Less than a year ago I was the most negative person I knew…like I wasn’t just a “glass half empty” kind of gal – no, I was a “the glass is empty” kind of gal! I could give you 15 reasons why every situation would turn out badly. I could list off 100 things I hated about myself without being able to name one thing I actually loved. I could turn every family event into a dramatic scene. I could ruin relationships, get into fights, rattle off curse words, hold grudges…do you get my point? I wasn’t just Negative Nelly – I was the girl Nelly didn’t even want to hang with because I was such an emotional mess.
For the past 7-8 months, my life has slowly been creeping into the direction I want it to go. I knew in my heart something needed to change in my life – and that change had to be me. I dived head first into self-development books, surrounding myself with positive people, cutting ties with people who made me feel less than I am, I quit dating, and I spent a lot of time alone. There were definitely times in the last 8 months that I was unhappy or handled a situation badly but they are few and far between whereas they used to be everyday. Heck, multiple times a day.
My heart has been aching to write these types of blog posts. I think a lot of the time my weekly recaps look like I have live such an easy, happy life 24/7 and honestly, that’s mostly true. But there is more to me than bowls of brussels sprouts and protein smoothies – writing is one of my favorite ways to reflect on my life and share my thoughts with others. So, I would love to make these blog posts more frequent. I will even dedicate a blog post to the ways/books/things I did to become more positive. But until I share with you every little book, note, etc – here is what happened in my life when I did a complete 180 from pessimistic to optimistic:
1. I learned to love who I am.
This is a BIG one. I literally used to look in the mirror and come up with ZERO things I liked about myself. ZERO. Oh my gosh this makes me so sad. I was created by the ultimate Creator and yet I couldn’t see His beauty in me anywhere. Now, I will rattle off 50+ things I love about myself (and everyday that list grows) and this is in no way to be conceited. I truly had to figure out my unique qualities and learn to love my baby cheeks so that I could appreciate the wonderful work the Lord did when He created me.
2. I stopped worrying about what others think of me.
Now, there are definitely times I get scared or worried I have somehow offended someone but this is what I mean by no longer caring what others think…you see – going back to #1, I used to think that everyone else saw every flaw in me the way I did. I thought people would look at me and judge me by my jean size, or how many freckles I had, or the way my hair looked…oh my goodness you guys – I was so completely self-absorbed I cannot even believe I was such a mess! When I started thinking positively, I learned to love who I am, which in turn made me stop worrying so much about what the hell I looked like and allowed me to spend my energy focusing on helping others around me. Does that make sense?
3. I smile and laugh every single day, multiple times a day.
It is so true when they say a smile could make someones day or that laughter is contagious. I try to make it a point to stop staring at my phone when I walk through campus or when I am running errands and smile at people. You guys, sometimes I even say “Hello!” And GUESS WHAT?!?! People 9 times out of 10 will smile back at you and ask you how your day is going!!!!! Human interaction is such a cool thing. This leads me to #4…
4. I became more of an extrovert.
I used to be the Queen of the Introverts…maybe Princess because I think my mom is the queen (lol, sorry mom!) but seriously!! There is nothing wrong with being an introvert – nothing at all!! They help balance out the extroverts in the world. But I discovered that once I stopped staring at my phone and started smiling at people – I genuinely enjoyed talking with them or asking how their day was going. I no longer fear public speaking or meeting new people. I get so excited!! I kind of want everyone to be my friend so we can drink coffee and talk about how awesome this life is that God let’s us live. I am grinning ear to ear just thinking about all the friends I have made in the last 8 months.
5. I learned to love my alone time.
I used to be an introvert that had to be around my family/loved ones all the time. I didn’t like being alone. I hated being alone with my own thoughts. Now? Duh, you guys know I love my Miracle Morning time but it’s not just that. I don’t mind spending Friday nights in my PJ’s reading or watching Full House alone. I don’t mind sitting at Panera or Spencer’s by myself. I don’t mind running errands alone. I enjoy being alone. Now, when God decides to place my future husband in my line of sight then I am sure I will enjoy doing those things with him – but for now, being alone is kind of really awesome – it forces you to grow and be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
6. I feel so incredibly happy for others.
Did I mention that besides being negative, I was the queen of jealousy? I envied everyone around me who seemed to have something I didn’t. I cannot express how sad this makes me now. To think that I would look at someone and be angry at THEIR joy?!? Where did that get me? No where. It made me hate my life more. So insane. I can honestly tell you that when I see an adorable couple holding hands, I pray for their love together. When I see a blogger killing it on Instagram – I pray for his/her continuous success. When I see a girl who’s physically fit (and who used to make me hate the body I have!) – I pray for her continuous health. Do you see a pattern? I turned my jealousy towards others (and hatred at myself) into prayer. I pray that other’s success continuously blesses them. What on earth would I have to be jealous of? Their life is completely different from my life. Just because someone is doing something different from you are does NOT mean they are somehow better than you. You have your own unique qualities! Keep being you! This brings me to #7…
7. I learned to trust God more than ever.
I will keep this one short – I cannot do anything without God. I simply cannot control my life the way I thought I once could. I can change the way I react to situations, but I can’t change the situation. Trusting in God makes me see things so much differently. Life is a lot easier when I know that God is leading me. 🙂
8. I stopped taking life so seriously.
The world seemed to always be ending when my negative emotions fueled the fire within me. What on earth is there to be so sad,stressed,upset about? It is out of our control! This totally relates to #7 – but forreal. When I let go of taking every mean comment, tough situation, or rude person so seriously, I realized that it never actually was that serious. There are far bigger problems in the world than the person who cut me off at an intersection. inevitably we are all going to die and until that day, I don’t want to waste my life dwelling on something I can’t change.
I will continue to add to this list as my life continues to change but for now, these are the things that I have noticed in my life the past 8 months.
Now, don’t get me wrong – there are still situations I wish I would have handled differently and there are still times I wish I hadn’t had been so mean to my family or gossiped about someone but I am NOT perfect. Not at all. I never want to come across that way.
I hope this post inspire you to take some action in your life or see things a little differently. As always, I love when you guys email me things going on in your life so I would LOVE to know ways you stay positive.