Your Outlook on Life Effects your Entire Experience
A couple of weeks ago I had what I would call an ‘unlucky day’. I bruised my ankle, bumped my arm, had a bug fly into my ear and then ended the day scraping the palm of my hand open as I gracefully fell towards a closed door. Lol. I could have been fuming after all of that. I could have raised my fists and cursed at the skies. But I laughed it off because I don’t believe that kind of outlook on life can benefit me or set me up for a good day. Or, a good life.
I believe lucky people are people who go through life expecting good things to happen. Their outlook on life is positive. For the most part. Basically, I believe, while we don’t have control over every detail of our lives, we can absolutely influence our experience of life through our outlook. We have more power over our experience than we would like to admit.
What does this Mean?
I can think of so many clichés on this: dust yourself off and try again, a ‘glass half full’ kind of person, look for the silver lining etc. What we are talking about here isn’t a band aid or a ‘quick fix’ solution. This is an entire outlook on life. A mindset that you carry with you through ALL of life’s situations, the good and the bad. It is, essentially, a choice to look on the bright side. Because, hey, it’s a better place to be!
We can all be this way, but it takes a conscious choice and an effort to shift our mindset. This is the hard part. Learning to step ‘outside’ of our experience and view it objectively. To be able to remove our emotions for long enough so that we can decide whether they are a) objective and b) constructive. What we don’t want is for our emotions to cloud our vision and our ability to work through life’s challenges.
Real Life Examples
Examples of this would be responding to something with a ‘why does this always happen to me?’. Ask yourself if this emotion is based on a realistic understanding of the situation or if you are having that baseline negativity flare up again. Spot the lie and make a shift. Maybe it was someone blaming you for something, a possible miscommunication. Maybe it was your car breaking down, happens to all of us!
Life happens. Sometimes its hard to process or accept, but while it might feel like it, it isn’t only happening to you. Stop making EVERYTHING personal because sometimes it isn’t! We all go through challenges and hardships. It is those that find a way to look for the lessons, growth and positive side of these situations that come out looking like the ‘lucky’ ones.
What does your Outlook mean?
The definition of outlook is ‘a person’s point of view or general attitude to life’. In other words it’s the way you see the world most of the time. Not all of the time, but most of the time. It is this general outlook that will affect your general approach and mood in life. If your outlook on life is that everything is against you, then that is the way you will experience it. Even if things aren’t actually going wrong! You will look for the negative, and you will find it. Think of where this might show up in your own life. Can you remember a time when you created an unrealistic, negative, experience? I know I can.
So, having a positive outlook on life provides you with your building blocks for happiness! Things like gratitude and positive thinking absolutely change the way you experience this life.
Have a Positive Mindset
Think of your mindset like a balloon or cotton candy. It’s pretty difficult to be negative when you see a balloon floating in the sky or dig your teeth into a fluffy cloud of cotton candy (or is that just me, lol!). We want our mindset to be reliable and constantly leaning towards the positive. So much so that when you spot a negative thought you immediately pull it in line. You know the damage it is doing, and you won’t stand for it. You want your cotton candy! You want those silver linings, and rainbows, and butterflies because they make you feel good!
What we want is a set point of positivity. Once we get to this point it is easier to ‘bounce back’ from a negative experience. We don’t have to live there! An upset can come along and swoop you up, and it will, but you search for the light in the darkness knowing that it is there somewhere. You reach for it until you find it again.
Small Steps to Big Change
Everything starts with awareness, so start with noticing when you lean towards the negative. Does stubbing your toe sending you spiralling into the-world-is-against-me mentality? Or are you able to breathe through the pain and laugh it off?
When we are triggered by something as small as stubbing our toe, we know there is a deeper, underlying issue. If you can start small and allow yourself to gracefully deal with something small like this, you are ultimately beginning a journey to help yourself gracefully deal with the bigger issues, and to reframe your outlook on life. Pay attention to what upsets you, ask yourself why and work through your emotions gently.
Bad Things Still Happen
The biggest difference between those with a positive outlook on life and those with a not so positive outlook is the way they respond to the bad times. Because, let’s face it, the bad times happen to everyone! I think, too often, we think that some of us ‘have it good’. That there are people in this life who’ve been touched by some magic or other. Those who never suffer defeat, loss, heartache etc. This simply isn’t true. And to be honest, as soon as you accept that, you empower yourself to manage your own hardships more easily.
How? Well, when you understand that you have the same tools (ie. your mind, emotions etc.) to get through the tough days as everyone else, you understand the power ultimately lies with you and no one else. And be kind to yourself when you slip up. If you aren’t gentle with yourself you will revert all too quickly to the negative by berating yourself for your flaws.
Build your House
Think of this as a project. Let’s build a house together. What kind of house would you like to build? A house full of joy and happiness right? A house filled with light and love? You don’t want to build a house in the shadows, and you don’t want to build a house on unsteady ground. Your house needs solid foundations. To create your dream home you need to begin strengthening your foundations with your outlook on life. Give it a chance to be all it can be by believing in it.
You will trip up, that is to be expected. But, know that positive thoughts will always feel better than negative and pull yourself back. Know that positive energy will always produce positive results and keep moving forward. Shift your outlook on life to one of optimism and excitement for the life you are living!
If you enjoyed this blog, head over and check out this one: Repeat After Me: I Am Enough
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