We need motivation to succeed at life. You will face many tests, but strong motivation will drive you to success no matter how tough times are. Whether you are losing weight, studying for exams, looking for work, or trying to earn more money, we need motivation to keep our eyes on the prize. This Motivation System is divided into seven weeks. Have you completed last week? This week we will focus on using positive thinking as a valuable tool for self-motivation. Positive thinking arouse and sustain motivation.
After working so hard on those progress reports, you deserve an ‘easier time’. The last week of this course will focus on being positive to maintain motivation.
Being positive is easier said than done. It’s easy to say you’ll be more positive when things are going well, but once the tide turns, negative thoughts, feelings, and acts return. Suddenly your bright sunny day is gloomy, cloudy, rainy. The bad period drains your mood, so being positive is the last thing on your mind.
This is why you must practise being positive. Everyone has a negative voice lurking within their minds. If you don’t control it, it’ll control you.
5 ways to be more positive:
“I failed my Maths paper! What’s the point? I’m going to drop out before I fail the other subjects too…”
Overreacting involves blowing things WAY out of proportion. When something bad happens, you sulk around and wait for another bad thing. You feel like the unluckiest person in the world. You assume everyone is against you. You want to give up and hide away….
Calm down and relax. Just because one bad thing happened doesn’t mean there’s more to come. If something upsets you, don’t expect more of the same. Address the problem and move on. Yes, what goes up must come down, but what goes down must come up. Think about the times you’ve overreacted, and remember how everything worked out in the end. There’s no logical reason why one negative moment will spoil your entire day, week, or month. It’s just one moment. Nothing more.
Keep telling your negative self, “It’s not the end of the world.”
Fight Negative Thoughts
You insult yourself. You belittle your achievements. You obsess over your mistakes. If you were a couple, you’d be an abusive partner bashing their victim – I know this image is graphic, but verbal abuse is just as destructive as its physical counterpart. Doing it to yourself doesn’t make it right!
You can battle negative thoughts in three ways: cut them off, disagree with everything they say, or ignore them.
Cutting off negative thoughts: Instead of letting your negative side say, “You’re no good at anything!” you interrupt before it finishes, like this, “You’re no–” It’s easy to interrupt negative thoughts because you sense them coming – usually after disappointment or failure. Keep interrupting your negative voice until it falls silent.
Keep telling your negative self, “Be nice or be quiet!”
Disagreeing with negative thoughts: Your negative side says something vicious like, “You’re so ugly.” Instead of avoiding mirrors and feeling miserable all day, just disagree with the bad thought. You might say, “I don’t feel beautiful today, but I’m not ugly.” Your voice might say, “Yes, you are.” Then you confront it by asking, “Why am I ugly?” It won’t have a response or it’ll say stupid things like, “Your nose is too big.” Too big compared to what? “You’re too short!” What’s the perfect height? Eventually it’ll get tired and give up, which means you win!
Keep telling your negative self, “You’re wrong.”
Ignore negative thoughts: Try the previous methods before this one. It can be hard to ignore bad thoughts, but distraction always helps! When you’re preoccupied, the negative thought is weakened because you’ve got more important matters. Even better, do what your negative voice says you can’t, for example, “You won’t lose weight this week, fat pig!” Instead of starving or binge eating, distract yourself by exercising, eating healthy food, and drinking water to get fit. Work towards proving the voice wrong again and again.
Keep telling your negative self, “I hear you, but I’m not listening.”
Remember the Good Times
Think of the worst moment in your life. How do you feel?
Now think of your best moment. Feel better? Exactly.
Being positive is harder when bad memories arise. Instead of letting negative thoughts develop, switch over to positive ones. Here is an example: you declutter the attic and come across your deceased grandmother’s favourite scarf. Instead of crying over her death, remember the happier times you shared. Keep flicking through those good memories until you feel positive and happier. Even better, share those good thoughts with others so they feel better too.
Keep telling your negative self about the good times.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Sometimes remembering the good times doesn’t work because your bad mood won’t shift! You try to be positive yet you can’t move on. Surprisingly, this can be a good thing…
Not every bad moment is beyond your control. Learn from your mistakes so you don’t make them again and again. If you completely ignore the tough times you’ll miss important lessons. Don’t dwell on mistakes until you feel sad, but think about them long enough to learn something before you move on as a smarter, happier person.
Keep telling your negative self, “Today didn’t go as planned, but at least I learnt the following important lesson…Now I can move on.”
Misery Loves Company
When you’re feeling down, the last thing you need is a miserable person. Unhappy people drag the general mood down because they’re moaning about everything. They’re not happy about their lovelife, kids, weight, job, etc. Eventually hearing about their problems makes you miserable too because you might have the same issues. You’ll both sit there whining, venting, crying as you sink deeper into depression. Even worse, you go home in a bad mood and take your frustration out on others, who will spread the misery even further.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t associate with sad people – no one in the world is happy all the time – but if everything they say is negative, distance yourself or limit contact. This way you’ll be a shoulder to cry on but not long enough to depress yourself.
On the other hand, you don’t need the happiest, chirpiest, most bubbly, smiles-all-the-time sort of person around. Spend time with positive people who push through tough times to reap the rewards, find something positive during their darkest moments, and always spread good wishes even though they’re going through a rough patch.
In time you’ll become one of these positive people yourself.
Keep telling your negative self, “Positivity is infectious. I want to catch it!”
How often should you practise being positive?
Everyday. Once you start listening to how positive or negative your thoughts are, practising a positive mindset will come naturally. You don’t have to analyse every thought. It’s best to start with the thoughts that initiate the strongest feelings. Encourage happy thoughts and end sad ones.
How should you document your positive thoughts?
You don’t have to.
I write down mine because the results can be surprising. Remembering one thought and feeling reminds you of another, and another, and so on. Eventually you’ll have a collection of past thoughts and feelings (positive and negative). Even though those moments have passed, it still helps to recollect because now you’ll see them in a different light. You’ll act differently and get better results if they happen again.
You can write anything you want. Try the following headings: EVENT, PARTICIPANT(S), THOUGHT(S), FEELING(S), OUTCOME(S). You don’t have to write essays under each heading, just provide enough detail so you’ll remember the situation if it happens again, or when you assess your progress.
1. Don’t overreact.
2. Negative thoughts are wrong.
3. Remember the good times.
4. Live and learn.
5. Be with positive people.
Congratulations! You’ve completed the 7 Weeks to Glory Motivation System. After working hard through Success Stories, Personal Goals, Support Networks, Motivational Notes, Motivation Collages, Progress Reports, and being positive, you’ve achieved great success! Here is a summary recap of the past 7 weeks.
No matter what your ultimate goal is, remember to maintain your motivation otherwise you’ll need to re-motivate yourself again. Revisit this system builder on a regular basis, especially if you’re losing willpower. It takes a month to create good habits, so feel free to work through this system again if necessary. Good luck!