You can do anything you set your mind to. You’ve probably heard that line more than a million times. Your parents may have preached it to you as a child or maybe your boss repeats it as a reminder in your adult life. It’s a timeless saying that couldn’t be closer to the truth. Whether or not you believe it’s true, you’re right.
Your mind has the power to conceive great things. In fact, just about anything you can visualize you can accomplish. However, few allow their thoughts to develop their full potential. Instead, most people to do quite the opposite.
If you embrace the power of positive thinking, new experiences and opportunities will come your way. A positive perspective has the potential to reduce stress, build confidence, and develop character. Practicing how to “look on the bright side” has also proved to fight off the common cold, reduce the risk of death from disease, and enable people to lead healthier lives.
It does, however, take time to develop this perspective, and it’s not something that happens overnight. To excel at anything in life, one must work on it daily. Just like you train your body in the gym, you’ve also got to train your mind. I’m a firm believer that intently developing your body and mind is the only way to successfully reach your goals, no matter the magnitude.
Most people are programed to expect the worst. Many often give up on themselves before they even start. As soon as you allow negativity or doubt to creep in, you’re more likely to take a step backward than leap forward toward what you want to achieve. If you think you can’t do it, you won’t. If you don’t think you’re strong enough, you probably aren’t. But, if you change that thought process now, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish.
So where do you start? First, make sure to surround yourself with positive and like-minded people.
When I first entered the fitness world I quickly found out who was there for me, and who wasn’t. In fact, the friends who I thought had my back ridiculed me for my fitness goals, and people I didn’t even know ended up being the ones cheering for me on the sidelines. Identify the negative people in your life. Recognize that they do not add to your mission, and are most likely holding you back. Make a change and associate yourself with people who genuinely want you to be happy and successful. Negative people and thoughts breed negative actions, and that’s the last thing you need on your journey toward optimism.
Again, train your mind and your body will follow. Instead of fixating on a negative event that happened during your day, focus on the positive. We as humans tend to turn small dilemmas into catastrophes and blow minor speed bumps out of proportion. Don’t allow one negative thought or action take over your entire day, month, or year. Acknowledge it happened, learn from it, and move onward and upward. It’s so important to recognize progress, no matter how small. At first, you may even need to write down positive accomplishments or thoughts to make sure you appreciate them and are headed in the right direction. Remember, visualization and positive thoughts take time to develop.
Another way you can build mental strength is by setting a foundation of healthy habits. If you are currently eating food that’s bad for you, and you’re not exercising, it’s going to be very challenging to find an optimistic approach to life. You simply won’t feel or look good. Make a commitment to yourself, and put it into action. I promise, taking care of yourself and following your new positive outlook will create a snowball effect throughout all facets of your life. Your positive actions will breed positive thoughts, and those positive thoughts will produce more positive actions. It’s been proven time and time again that exercise and eating right can make you feel better, on the inside and out.
Positive thoughts also start with self-respect and the feelings you have toward yourself.
If you constantly put yourself down or focus on your flaws, how can you believe that you can achieve anything? Instead of picking yourself apart, give yourself a compliment. Yes, stop reading this for a second and say something nice about yourself. Seriously, put the book down, and do it RIGHT NOW.
See, don’t you feel better already? Every time you find yourself thinking or saying negative things about yourself, always come back with a compliment. Loving yourself and developing your strengths will enable you to feel like you can conquer the world.
Remember, it all starts with a single thought, and that one belief can change your life and its direction. Make a plan to practice positive thinking on a daily basis. Some days will be more challenging than others, but that’s what makes life so great. Embrace the good with the bad and always shift your focus away from negativity. Visualize each mistake or slip-up as a lesson instead of a failing moment. Only you can create the world you live in, and it really is a choice. Choose wisely, and believe that anything is possible!
Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. – Lao Tzu