I used to really struggle with “presenting myself” to certain family during the holidays. Preparing for that repeated question and answer session with aunts, uncles and grandparents who I only saw a few times a year. All through high school and my 20s, I remember gearing up, trying to coach myself, and possibly remind myself that my situation wasn’t “that bad.” Yes, I was still single, still living in the same apartment, and had “a job.” Why wasn’t that enough? And why do we have to keep talking about it?
Then, I moved across the country. I started a family and a business that neither was understood by most of my friends and relatives. Family gatherings can still be difficult on my heart, but everyday, I’m actively seeking guidance and working through some of the thoughts that used to hold me back from moving forward and creating my best life. Over time, I learned that shifting my thoughts had a total ripple effect on my entire life.
Positive thinking can boost your mood and spirit, while dwelling in negative thinking can create a mess of destructive energy that can literally ruin everything. Both can affect your interactions with others. The good news is that we actually have a choice, in every moment of everyday, to stop and choose how we perceive and react to a specific situation or emotion. To help you consider making this shift, during a particularly emotional time of year, here are a few tips for cultivating a more positive mindset.
- Put your blinders on. How many times have we heard that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others? I used to always compare myself to my cousins, my siblings…who did what at what age, and how much so and so was making when. Just. Stop. This is your life. Your choices. The sooner you stop looking side to side, the sooner you’ll get to where you are going next. And how you feel about your life is what really matters. (This is particularly important for Mamas!!)
- Release your limiting beliefs. This one has space in my heart for a whole book, let alone a small listing in a blog entry. However, it still demands attention rat this time. You have beliefs inside of you that you either created or that were placed upon you many years ago. Take time to attend to those beliefs, and if they are no longer serving you, rework them into supportive goals.
- Let go of feeling like you always need to be right. Focus your energy on lifting the energy in a shared space, knowing how you feel and what you think is just that. And that those around you have that right as well. Especially on a special occasion or during a celebratory time, feed into memories and encouragement rather than debates and proving something. You do you, boo.
- Treat yourself as you intend to treat others. Talking to yourself with a shitty attitude each and every day takes a serious toll. Start paying attention to your inner monologue when different situations and interactions arise in your life and stop them dead in their tracks. You have the power and ability to “cancel” these thoughts and shift them into something positive. You wouldn’t speak to your partner or child that way, so don’t do it to yourself either. This takes practice, and the results are very, very real.
- Stop resisting change. By now, I hope we can all say we know that if we keep repeating certain actions, we will continue to get the same results. Change can be big or small, but either way, it can be really good. Reflect, meditate or release the thoughts and beliefs that are no longer serving you, and replace them with new intentions. Make a plan for reaching the goals you’ve had in the back of your mind and make them a priority.