For years, I wore my heart on my sleeve. It was obvious when I’d have a bad day. It didn’t seem to be worth the energy to even bother to hide how I really felt. But, it made people become quite leery of me. I was a ticking time bomb about to explode. Still, I tried pretending to be happy when I very much wasn’t.
I was very frustrated about my lack of progress in my life and my career for a long time. That’s why I quit my old job. I couldn’t move up anymore. I was stuck and it wasn’t worth staying put for the wage I was making, not when I was that miserable. My own mental health finally meant a lot more than the job to me. But, it took lots of courage to admit that.
Still, it was only recently that I realized that there is a huge difference between pretending to be happy and staying positive. They are not the same thing. You have to admit things suck the way things are and accept reality before you can also understand that only you can change your own reality. This is something that’s very hard for people to understand.
Many people seem to think their lives are almost entirely at the whims of others. There’s also a prevalent belief that some people simply are born with good luck, while others are destined for mediocrity or even failure. I don’t think many consciously think this, but it certainly seems how a lot of people end up feeling. Most people are content with mediocrity because they can only think of worse, and can’t seem to imagine things being any better.
Dealing with How You Face Negativity is the First Step to Making a Better Reality for Yourself
I’ve dealt with many negative thoughts day in and day out. But, I’ve much to be thankful for now. I’ve had a very supportive family. I have a roof over my head, an amazing life partner, good food to eat, and electricity to power what I need. Most importantly, I have internet access, vital for everything I do. When I get the negative thoughts or depressive feelings, I count my blessings and I focus on the good things and work to have more good things.
But, you still have to accept your reality. I have serious issues with depression and social anxiety. The latter is probably the more limiting one. I often have to expend great amounts of energy to build up enough positive energy to barrel through my grimmer days, but I can do it.
Psychiatric medicines have never worked for me. They might even me out for a bit, but I usually end up with a really bad reaction. The last one I was on made me jittery. Then, there were days where I was so high-strung that the highs were manic and the lows were an absolute crash. So, I just cut those “happy pills” and “chill pills” out of my life. I accepted the serious imbalances which often exist inside of my head, and I’ve learned to live with them.
However, I’ll never accept using those shortcomings as a crutch. I’d be giving in to the very things that hold me back some days. Believe it or not, it’s not always depression and social anxiety holding me back. They don’t help and they flush some days down the drain. But, what’s more crushing for me in my day-to-day life is a lack of self-confidence.
Every single time, with one single exception, almost everything I have ever tried to do to right my ship has failed, some of them quite miserably. More than once I thought I was finally turning things around, only to end up worse off than before. But, a last ditch effort to help someone near and dear to me changed both of our lives forever. So, it goes to show how sticking to a positive outlook and keeping yourself going even in the face of a lot of negativity can pay off in changing your reality!
Focus on the Positive Things and Make Your Own Reality a Better One
To change your reality for the better, focus on the positive things: the good people in your life, the things you enjoy, the places you want to go, and the things you want to live to do. You accept that there are circumstances and limitations often out of your control. However, you have to do what you can. You’ll find that overcoming negative things can even help those around you to look up in their own lives, as they watch you overcome seemingly soul-crushing defeats.
Yes, some people can do a great quantity of work more than you can. There’s always going to be someone who may be able to beat you at any given task. But, you might be surprised if you give something you love your all, something that you’re extremely passionate about. When you focus on your passions, no matter the obstacles or potential ridicule, you’ll accomplish more in a day than most people today accomplish in a week. In the end, it’s about the quality and sincerity of your efforts, anyway, not the quantity of the fruits of your labors.
It’s amazing how many people work incredibly mundane, uneventful jobs and come home and really do absolutely nothing. It’s also amazing on the flip side how many people work really lousy jobs with terrible employers and working conditions and still manage to find time to raise their families and somehow keep on. You know what the difference is? Keeping a positive outlook for the long-term and accepting difficult situations come and go.
Yes, it’s possible to accept a bad situation for what it is, then learn to make the most of it. Simply pretending by forcing a smile on your face, then breaking down completely at home really isn’t how to go about things. Don’t pretend things are OK, but look forward to the possibilities that things can turn around if you work towards positive outcomes. It may take some creativity and some help from friends and family. But, it’s possible to nearly always find a positive aspect to some really sucky situation.
The trick is to not pretend to be superficially positive, but work positively towards positive outcomes. If you are truly negative within yourself, you need to understand what is making you negative. Then, work towards turning yourself towards more positive and productive patterns of thinking. As long as you pretend that you’re blissfully ignorant of the muck most of us are immersed in daily, you’re not doing yourself or anyone else any favors. Having a truly positive outlook can’t be faked.
To succeed in getting somewhere in life that you can feel good about, you must dedicate yourself to always be moving one step ahead. Sometimes those gains are minimal, but they are something, no matter how insignificant they may appear to others. If you focus on that mindset, you’ll find that you’ll make progress in anything and everything you do. Just be patient and always stay positive. That’s how I strive to live my life every day.
~ Amelia <3