Whether you are a “cup is half full” or the “cup is half empty” type of a person, it really doesn’t matter because the good news is that both sides are right. We all know that there is positive and negative in everything, including people. So, the question is: Do we have any control over how we see things? Of course, there are certain personalities that tend to stay consistent within a specific perspective. Some can see everything as good, to the point where it makes you sick and you ask yourself, ‘What are they on?’ On the contrary, we have individuals who see and point out everything that is wrong, not only in their lives, but in yours as well. None the less, both extremes are not healthy and one needs to be able to see both sides of the coin.
The concern is when a person gets stuck in one mindset and can’t go out of their box to see the other side. Most of us would prefer to lean toward the positive. After all, who wouldn’t want to be happy? Don’t answer that questions because we all know people who love to wallow in their misery.
So, how do I get into the positive zone? I use an exercise, to help me see both sides of the coin. I often get the positive perspective from family and friends, who care, but for some reason it doesn’t always sink in. So, I first allow myself to feel the pain of a bad situation by writing it down or recording it verbally so I can get it out. It’s like talking to a friend but this way it’s documented and I can move on to the next step. Then, I channel someone who thinks highly of me (a best friend, parent, etc.) and I write down or record what I think they would say to me in the same scenario. It’s usually significantly different. Then, being able to see both perspectives in my hand, I ask myself why I choose to see it so differently? Once I realize that it’s because of my insecurities and fears of failure, then I’m ready to move on. I understand that bad things happen all the time. So, if something doesn’t go my way, I chalk it up to a bad experience and quickly replace it with another challenge. I realize that the perspective I choose will influence my future experiences. If I expect things to go poorly then they usually do. It’s hard to see the positive side when you’re miserable or hurt. However, I’ve trained my mind to flip the coin over and at least fake the other side. That way, by standing there, for a bit, I can start to see the positive perspective and move on to new tasks.
Eventually your mind will be trained to do it automatically. The more you flip the coin the faster you’ll be able to see both sides. When I get rejected, I feel the pain and then my mind immediately comes back with: It’s their loss and someone else will appreciate me. When someone is hurtful: I’m glad I realized who they really are early in our relationship, so I don’t waste any more energy on them. It works for every scenario if you force yourself to see it. Remember: There’s another motivation to improve your perspective. It’s for the people around you. Your outlook, good or bad, is contagious and will rub off on others, especially your children!