Most of us are dealing with a constant barrage of negative thoughts at the moment, it's unsurprising given the circumstances of a Global pandemic, worries around family health, homeschooling, job stress and still there's no certainty in sight. These stresses can build-up to quickly take over and smother your creativity; blocking you from reaching your true potential. 

Recently I've been working with several clients from the self-care and holistic sectors, it's been a great reminder of my previous training (many years ago I trained as an Aromatherapist and Reflexologist) and the sense of calm and optimism I felt at that time but truly didn't appreciate. Over the years I've found the career path I want but with the stresses of my own health issues, motherhood, being a carer for my Father, and a huge dollop of imposter syndrome; I've found my confidence and positive mindset dwindling. 

During the lockdown, I realised if I did not start to focus on my health and mindset I'd probably have a breakdown, or at the very least would never really accomplish anything more than what I was currently ticking over with. 

As part of the work I've been doing with a recent client, Ann Hutton from Hutton Active, I was invited to try Angelic Reiki to remove energy blocks and help achieve a higher level of focus. I've had Reiki several times and love the experience, I always feel I tap into my creative center through it and come away feeling enlightened. This time was no different, there's no real way to describe a Reiki session as I think each person brings a different energy to the process, but it makes me feel like I'm wrapped in a fluffy warm blanket and filled to the brim with calm, colourful thoughts of my future. Ann has wonderful serene earthly energy, the room was warm and comforting even with all the Covid procedures in place. As the session began I felt like crying that I had ignored my own self-care and health for so long, you don't actual retain steady thought patterns through a session (or at least I don't) but some returned time and time again to me.  As I came away from that first session I understood that my biggest block to my own desires was my own mindset and negative thought patterns. 

We all know having a positive mindset and being an optimistic person can reap great benefits in our lives and bring business success. However, in reality, many of us struggle to make the change from a negative to a positive mindset.

These are the 3 positive changes I'm implementing to my days to try and change my mindset. 

  • Understand and recognise when you are using negative thoughts

It's taken quite a lot of self-reflection before I could admit that I use negative thoughts as a protective shield to protect myself. Saying things like "it'll never work" or "I can't do that" is a way of playing safe, you're already giving yourself excuses for failure. If you catch yourself thinking negatively in this way and talking yourself out of pushing forward or taking action, take a step back and remind yourself that even the most successful people have faced failure. Take a moment to look back at your Why, and make a list of why you want to achieve this action, holding onto a list of positive outcomes will help you keep focused on the task ahead. 

  • Observe your thoughts

I always find it easier to fix other people's problems and come up with creative solutions. In my own children, I know that spending too much time staring at a blank sheet of paper or getting worked up overdoing a chore isn't going to fix what needs to be done. But when it's my own problems and negative thinking I find it almost impossible to step back and see the problem is occurring, let alone the solution. Part of having a positive mindset is becoming more conscious of what you are thinking. When you can stop your thoughts, observe them, and shift your focus you'll be more mindful of the full situation. Building up a daily mindfulness practice has helped with this immensely, I love my mindfulness apps which let me do a quick practice each day. 

  • Set it out in black and white
I know myself being told "just think positive" is normally received with a polite smile and nod, but in my head, I'm thinking "just bugger off". Changing your mindset isn't easy and will take a long time before it becomes a pattern of thinking. Often when you're trapped in a cycle of negative thinking or are scared of a negative outcome, positive thoughts sound like an untruth; people being complimentary and kind seem an outright lie. I used to do this years ago and t would really focus my thoughts, an old friend saw once and commented that it was dark and weird but if it works; you do you. I now go through each situation in this way to address potential outcomes and reason my own actions. 

When you find yourself full of doubts take a notebook and write down the thing that is causing you negativity at the top of the page for example - Going self-employed, then write down the worst thing that could happen from doing this at the bottom of the page, such as -  I end up broke. Now on the lines between write down all the middle ground scenarios, such as - I do okay but never make much or I have to supplement my income with part-time work. 
Knowing you have a variety of potential outcomes helps you become more analytical about the process, and helps you think more clearly.  On the next page do the same thing with a positive outcome at the bottom, as sometimes unexpected success can bring on as much anxiety as a negative outcome. Reverse your thinking this time and write down all the opposite positive outcomes for the negative you wrote. This is a way of setting out the truth of a situation in black and white, helping you to remember thoughts are not facts.

I hope that this little insight into my positive mindset journey helps you in some way. I can't promise any miracles but being able to focus more on positive thoughts through your own self-care and personal development can put you on a steadier path to being a happier and more optimistic person. 

I'd love to know if you enjoyed this more personal style post, and what your positive mindset tips are, leave a comment below.