I have always been a rather positive thinking person. Whether it is a coping mechanism or just my natural personality, I have always focused on the positive. This does not mean that I ignore the negative. Quite the opposite actually. Like anyone else, I don’t like dealing with negative things but it is a part of life and so we must do it. However, even in the negative, I try to find something positive. It’s there but you have to look for it.
The last few years have been challenging ones for me personally. My only child turned 16, which means he is no longer totally dependent upon mom. Who am I then, if not a mom whose whole life revolved around her child and his activities? A friend of mine, who is a counselor, stated I was going through a normal “identity crisis.” I had work struggles in which after years of working towards a certain position, I realized that position would never be mine. Where did I go from there? Do I stay in the field or do something totally different? My mother’s worsening dementia ended with her very unexpected death. Between these circumstances, I found that my toes weren’t dipped in the pool of depression, my entire foot was. Please know that I fully understand that others have experienced far worse than the issues I have. However, one thing I learned on this journey is we must not measure our own struggles against those of others. To each of us, our struggles are hard. They are personal and painful. They have the power to destroy especially when we try to downgrade them in comparison to what others are going through.
It was hard for me to admit that my frame of mind was not in its normal, positive state. Actually, it took me a long time to do so. I found myself reading, The Power of Your Attitude, by Stan Toler. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend doing so. What we feed into our mind determines our thoughts, feelings and our outlook on what we experience. In sociology, I teach my students a theory called the Sapir-Whorf theory in which it states that the words we use will create our reality. So, I began looking at the power of words.
Toler made five observations about the creative power of words that have stuck with me. Those five are:
In the book, he talks about the power of actions, habits and choice. He then gives 7 choices we can make that can transform our lives. I don’t think I can recommend this book enough to anyone who is struggling and needs to understand the power of what we feed into our minds.
After reading this and some other books that profoundly changed my mindset, I began posting positive, motivational type messages on my IG feed (come find me @dr.bethanyj). I also took a good look at the other pages I followed. I weeded out those that did not feed my mind with positive and found those that did. Each page has one thing in common and that is giving encouraging, uplifting messages filled with motivational quotes. Instagram feeds positivity to our minds when we follow the right people. Here are my top favorites:
Their posts are simple yet profound, with messages such as “Surround yourself with inspiring beings” or “Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.” Literally one of the first postings I read when seeking positivity was from @powerofpositivity which stated “Your mind will always believe everything you tell it. Feed it hope. Feed it truth. Feed it with love.”
We have all heard this statement before. However, I really never understood the true power of our mind until I walked this path. One of my first articles I wrote for Prime Women was Experience Better Health: Be Optimistic. The power of thinking positively and feeding good into your mind is astounding. Does this mean you will never have a bad day, never have struggles again or ever be sad or depressed? No. What this means is that the degree and frequency of these will not be so profound. You will have the strong mindset to control rather than be controlled.
I truly wish each of you a strong mind filled with motivation that empowers you. Within each of us is a powerful mind and a beautiful woman behind it. Remember… feed your mind love, truth and hope. Use your words carefully to help build yourself and others up. Most importantly, remember that what we put into our minds manifests itself in our lives!