It wasn’t until December 2016 that I decided I wanted to work on becoming a more positive person and work on my own happiness. Positivity and happiness were something I always said I wanted but never acquired. In order for me to be happy I needed to work on being positive as well.
For me the first step was accepting that I wasn’t in a happy place.
I may have painted this happy picture but besides the joy I felt when in the presence of my son everything else felt forced. There was always some type of drama in my life and if it wasn’t my own it was someone else’s that I was taking on. I was getting tired of the anger I had building up, the depression I was starting to feel and the fake smile I put on when people were around. While I was silently suffering I was becoming envious of those around me that seemed like they were genuinely happy. I constantly felt like I had a dark cloud over my head following me wherever I went.
This wasn’t a new feeling for me, I had been suffering for some time now but I felt I always had to present myself as this strong black woman. I couldn’t let people know what was truly going on with me. When I got time to myself I’d cry and then pull myself back together when people came around. I’d sit up, going back and forth asking myself why my life is the way it is; why haven’t I reached goals I set for myself? Everything I was thinking was negative and I hated it. It took me going out a few times and being surrounded by positive people to want this change. I felt different; the feeling I was experiencing was happiness. I felt alive and at that moment I knew I wanted to keep feeling this way.
My friend/health coach always made it a point to remind me to listen to personal development. Looking back I just thought of it as an assignment, like school, but it was her trying to remind me that it all starts with changing your mindset. I remember taking her up on her challenge to listen to personal development videos for a week straight and not post anything on social media that was negative. It worked, for that week at least. I became motivated and I felt like I could do whatever I put my mind to. Although this worked for me I didn’t keep it up because I looked at it as a challenge, at the time I wasn’t looking at as something to help better myself in the long run. I’ll say I did it for her and not for me and that’s why this time around things are different for me. I finally decided I wanted to do this for me.
I’ll admit that it’s not easy to do. I’ve had my moments where I’ve become stressed and wanted to lash out but that’s not helping me. Things that have been helpful during the process have been the following:
- Listening to personal development videos and affirmations – taking an hour out of the day or even 10 mins is more helpful than you may think. Write down what makes you happy and what you are grateful for.
- Stay active – whether that be exercise, reading or writing, just make sure you are doing something. It’s when I’m bored or alone that I find myself thinking way too much about everything that has happened to me and most times it’s the bad times that pop up first
- Surround yourself with other positive people – the moment I eliminated individuals who continued to bring negativity in my life I immediately felt the change and was happier.
- Learning to turn the other cheek – sometimes you just have to learn how to walk away. It’s easy to feed into people’s negativity. They will stoop to the lowest level to get a rise out of you but in these cases you have to learn to be the bigger person and remember that it doesn’t make you weak but it’s a step towards becoming a better person
But what has helped me the most is going after what I’m passionate about. I’ve focused my energy on being the best mother I can be and going after what will benefit my child and I, my writing. Writing has always been a passion of mine but once becoming a mother it was something I pushed to the side and then eventually forgot about. When I started working on myself I also got back into my writing. Besides my son it may be the only thing that makes me truly happy and that’s why I’m never going to give up on it.
One of the greatest things you can do to stay positive throughout each day is to make sure you’re doing what you LOVE!
Writing takes me to another place and it gives me a sense of peace. I know I want to become an author and I’ve already started 3 different books. If I don’t go after it I’ll never be completely happy.