The Art of Positive Thinking

March 22, 2022 By The Siren Of Support

Long before the days of posting positive affirmations on your Facebook page there was a little blue engine that thought she could. She wasn’t the strongest or the shiniest or the biggest. But what she lacked in experience and size, she made up for with determination and optimism. “I think I can, I think can, I think I can.” She was little, but mighty. 

A month ago my son found a new love for ice skating. He went to a birthday party and even though he had never been on skates, he proved to be a natural. We were not yet out of the parking lot and he was already asking if we could come back the following weekend and if I would skate with him. I have not been on skates in decades. I assumed I would be spending more time sitting on the ice rather than gliding over it, however I agreed that I would give it a shot rather than watch him from the sidelines. 

As the following Sunday approached, I was more and more nervous. I, like the little blue engine, am not the strongest. I am not coordinated and I am about as graceful as an elephant on a tightrope. 

Ice skating day finally arrived. We walked in, got our skates and sat down to lace up. My mind was racing and my heart was pounding. As we approached the entrance to the rink, I said to myself, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” And then I did. It was slow at first and I stuck to the wall. As my confidence grew I ventured further and further from the side. A month later, I now only use the wall to stop. I am faster and more sure of myself. While I may not yet be intrepid, I have found a pace that is comfortable and kept my rump off the ice until yesterday. Lesson learned, do not play tag on the ice with the kids. Every time I get a little bit quicker, a little more graceful and a lot less scared. 

I thought I could, I thought I could, I thought I could, and I did. 

What power will it give you to accomplish the seemingly impossible? Can a simple mindset make a dauntless task less daunting? 

How can you instill and promote the art of positive thinking?

  1. Recognize and plan for obstacles: Acknowledging that you will likely have to jump a few hurdles or give an extra push to get over the mountain is not a negative thought process. Being aware allows you to prepare, plan, face, and conquer the obstacles head on.
  2. Focus on the Goal: Why are you trying to do what you are doing? If you are just doing it to check the box, is it worth doing? Being committed to the success of something that you are invested in guarantees a reward when you cross the finish line. It is easier to stay positive when the carrot is dangling in your face, but you have to like carrots. 
  3. Make it a Habit: You will fail at something. It will feel gross. You won’t like it. Do not fall into a negative thought pattern. Think of what you could have done better. Use the opportunity to learn from what didn’t go right. The more times you recover from a misstep with a positive outlook the easier it will be to avoid slipping down the “Poor Me” slope. Repeat after me, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” Say it until you not only believe it, but live it. 
  4. Reset Your Mindset: Misery breeds misery. It is easier to ask, “Why is this happening to me?” Playing the victim removes the accountability, it lets you fail without blame. Failing without blame makes it easier to accept defeat. Instead, ask yourself, “How can I get through this?” This viewpoint puts the power of achievement in your hands. You are culpable for your actions, reactions and steps towards victory. Negative thinkers have things happen to them. Positive thinkers get through things. 

A positive thought process can not guarantee success, however it makes achieving your milestones and overcoming complications more feasible. You might still falter, maybe even fall on your rump, but with a positive mindset you will be right back up. 

Where’s my ice pack?