Herm Albright once quipped, ““A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” Many thousands have praised the importance of possessing a positive attitude, but can one truly be positive about anything without first being positive about oneself? Any truly positive outlook on life always begins first with a truly positive outlook on yourself. Any truly positive outlook always begins with thinking positively rational.
Being Positive Does Not Mean Being Irrational!
I once used to think that being positive meant that I had to be irrational. Let me explain. When I was younger, I had a skin problem that caused me some measure of embarrassment in high school. For about six years, the skin problem caused me to start thinking rather negatively about myself. Every time I heard someone talk about being positive, it would irritate me because I thought: How can I be positive about myself when I have this skin problem! The answer lies in thinking positively rational. Does my skin problem define everything about me? Am I disqualifying everything else about me that is not problematic? Am I thinking in all or nothing terms? You see, the answer to many people’s life problems are simply irrational beliefs about themselves.
Rational is Positive (In the Right Context)
On the other side of the pendulum, if things are really bad in your life, thinking rationally about yourself may at first seem negative. The fact is that if we are in a mess, it’s probably our fault. Wouldn’t thinking rationally about yourself make you feel worse about yourself? Well yes, it that’s where you left your thinking. You do not leave your thinking in your areas of defeat or the areas you do not like about yourself. If you got yourself into a mess, isn’t rational to believe that you can get yourself out? Isn’t it rational to believe that you too can make right choices for a better future? Yes, you can! It takes being rational to be truly positive.
Seeing Yourself Rationally and Positively Will Increase Self Image and Success
Most of the people I know who are not successful do not think rationally about themselves or positive about their futures. Here’s a story to help illustrate what I mean: The person who always seems to be self-sabotaging themselves. This self-sabotaging person with a poor self-image goes around all day wondering why everyone else is so much happier and more successful than they are. They struggle daily with feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and social anxiety. Why does that person always seem to get all the breaks? Why am I so stupid? Why does no one like me? He asks these kinds of questions daily and feels hateful towards other successful people. What’s his problem? His problem is simple: He is thinking negatively irrational instead of positively rational. Did you catch the irrationality of his questions?
Why does that person seem to get all the breaks? They get all the breaks? Does he even know what breaks this person got? What about all the hard work the successful person has done?
Why am I so stupid? Stupid is simply a label some people like to use to describe a person’s behavior. Though we may feel stupid sometimes, most of us are not stupid. We may have made some bad choices, but we usually were operating from the best information we had at the time or we knew the right choice and failed to make the right choice. Either way, our IQ is not the question. Thus, stupid is not the issue.
Why does no one like me? No one likes you. Really? Not even your mom? It’s true that sometimes people are liked more by others than they like you or I. Most of the time, people simply like someone else more because that person shows more interest in them. It has nothing to do with likeability. Likeability comes from liking yourself, which begins with thinking positively rational about yourself.
I hope that I have opened some of your eyes to the idea of thinking positively rational about yourself and your life. If you will begin to think more rationally and positively about yourself, your life will dramatically change. You will feel happier, healthier, have more friendships, do better at work and do amazing things you may not have thought possible.
Joshua Shelton is a freelance blogger and founder of the site Break Through Self Image.