Thinking Positive Takes Work

I love when God or the universe if you prefer, tells me exactly what I need to hear some days. And it’s even better when that reminder leads to not only one blog post, but two! This happened last month as I struggled to find a post topic. When I went to Starbucks to pick up my morning tea, I said I couldn’t think of a topic for my post. The fabulous manager and incredibly perceptive person, Caitlyn said, “And now you’re putting that negative energy out there.”

 

Caitlyn’s words reminded me I’d been backsliding on positive thinking. (Click here for the post inspired by a dear friend Jinger who started my positive thinking journey.) I smiled and responded, “I don’t know why I’m worried. I’ll think of something. I always do.” My fear eliminated, at home when I read through my blog ideas, the file entitled “Sayings that tick me off” caught my eye. Thinking someone else might need a gentle nudge about turning a negative into a positive, I wrote this post.

Do you see a woman’s face or a man playing an instrument?

Just as the picture here illustrates, most things come down to how we view them. One saying on my ticked me off list was “too blessed to be stressed.” For me, this felt too Pollyanna and like ignoring stress. I can’t do that. Plus, stuffing things down never works. (But they make for great books!) I need to actively fight stress. I prefer the staying “Pray more. Worry less.” or “Be Still” Psalm 46.10. Then there’s “Stars don’t shine without the darkness.” Yes, we know the road will at times be rough for everyone. But when stuck in the darkness, thinking rough times makes the good moments shine brighter offers me no comfort. I prefer, “Stars don’t shine in the day.” That reminds me day will come, though the night feels endless. It also says something positive can come out of what has happened. Though that thought doesn’t make going through difficult times easier. However, when the night recedes, just as it’s easy to forget the stars during the day, it’s easy to forget what I learned.

Sometimes simply changing a word can change a negative to a positive. Can’t to can is the obvious one. But here’s another less obvious example. Instead of saying I’m struggling to find a post topic, what if I say I have to work to find them? The first is negative, while the second if positive. I have to work to discover topics indicates I will find one. The hard work will pay off. For me to remain positive, I have to watch for words like struggled that can trip me up.

How did I get two posts out of Caitlyn’s comments? When I saved this post under May’s scheduled date, I discovered my day was May 5. I thought if I posted these musings for June and wrote about the history of Cinco de Mayo for May I’d be ahead for once!

Today I’m giving away the T-shirt pictured here and a copy of To Tame A Texas Cowboy since that book was released when I started my positive thinking journey. The heroine, Cheyenne also refuses to let her medical issues destroy her positive attitude. To be entered in the random drawing, share your favorite positive thinking advice or how you keep a positive attitude.

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Julie Benson has written five novels for Harlequin American, and her Wishing, Texas series is available from Tule Publishing. Now that her three sons have left the nest in Dallas, when she isn't writing, Julie spends her time working on home improvement projects, rescuing dogs, and visiting Texas wineries with her husband. Visit her at www.juliebenson.net.

46 thoughts on “Thinking Positive Takes Work”

    • Debra, thanks for stopping by today. I’m a big believer in what you said here. I started writing when my children were toddlers but didn’t sell until the oldest were in college. Needless to say, the first book I sold wasn’t the first book I wrote. 🙂 Take care and stay safe.

    • Denise, this is such a good thing to remember. I think sometimes we forget how important having a positive attitude is. Our attitude flows into every aspect of our life affecting it. Thank you for reminding us of that. Take care and stay safe.

    • Sabrina, you’re so right about that. If we don’t believe in ourselves, how can we be send out positive energy and be open to what could come our way? I have a neat oval necklace charm that says believe. I’m thinking I could put it on an anklet and wear it this summer. Thanks for stopping by the corral to chat. Take care and stay safe.

  1. Many years ago I heard someone say ‘What you think is what it is’ and that changed my life (for the better haha…). But then I am not responsible for writing an insightful post every so often either. ?????

    • Rachel, thanks for the chuckle about the insightful post. I wrote this one because I obviously needed a refresher course in being positive. I always figure if I needed to hear something, chances are someone else needs to hear it too. It’s so easy when we get stressed to fall back into old habits. I was raised by a mom who always thought life should be sunshine and rainbows. When it wasn’t she complained and asked why God would do this to her. For me, it takes a lot of work to overcome that upbringing. But I’ve learned life is way better with a positive attitude!

      What you said reminds me how what we think we’re capable of and our outlook determines the course of our lives. The dear friend Jinger who inspired my positive journey told me whatever we voice, the universe thinks we want more of. This was a life changer for me. So if I rail about my troubles, the universe thinks I want more trials. You’d think as a writer I’d have realized the power of words, but nope. Yesterday I realized I have to stop saying I struggle to find post topics. I need to say I have to work to discover new ideas. Work is a more positive word and implies if I put in the work, I will find a subject.

      Thank you for stopping by the corral and chatting with me. Take care and stay safe.

  2. Hope. I believe hope is there always with you through thick and thin. Hugs and Thank you

    • Charlene, you are so right! Without hope negativity and fatalism flourishes. All our other beliefs in ourselves, for the future, for life radiate from the hope for something better or the hope of what could be. Your comment made me think of Anne Frank and her wonderful diary. She went through the most terrible of times and conditions. Yet through everything, her hope shines through. There is no courage greater than holding onto hope and faith in a situation like that. Thank you for reminding me of that today. Take care, stay safe, and thanks for being here today.

  3. So agree, Julie. I’ve often thought that things are going to work out how they work out, and all the worrying in the world will NEVER change that. If you can do something, by all means do it, but if not, worry is counterproductive.

    Now, if I could just remember that when I’m in the middle of worrying…

    • Laura, worry has always been a monkey clinging to my back. My hubby has helped me worry less. He will ask me if there’s anything I can do to change the situation or if I’m in control. Of course, it’s always when the answer to both of those questions is no. When I say that, he reminds me that worrying won’t do any good. I also have a T-shirt that says Worry less. I try to remember when I find myself falling into the worrying hole to say a prayer and turn that issue over to God. Then I work on the whole issue of giving up control…

  4. I try to stay positive, but some family members love to be negative – so no “Debbie Downers” for me!!

    • Teresa, you make an excellent point. I mentioned in a comment earlier how negative my mother is. Some people just are like that. They thrive on wallowing in it. For my mom it’s a way of getting attention. People try to reassure her and offer help. We don’t give ourselves enough permission to cut those people out of our lives. Be they friends or family, some people are so toxic having them in our lives becomes a choice. Do we maintain the relationship or our mental health? Good for you for saying no “Debbie Downers” for you! I don’t think we realize how people’s attitudes can affect ours and bring us down. Thank you for stopping by. Take care, stay safe, and watch out for those negative ninnies out there!

  5. After fighting cancer for six months, I still cling to this verse I learned as a teenager. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” So, if I need an attitude adjustment, I know who can help me. If I’m stressed, depressed, sick, discouraged, or whatever, I know my faith and trust in Christ will see me through. He did!

    • Kathy, I thought of you when I wrote this post. Your amazing faith and positivity in the face of what you’re going through has been an inspiration. Lady, you could teach courses on how to be positive! I, too, remember that verse when I’m in a difficult patch. A couple times, I’ve even said it out loud as I’m walking through the house. For me, voicing the words makes them sink in better. I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately. I’ll send you a private note to get the latest. Take care and I’m so glad you stopped by today!

    • Cathy, as a writer, I’m a big fan of this one. I constantly take wrong turns in the books I write. What I’ve learned to say is “Well, that didn’t work.” I also believe in what Thomas Edison said. He hadn’t failed. He’d simply found 1000 ways that won’t work. Thank you for reminding me of that today. Take care and stay safe.

    • Thanks for stopping by the corral today, and your advice is great. I think people who can’t think positively are quick to give up. Often the smallest obstacle stops them. When I was first taking writing classes and learning, the teacher asked me if I was taking her course on how to write tighter. I said no. In front of the whole class she said, “You need to.” I went home crushed. I can still see the scene in my head. I sat there crying. Then I said out loud. “Okay, Julie. You have two choices. Give up writing (my dream) or you can learn what you need to and get better.” BTW, I still have to look for unnecessary words, repeated words and sentences in my writing. Lol.

    • Jan, I loved that, too when I found it! It’s amazing how one positive thought can change our day. Like when a couple things go haywire in my morning, I tell myself the day will get better from here because I won’t let the rough start derail the entire day. Another thought that goes along with this for me is that one kind word can change someone else’s day. Caitlin’s comments did that for me that day last month. Sometimes a smile or something as little as smiling and holding the door for someone can lighten their load and turn the day around.

      Thanks for stopping by. Take care and stay safe.

    • Anne, you are so very right. So much of succeeding is believing we can. I think when we hit obstacles if we believe in ourselves we’re less likely to give up and push through them. Thank you for stopping by today. Take care and stay safe.

    • Sharon, I love this quote. I never remember who said it. I’m thinking Einstein? Thank goodness failure isn’t fatal. Most of us would be in big trouble! I’ve also heard it said as success is not forever, which is also true. Success can go way faster than it takes to be successful if we don’t keep working hard and believing. Thank you so much for the wise reminder. Take care and stay safe.

  6. If you’re looking for a secret ingredient for success, then keep looking. The only thing you need is perseverance.

    • Laini, what a great saying! I had a writing instructor tell me once that the students who made it to publication we not the most talented ones, but as you said, the ones who persevered. That actually offered me comfort. I thought there was nothing I could do to increase my talent. I could, however, learn to write better and persevere. Take care and stay safe.

  7. Anything is Possible if you Believe. Thank you for the chance. Have a Great rest of the week and stay safe.

    • Alicia, your words are ones worth remembering. So often we set ourselves up for failure because that’s what we expect to happen. If we don’t believe in ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to? How will they be willing to give us a chance to prove ourselves? I often think of the Natalie Woods’ character in The Miracle on 34th Street. When she is afraid her request to Santa won’t come true, her mother tells her she needs to have faith and believe. In the car she keeps repeating, “I believe. I believe. It’s silly, but I believe.” Definitely an example of putting out positive thoughts and the universe listening! Thanks for stopping by today. You have a great week, too, and take care.

  8. Julie, this post is so timely for me right now having gone through the upheaval and chaos of moving from one town to another. Nothing seemed to go right and I’ve been unable to find the things I need. I’ve been really stressed and not taking care of me very well. I’m normally a positive person but I’m also very organized and it’s the chaos that has me in a tizzy. I know it’ll all work out. Like you said, it always does. So I’m going to stop worrying and release the angst that has me in knots. Love your post!

    • Linda, just thinking about moving makes me shudder. For me, it’s the chaos as well. But I like unpacking better than packing because it creates order. I’m glad the post helped. When I wrote it, I had the funny feeling someone needed to hear it! I’ve learned to trust my instincts on those feelings. Don’t forget to call on St. Anthony if you can’t find something. A dear friend, Nancy Haddock, told me to call to him. “Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, reveal yourself.” I can’t tell you how many times he’s helped me find something. Hang in there. You got this. Maybe not as quickly as you’d like, but you got this girl!

    • Colleen, how wonderful that you have a mantra that works for you. I remember watching a movie once that I can’t remember the title of now. It was a romantic comedy and the heroine’s mantra was the word mantra! She would repeat it over and over when she got upset. The hero said he didn’t think she understood the concept. I find when I’m super stressed, I say a prayer and simply talk to God about what I’m feeling and why. Then I say I’m trying to turn it over to him and release control. That’s the hard part for me. I have a fixer nature and no matter the situation always think there has to be something I can do to make it better. Lol. Thank you for stopping by today to chat. Take care and stay safe!

    • Ellie, what good advice to remember. I think continuous effort comes when we truly believe in ourselves and thus, we refuse to give up. If we can quit easily, it probably isn’t something we wanted very badly or we didn’t think we could succeed. Thank you for stopping by the corral to chat today. Take care and stay safe.

  9. Julie, what a great blog! At this particular time, I think everyone needs more strength and positivity in their lives…and me in particular. Thanks for reminding us of the good that is out there.. Hugs, Phyliss

  10. People always complain on their birthdays that they are another year older. I’m grateful to be here another year on my birthday!

    • Teresa, that’s a good one. My husband always says getting older is better than the alternative (not getting older). Isn’t it amazing how something like that can put things in perspective? The older I get the more grateful I am for every day. Thank you for reminding me of that today! Take care and stay safe.

  11. To stay positive, I just remember that God loves me and created me, and that He doesn’t make junk. I also stay in His word, and pray a lot! I just remind myself that God is in control, and He’s got this, and that makes me feel a lot better!

    • Trudy, excellent advice. I love that you say God doesn’t make junk! You’re right. He doesn’t make anything without value or potential. Thank you for reminding us about that today. Thank you for stopping by to chat. Take care and stay safe.

  12. When I feel down, I try to think about the blessings God has given me. It changes my outlook.

  13. I know I am too late for the giveaway, but wanted to say I enjoyed your post. I really need to get to the computer earlier in the day. I don’t know if it fits into your positive twist on things, but I think it does. Back when our children were young, they would fuss when we had to leave friends & relatives we were visiting or someplace we were enjoying. My standard reply was “We can’t come back if we don’t leave.” We now use it with our grandchildren who don’t want to leave when they visit. The first few times bye used it, it took them a bit to figure it our.

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