How to live a positive life! By changing your narative!
How to live a positive life! Change your narrative
I’ve always wanted to be the type of person who is able to navigate any situation with ease. And, while I can safely say my life so far has been an adventure, there have definitely been some moments when things got tough and were out-of-my control.
I know it sounds fluffy, but believe me, these thoughts are not what they seem! Rather than thinking about how your narrative affects you or others in certain situations (which usually turns into self-pity), focus on finding new ways for positive stories that will help you overcome adversity.
Working in a male dominated career my entire (working) life, there are a million times I told myself the wrong story. Either to make myself feel better (or in most cases worse) about the situation, or to deflect from my true feelings.
Sometimes it was easy to adopt the “it’s because I’m a woman” or “he clearly has personal issues”, or the classic self-doubt narrative “maybe you just don’t have the skills”. The mind is incredibly powerful and once we have decided on a narrative to tell ourselves, or even share with others, it can be hard to admit we were wrong.
So, this is why I think we need to continually remind ourselves of our own narrative and how we can change it. A change in perspective can be refreshing and most importantly can change an outcome of a situation from being negative to positive.
Why do you need to make a positive change?
It's time to start telling yourself the truth. A new study in Australia has found that when people are in a bad mood, their thoughts wander less and they make more positive choices than those who feel happy or sober-minded - even if you don’t believe what they say! This means our narratives can have an incredible effect on how we live life because it is stories after all.
Here’s some of my top tips for how to live a positive life and change your narrative.
- Be real and take responsibility where you did have some degree of power over what has occurred by telling yourself truthfully about how much influence YOU had on YOUR outcomes - acknowledging both successes AND failures.
- Don’t fall back on your history. Past experiences are only a small snapshot in life and shouldn't define how you react to new ones. It's important to stay optimistic, even if you've had bad experiences in the past.
- Sit with it. Yes, some narratives are pretty crappy and can't be avoided, but bad things happen to us all the time! Some of my greatest achievements came from a really tough situation that most people would have considered hopeless. So why not think about what lessons we learn when they do?
- Think about the times previously when you have overcome adversity and how at that point in time, it felt like the world was coming to an end. Now think about how much that situation affected your life? Not much right? So get a little perspective and give yourself some tough love if you need it.