We’ve all sat and thought about the things we should be doing, we should exercise more, we should eat better, we should get more sleep, we should apply for that job…the list goes on. It’s easy to live in the shoulds, but the shoulds don’t get us anywhere except adding to an unending list that we allow to pull us down into resentment and despair because we’re not taking action so the list just keeps growing longer and longer. The shoulds are typically seen as a negative because we’re not executing them, they hang around and nag us, but until we change them into coulds, they will continue to drag us down.
Living in a place of could is a more positive place. A place of possibility, of hope, and of change. Just changing our attitude from should to could isn’t enough though, but it is a start. We can take our should list and make a conscious effort to change it into our could list, and then from there take action where we can. It’s a matter of perspective and how we choose to look at the things we want in our life. We have the power to make change, we have the power to go after what we want, to have those things on our list, but it requires us to actually pull the trigger and do the work, magical thinking will not get us magical results. When we’re living in the shoulds, and in negative thinking, we limit our view to the outside world, it gets narrow, we only concentrate on what we’re not doing or getting instead of changing what we can, our limited view only lets us see what we don’t have, it can paralyze us. Negative thoughts don’t allow us to see the choices we have around us, thinking we have none, we give up. But when we live in the coulds our brain sees the possibility, it opens up our mind to more options, which in turn allows us to build new skills that can help us eventually get from could to did, which is ultimately where we want to go. So, how do we achieve more positive thinking in our lives?
The more joy, love, and contentment we feel in our lives, the more positive we feel. So, if you don’t know already what in your life brings you those things, it’s about finding them and what fills you up, what nourishes you, what excites you, what makes you smile. Do those activities to help you focus and find a more positive outlook, or find new activities that can help you, maybe, meditation, writing, and play time. Now I know some of you cringe at the word meditation, and think it is only sitting quietly with a clear mind. Next to impossible right? But there are many different ways one can meditate, for me, what works best, is a walking meditation, getting out in nature, by myself, and starting a conversation with myself about what’s going on, what I’m concerned about, what I’d like to try, whatever is on my mind. Just breathing the air, taking time to soak up my surroundings and just being with myself, helps me to sort through many issues or mental blocks that I may be experiencing. There are many different ways to meditate, find one that works for you. Writing is also a good one. I was never a writer before this journey, I would never just sit down and write, but I found that when I did interesting things would come out of it, things I didn’t even know I thought, or felt, would pour out onto the page or screen, don’t think about it, just start writing. And, if you’re struggling with positivity in your life, write down five positive things at the bottom of the page each time. If you have a hard time starting to write, maybe start with what the benefits are of accomplishing each item on your should list, how would that benefit you, how would that change your life. Focus on the positive nature of doing good things for yourself and improving your life with those actions. The third activity, play, make sure to schedule fun in your life, those things that make you smile, laugh, or fill you with joy. There are always things we have to do that we don’t necessarily want to do so I always make sure to bookend those things with something fun, something I enjoy or like to do, that way I’m going into the not so fun activity with joy and I have something to look forward to when I finish.
When we feel good about ourselves, finding love, joy, and contentment in our day, we find it easier to go from should to could, and, taking action with our could list, we ultimately find that list turned from could to did. You can do it SLAYER, I know you can, but it starts with believing you can and then pulling the trigger and doing it.
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you make excuses for not going after or doing the things on your should list? What’s stopping you? Are these legitimate reasons, or excuses? What can you do to start to take action on the items on your should list? Pick one. What can you do to tackle this? Have you tried in the past? How did you fail? How did you succeed, even if it was just a little. How can you try to tackle it in a different way than last time? Do you believe you can tackle and take action on the items on your should list? If not why? You can SLAYER. You have the power to do that, it just takes commitment and some work, but it’s worth it, you’re worth it, start small and build from there. Each step you take in a positive way will build a strong foundation under your feet, and help you build the skills you need to continue moving forward. SLAY on.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you