Make Positive Thinking a Habit

A simple, but powerful concept is the fact that we are all creatures of habit — a truth that can be used both to your benefit and detriment.

As you focus on your personal development and growth potential, here are some ideas worth dwelling on:

Your thoughts are the cornerstones of positive change in your life. When you upgrade your thoughts, you set off a chain of events that impacts your behavior, attitudes, actions, and results. (Insight: One method of constructively changing your thoughts is through repetition. That can be done in the form of positive affirmations or mantras that you write, say, listen to, or think, or positive written messages you can view on post-its, index cards, calendars, appointment books, or collages.)

Positive Change Begins with Self-Knowledge

Know what you want and who you want to be. Continually move in the direction of being the best version of yourself you can be.

It’s necessary to define your goals and values in order to activate them. It’s like the old cliche about trying to travel to a destination without the benefit of a map, a GPS device, or a detailed set of directions. (Upshot: You’re not going to arrive at a desired location if you don’t know where you’re going!)

  • Believing in yourself is a top priority: If you don’t believe in yourself, then other people are going to follow suit. You need to demonstrate, through your own positive self image and the way you carry yourself, how you expect others to treat you.
  • Confidence is one of the key ingredients of charisma, so if you lack confidence, it will be more difficult to gain the support and admiration of other people. The irony, of course, is that when you stop concerning yourself with what other people think of you, that’s usually when they start liking, admiring, and being attracted to you.
  • Present moment awareness: Being aware of the present moment helps put things in perspective: When you focus on and try to enjoy the process of living your life — moment by moment — then the results you desire often unfold organically and spontaneously.
  • Personal development and change can not be forced. Self improvement often happens one small step at a time and requires patience, faith, and persistence.
  • Since everyone is on their own individual path in life, it doesn’t make sense to compare yourself to other people. When you focus on and celebrate your own small victories, then you’ll reinforce your self-confidence and continue to venture outside your comfort zone.

Practical Tips for Self Improvement

I think the bottom line in self improvement is to give yourself frequent reminders of your goals, positive beliefs, values, and desired changes. Unless you continually challenge and prompt yourself, you’ll tend to fall into self-limiting patterns of past behavior, which, in many cases, involves self-imposed limitations, unfounded fears, misconceptions about yourself and others, and outdated beliefs.

Here are a few more specific ideas for reinforcing positivity and reducing negativity in your thinking:

  • Follow inspirational Instagram accounts that post inspiring, motivational messages and images. That’s one of several things I do to help keep my thoughts positive and constructive.
  • Practice gratitude. I know this is a suggestion everyone harps on, but there’s a good reason for it. Reminding yourself of things you’re grateful for helps you appreciate your own accomplishments and the many valuable gifts that have come into your life. That not only makes you feel better about yourself and your prospects for the future, but it also helps you attract more success, happiness, and opportunity. It creates a feeling of positive expectancy, which paves the way for creating and receiving more good things to be grateful for.

Blogging and/or writing in a journal are other ways to clarify, organize, and upgrade your thoughts. When you realize and fully appreciate the power of your thoughts, you’ll discover new and better ways to tap into that innate resource.

Published by Joel S

With 37 years of experience in journalism, public relations, and marketing, I'm embarking on a new challenge: tackling some of the BIG questions of life: Why are we here? What is success? How can we be happier and make the most of this journey?

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