How to Stay Up When Most are Down
Difficult, trying times reveal just how positive you really are. Think about it. What’s the virtue in being positive when you’re on a roll, when everything is clicking for you and falling your way?
Your potential for business excellence, excellence in your marriage, and excellence in your family life demands that you master the skill of staying U.P. (Ultra-Positive) even when–and especially when–everyone else isn’t. There is a tendency in tough times to zero in on the things that are “out of whack” and forget about all that is working in our lives and in our country. This is easy to do, especially if we are not strategically insulated from the continuous downpour of gloom and doom reports of “breaking bad news.”
When you’re Ultra-Positive, you’ll be more creative, productive, energetic, attractive, and most importantly, receptive to God’s will. Here are eight practical options to build your momentum. Nine more are coming tomorrow. Pick your favorites and get started today. Then spread the joy to others.
1. Make the Decision to Stay U.P.
Nothing of consequence happens until you promise yourself that you’ll become the most positive person you know, even in light of challenging circumstances. Raise your standards! Become an inspiration to others. Everything else flows from this key decision to separate yourself from the herd mentality, from the vast majority who blame, whine, gossip, and predict the sky is falling. Life is short. Refuse to buy into this mass hypnotism…Take a stand, starting now.
2. Start U.P. then end U.P. every day.
One of the simplest ways to reduce stress and anxiety is to begin and end each day with what I call Positive Mental Nutrition™. Feed your mind with inspirational ideas, spiritual truth, or motivational nuggets for ten to fifteen minutes immediately upon awakening each morning and right before drifting to sleep each evening. During these two time periods, your mind is extremely susceptible to programming, so make sure your inputs are positive, healthy, and goal-directed. Read, visualize, affirm, pray, and rewrite your goals, then practice feeling thankful for what you do have!
3. Summarize Each Day’s Victories, Large or Small, in Writing.
This one practice alone can zap fear and generate quantum leaps in self-confidence. Start logging your accomplishments each evening in a notebook, hardbound journal, or on your computer. What a great habit!
4. U.P. your Physical Exercise
Another pillar of Ultra-Positive living is consistent, moderate exercise. This includes aerobic work to burn fat and improve heart health, weight work to tone and strengthen your muscles and elevate metabolism, and flexibility work to stay loose and limber. Exercise more. Exercise a lot more! Face the facts. When you’re in terrific shape and feel better about yourself, you feel better about your life, and you feel more optimistic about your future. You’re positioned to live U.P. to your full potential.
5. Break U.P. the Big Four
Negative thinking leads to negative emotions, which in turn trigger more negative thinking. The vicious cycle becomes engaged. The top four negative emotions include fear, worry, blame, and guilt. These terrorize your potential and immobilize your efforts toward becoming Ultra-Positive. When you begin experiencing results you didn’t want or expect, it’s easy to get scared and start thinking more about potential losses than potential gains. This mind-set triggers worry or what I call reverse goal setting, where you vividly imagine what you don’t want. To transfer the burden of worry, you will often blame someone or something outside of yourself. Alternatively, you may exaggerate your role in the negative events and experience guilt. Consider negative emotions to be lies from the enemy. Deal with them directly by refusing to entertain the thoughts that fuel them. This is a point very much worth reinforcing: Invest your time thinking about what you want instead of what you don’t want.
6. Forgive Someone, Including Yourself, Daily
Harboring grudges and hostility against anyone, including yourself, tends to attract more circumstances to be upset about. Practice forgiving somebody every day for real or imagined transgressions. The better you become at forgiveness, the more positive you can become as a human being. If you skip this one, I’ll even forgive you.
7. Quarantine Negativity if You Can’t Dissolve It
Carve out a particular time and place to worry (worry time) and to complain (issue time) each week. This is extremely effective because then the rest of your week isn’t diluted with the minority of negative circumstances that can infect otherwise healthy days. When you cut the spontaneity out of negativity, you severely weaken it.
8. Focus on God. He’s U.P.
Remind yourself of everything you know to be true about God. God is all-powerful. God is love. God is sovereign. God is always with us. God is absolute truth. God never changes. And so on. Thinking about God is good, really good! And the bigger you make God, the smaller your problems become.