I have to admit I’m a glass half empty kind of girl. I’m a speculator and a problem solver. My natural instinct is to think of what could potentially go wrong and try to fix it. It makes me good at my job. I like to figure out why people do what they do and help them resolve problems in their lives.
In my personal life this can cause problems. I seem to focus on what is missing or what is wrong with myself, in my life, and in my relationships. Sometimes its helpful because I usually don’t avoid problems, I face them head on. Sometimes its hurtful because I have a hard time relaxing and just appreciating what is good in my world and in others around me. I have to really make myself focus on the positive because it doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m never going to be that bubbly, happy, free spirited kind of person. But I also don’t have to let my natural instincts take over all the time either.
I think its healthy to push ourselves at times to go outside what is normal for us. I am not encouraging anyone to be someone they aren’t. I’ve tried to do that as well and have found it causes exhaustion and depression. However, I think its good to stretch our personalities and be a little more balanced in our lives. I see the reason for needing to problem solve. I don’t think because I’m more pessimistic I’m a bad person. Or that optimists are better people. I just think sometimes its good to explore the other side. If you always see the glass half full and think positive thoughts, you may want to turn your head and see if there are any problems in your life that you are ignoring. Some people never want to admit that there is anything wrong and that isn’t good either.
If I had to choose though, I think more people find it easier to see the negative in themselves and in others. When I ask people in counseling to think of positive qualities about themselves most of them can come up with maybe one or two things. The list of negatives comes quickly though. We also tend to remember the negative comments people say to us and negative memories seem to stick in our brains a little easier. Some people are convinced that they have bad luck as well and that it isn’t often that good things happen to them.
Today I want to encourage you to see the glass as half full. If you are in a relationship, try to think of all the positive things about it and all the positive characteristics about your partner. If you are single, try to think of all the positive things about yourself and positive things about being alone. If you are going through a break-up, think about all the positive things your friends or family has done for you and the ways you can reach out to others in a positive way.
I think the easiest way to get out of our negativity is to focus on the positive in ourselves, our situation, and in others. I know when I give to someone else I feel more positive about myself, my situation, and other people. Performing an act of kindness or being generous is the quickest way for me to pour some positive energy into myself and others. When you smile at someone else you make yourself and someone else feel a little better for a few seconds. If you feel sad, down, or negative today, find one thing you can do for someone else to make their day a little brighter. I think you will find you will have also made your own day a little brighter as well. You don’t have to downplay or ignore your problems to put a little positive into your life. If you only have enough energy for one smile for one person, then that is enough for today. Hopefully someone else will do some act of kindness for you and then your day will be a little less painful. What goes around, usually comes around. My goal is to continue to be kind and positive so hopefully those things will come back to me when I need it most.