: “Be patient with yourself whilst you develop this.” That is so vital!

  4. sherill

    Hi, Positive thinking can be a habit but we really need to practice. It does not mean that we will not encounter the ups and downs of life but looking at the positive side of every disappointment will help us get through difficult times. Thanks so much for sharing a very motivating post.

    1. Susan Malone

      You hit it, Sherill–it’s all about practice. We’ll all have life’s ups and downs. How we handle them determines the paths of our lives. Thank you for sharing!

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