We all experience challenges in life. One might say that dealing with challenges is part of the human condition. The key, I believe, is to grow through challenges and find ways to be inspired by them, inspired to become better versions of ourselves.
As the global transition continues to unfold, so the challenges faced by many also unfold and seem to take on new meanings. And we can find ways to experience challenges as just that, challenging rather than defeating.
Positive thinking has long been acclaimed to be the key to achieving success, prosperity and happiness but what do we mean by ‘positive thinking’ and is it still an appropriate concept? It has been bandied about so much over the years that just hearing the words can be enough to set even the most balanced individual into a downward spiral of negativity!
For me, positive thinking means to have an awareness of all aspects and possible outcomes of a given situation, to focus on the positive outcome (as we perceive it) while being OK with the end result as benefitting the greatest good. To indulge in ‘positive thinking’ to the exclusion of any other possibility is, I believe, to hide one’s head in the sand. It is actually the opposite of dealing with a situation realistically and I think it is this differentiation which confuses people and causes frustration.
To think positively, in a constructive way, involves looking deep within and often facing up to fears. While this can be scary and takes a certain amount of courage, it is the first step towards constructing the future we all want deep down but often feel is beyond our control. The good news is that we are in control of our own destinies and by harnessing the power of the mind it is entirely possible to take control of the mind in a positive way. The fact is, that if you don’t take control of your mind with positive thoughts then you are allowing it to be controlled by negative thoughts. As many of the great leaders have said, “ It’s not the cards that life deals us that decides our fate but the way we deal with those cards.”
Attitude is of paramount importance. Our experience of success and happiness is not dependent on what happens to us but on what we do with what happens to us. Success, prosperity and happiness are ultimately inner experiences, flowing over into outer life.
Our attitude determines our relationship with the outside world and our thoughts, beliefs and expectations are what influence our interpretation of our challenges. These interpretations determine our attitude.
Life is not just about getting through the ‘pandemic’ and getting ‘back to normal’. It is not about ‘getting through the day’ and coping with what life throws at you. It is a wonderful opportunity to create and grow and become more of who you are. There are endless possibilities for joy, happiness and aliveness.
Those who experience success and happiness choose to focus on what they learn from challenging situations, regardless of how impossible or negative things seem. They choose to think in terms of possibilities, seeing challenges as stepping stones to greater success. With this attitude, the learning experience within adversity can be accepted as a gift.
This is not to ignore your feelings or to accept bad behaviour from others. Quite the opposite. Positive thinking is not about glossing over or suppressing negative emotions, rather it is about having a positive attitude towards those negative emotions. It is about having a positive attitude towards life’s challenges. Resisting our feelings and emotions not only ensures that we will attract more of the same but also uses up a lot of energy! Energy which can be used more constructively.
Instead of resisting or suppressing emotions, we must journey into them, get to know and understand them. Our emotional reactions have the intention of protecting us from perceived danger or hurt so we must come to know, understand and respect them. Listen to what you are telling yourself, give yourself permission to feel those emotions and then find constructive ways to express and release them.
Are you denying yourself some of the good things of life? If so, then you are most likely lacking in self – worth. Building a healthy foundation of self-worth, loving and accepting yourself unconditionally, is the key to receiving. This involves listening to your inner wisdom and creating the habit of listening to your inner voice, your true feelings, your true desires. It is about being authentic with yourself and respecting your inner core. Celebrate and enjoy all that you are. Celebrate Physically, Intellectually, Emotionally and Spiritually. Send messages to your subconscious telling it that you are worthy. Do things that speak directly to your soul. Like listening to soothing music, walking in nature. Meditate, laugh, do something creative. Allow some magic into your life. The magic is all around us but it is up to us to allow it to come in.
This work is not easy though it is not complicated. We are conditioned to put others first and we have to learn to value ourselves and our own needs. Thus, our relationships improve and we come to realise that when we love ourselves appropriately we have so much more to give to others and we embrace our challenges as inspirational rather than defeating.
Listen to your inner wisdom, identify your life purpose and move towards it. Become aware of yourself as part of a greater life force and positive thinking will become second nature and life will become the truly joyful experience it was always intended to be.
Kate Mchardy MA(Hons) PGCE MSPH Spiritual coach, teacher and healer. firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: +44 7712889534. Facebook: The University of Light Group / Readings at The University of Light (@tarotangelspiritreadings).