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You can ask any boxer and they will tell you that training takes a lot of preparation and hard work. They have to train their bodies by working them out on a daily basis so that they can stay physically fit. Eating healthy is also a must if they plan on reaching peak physical agility and fitness. And they even have to stay mentally fit as well. They can’t allow their opponents to psych them out on fight day, so they make sure to find ways to not let the nay-Sayers trip them up. They do all of this preparation so that they can be well equipped to put up their best fight on D-day. And when these fighters step into the ring on that fateful day, they don’t know what their future will hold. They don’t have some crystal ball that will tell them whether or not they’ll win the fight. They might end up winning with the best fight of their life or they might end up getting beat so badly that the fight only lasts a few minutes, but even though they do not know the outcome, they still get out there knowing that they have put in all the preparation that they need to be a contender.

The future can be a pretty scary thing for boxers, and it can be equally as terrifying for us. We don’t like the unknown and uncertainties, and the future seems to hold a lot of that. We already know what happened in the past because it already happened, and we know what’s going on in the present because it’s happening right now at this very second, but the future will now and forever more be a mystery to everyone, and this is understandably unsettling.

Even though boxers are uncertain of their futures in the same way that we are uncertain of ours, one of the things they can say when they get into the ring is that they have learned from past mistakes. If they have faced this particular opponent before then they know to watch out for his uppercut and to not fall for all of his tricks. They know how this person fights because they have faced them before, and because they have faced them before, they know what they need to do to have a better chance at beating their foe. They want to get hit less, and they realize that they cannot expect to win if they step into the ring and do the exact same thing that they did in the past when they faced their competitor the last time, so they change it up and adjust their techniques and tactics based upon the lessons that they learned from the past. And even though the outcome of the next fight is uncertain, they can go into the ring with a little bit more confidence because they have these lessons from the past that can guide them to victory.

If boxers going into the ring can carry lessons from the past into there with them then so can you. You see the thing is positive thinker, when you learn from your past, no matter how painful it may be, you can use those lessons and apply them to future challenges that may be similar to what you have already gone through.  Good things have happened to us in the past and so have bad things and we often think about these things. When we think about the good things we smile as we look on at these memories with fondness, but when the bad memories enter into our consciousness we often times become scared of them. We hold on to these bad memories, but most of the time we don’t use them to benefit us in some way like we do with our good memories. So, instead of holding on to the bad things from the past, you should let go of these bad memories. Let go of the memories, but carry any and all lessons that you have learned from your painful past into the future with you.

The future may end up seeming a little less scary when you show up each day with an arsenal of life lessons that can help you to combat any potential threats that you might face. Remember you don’t ever want to show up to a fight unprepared. Even the smallest bit of preparation can give you an edge over whomever or whatever you’re facing, and when you come to your fight with your lessons in hand you will end up having just a little bit more of advantage to help you win that fight!

In the wise words of Rafiki, “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it.”

Learn from your past positive thinkers. Don’t run from it.

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When I was in high school, I was on the track and field team. Some of my fondest memories from high school happened during track practices and track meets. I absolutely loved feeling the tartan surface of the track underneath my feet as I sprinted down the lanes. I adored how my heart raced as I flew through the air and into a giant pile of sand at the end of the jumping pit. And I still remember counting my steps so that I could glide smoothly over a bar hanging five feet in the air before landing on a giant pillow-like surface. I loved all of these moments of competition, but more than that, I loved getting to see the joy on my friends’ faces as they competed in their events. For me, cheering my friends on in their events was just as important as it was for me to compete in my own events.

One moment that will stay with me forever is one of the 4×400 relays that my friend competed in during our sophomore year. This particular race was special because it was against a school that we usually had no chance of beating. Everyone on this other track team, no matter if they were running or participating in the field events, was really good, but for the first time in a long time, our school actually had a 4×4 team that was pretty good too. The 4×4 was always the last event of the track meet, so everyone who wasn’t participating in the 4×4 was able to actually watch the last event of the day…

The sun had just started to set and a cool breeze danced around the track as my friends and I stood around the edge of the field waiting for the start of the race…

“On your mark,” the official said as the crowd grew quiet. “Set,” he continued as the athletes stilled into their starting positions.

“BANG,” the sound of the gun yelled as the girls took off running.

As we watched the first legs of the two teams go against each other, we realized that they were pretty much neck and neck the entire time. The race continued on, and by the time the first leg of our team handed off the baton to the second leg, we had inched out in front of the other team. With our eyes locked on the race, we watched as our girl increased the gap between her and the girl from the other team. By the time our third leg had gotten the baton, there was so much space between us and the other team that my teammates around me excitedly started to cheer and scream with such ferocity and vigor that you would have thought that our girls were competing for the Olympic gold. My good friend was the final leg for our 4X4 team since she was the fastest, so when our third girl handed the baton off to her we just knew that she would bring home the win for us. As we yelled and cheered for her during the first half of her lap, it seemed like we were on track to win. The girl from the other team was at least 200 meters behind her, and victory was so close we could reach out and touch it, but as my friend pulled around to the last stretch of the race we could tell something was off. She started to slow down, and by the time she hit the last 50 meters of the race she started leaning forward, and the next thing we knew she was falling towards the ground.

In unison, the girls around me gasped as she hit the ground. We stood their holding our breaths as we saw her struggling to get back up. With our encouragement she was able to stand up again, but this time she only moved a few feet before falling back down to the ground once again. Motionless, she laid their in the middle of the track as our coaches rushed forward to check on her. Those of us standing on the sidelines ran as close as we could get to her before our coaches told us to stay back. As we waited there hoping and praying that she was alright, the girl from the other team ran by my friend and straight through to the finish line, taking first place. The race was over, and we had lost, but what my friend did next after the race was over was something that she did not have to do. After she gained her composure back, she stood up and slowly started to limp to the finish line. We could tell she was still in pain with each and every laboring step that she took, but despite this she kept going. She may not have gotten to the end of the race with the same speed that she started it with, but she finished it, and that’s what counted.

My friend could have given up. No one would have blamed her if she had chosen to walk off the track and not finish the race, but she didn’t. She kept going. Sometimes giving up seems like the best option. When it seems like you’ve given your all and you don’t have anymore to give, giving up really does seem very appealing, but you don’t have to give up positive thinker. It doesn’t matter if you stumble. You can still get up and keep going. Limp to the finish line if you have to. Just get up and keep going. In the end, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to finish the race. What does matter is that you can say that you gave it your all when you finally reach that finish line.

Remember…

“If you can’t fly, then run,

If you can’t run, then walk,

If you can’t walk, then crawl,

But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

Disney…this is an oh so welcome addition to your greatness! ❤ The Walt Disney Company put together an awesome “It Gets Better” video in support of The Trevor Project (an anti-bullying campaign mentioned in a previous Positivity Works! blog, click here to view).  The video includes interviews with Disney Cast Members (aka employees) who have experienced bullying in their lives as a result of who they are and they even offer great advice about who to contact if you get to that point when you either “want to end it or break free [of the insecurities and trappings of feeling rejected, unwanted, unloved, etc]”. 

Check it out and  “Just remember…You are never alone.”

Today, I woke up thinking about the word, Precipice.   According to the World English Dictionary, Precipice means the steep sheer face of a cliff or crag or a precarious situation.  The definition has me envisioning myself standing right on the edge of said cliff, looking down into an abyss of precariousness.  That sounds scary, right?  I mean…what is down there?

In my musings, I’ve determined that what lies in that deep dark place is a decision that a person is fearful of making and the dark abyss is our own doubts making us wonder if we would survive the decision (the leap) and its resulting consequences.  A precipice is something that we encounter in our lives when we are making huge, life changing decisions such as deciding to change a job or become self-employed, or even when we are deciding whether or not we want to stay in our current relationships.  Those types of decisions have us in a complete tizzy because they have the power to change our whole lives, our whole routine, and it can be for the better or for the worse, if we will it so.

I think all people have these points in their lives where they feel they are at the precipice of something.  Something has them wanting to adjust an integral part of their lifestyles and they are standing at that cliff’s edge wondering if they would be strong enough to navigate the darkness and still land on their feet at the bottom if they took that leap.  To them, it can seem impossible and that hypothetical death seems certain.  They know something needs to change if they are unhappy and that’s how they got to that cliff’s edge in the first place but the fear traps them in their situation and often, that is just where their lives stagnate with minimal growth because they cowered from that edge.

But what if we had options? Instead of thinking of the leap causing pain with a broken and devastating collapse at the bottom of the dark abyss, what if we believed we could make it over and to the other side (even if we are a bit bloody and bruised when we landed?)  We, at Positivity Works!, feel that a person’s confidence and belief in themselves and their reselience is what gives our minds the super powers to fly over the doubt and fear.  Remember, this precipice is not literal.  It was created, developed, and made darker and scarier by our own minds, doubts, fears, and experiences.  We will make it through the decision we make no matter what (i.e. how hard it is, how stressful it is, how much it makes us cry), because we have trained our minds to be that strong.  It is the truth if we will it so. And if our truth is that nothing in that abyss can hurt us because we created it, then we will always win.  Just as whatever happens in life is just an occurence and if you believe you can get through it, you will.

Today, the word Precipice was on my mind because I  have a big decision to make.  But no matter what I decide, I know that I will survive because I know my mind is strong enough for the leap.  I will make it to the other side and so will you, just train your mind to believe it and will your body to get it done.

If you, positive thinker, are also at a precipice,  here  is some musical inspiration to help you with your own leap to the other side.  You’ve got this.

Isn’t it strange how when one thing goes wrong, it feels like ten others follow? You get a flat tire, which causes you to be late for work, then you forget an appointment you had, then… Well, you get my point.  I could go on forever because that’s how these things work.  They go on forever if you let them.  I think these things, let’s call them disappointments, sneak up on you like a bad cold and they are always a shock and very unwelcome.  When they happen, you think, as a responsible person, that you should be prepared and then you reprimand yourself for not being psychic and preventing the problem in the first place.  Because, of course, you should have known. Right?

Well…not really.  Let’s think about it rationally in an effort to cut ourselves some slack.  When an incident, one of these disappointments, occurs, we immediately use all of our mental resources (and any other resources we have at the time, including financial) to cope with the shock to our routine. We do this because we instinctively do everything we can to get our lives back to the status quo, which is really the everyday routine that we are used to.   We like that routine because we are the experts at it.  We know what time we are supposed to get to work everyday, we know who we are going to see and we know how much of our mental and monetary resources we will need to use on a regular basis.

When that comfortable routine is sent off-course, we get stressed out.  Stress leads to mental and physical discomfort and then, guess what? You are not feeling as efficient and confident as you were prior to the commencement of the first disappointment.  Therefore, you are more likely to be susceptible to making small mistakes and doubting yourself.  In addition, those small mistakes feel really big when you’re feeling down.

If we let it, feeling down can become the new routine and that is how depressive symptoms can arrive and take a toll on you and your family.  It is hard to feel confident, successful, and positive when you expect everything to go wrong and if you expect things to go wrong, most likely they will.

A person’s thoughts are their greatest weapon in combating the disappointments in life.  You are what you think (and occasionally what you eat, ha ha).  I have always tried to instill a belief within myself and my clients that whatever we go through, we will get through it somehow and be stronger for it.  And you know what usually happens? We get through it and we are stronger for it because we lived it and we learned our lesson for the next time.

Living life has its ups and downs.  Sometimes it feels like it has more downs but if you really start to believe that there is no way up, then it will only get harder for you because it is likely that you will get what you expect. Positivity really does work in these instances because a positive mindset motivates you to believe that when life does give you lemons, you can make a really yummy glass of lemonade and share it with your loved ones once the lemons stop pelting you in the head.

Next time the first disappointment hits, please try the following: Believe it gets better. Enjoy your life. Smile big and give someone a hug. Do something that makes you laugh. Make plans to do something you used to enjoy and call it self-care, because you need it. Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes, but we don’t all rebound from them.  Rebound. And make some lemonade. Oh…and send me some, I do love me some lemonade. =)

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