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BE Blog

wife, mom, coach, & entrepreneur

Filtering by Tag: optimism

Hope Springs Anew

Traci

bootsCan you think of a season of life or even a moment when you experienced hope? On Sunday, as I was pulling out of church, I noticed the golf course across the street. I haven't noticed the golf course in about five months due to the feet and feet of snow covering the greens. Now, all around town, much of the snow has melted and we even have glimmers of brown grass, but on this particular Sunday I saw something different. It was not just the fact that I saw grass on the golf course, but that grass was green! Green grass coupled with the warm sunshine pouring through my window gave me an instant surge of hope. Hope of spring. Hope of summer. Hope of warm days, outdoor runs, trips to the lake, reading a book on my deck, BBQ's, bike riding, and so much more. All of this "hope" burst forth inside me when I saw that beautiful green.

Hope amazes me!

That internal excitement and anticipation did not remain inside. It overflowed into my conversation with the kids in the car. It came out in the smiles I shared as we went to the library and then on to the grocery store. My energy was increased. I didn't take the usual Sunday afternoon nap. I wrote a blog, helped with homework, did some cooking, and took a late afternoon walk. My day was different.

Hope is beautiful, energizing, and contagious. And I wonder, how can I infuse the energy of hope into each day? How can I, in one moment, shift my mental and emotional state when the golf green is not on my horizon?

What is your "golf green?" What infuses hope into your day and into your life? Please share so that we may learn from each other and impact our world with a fresh dose of hope.

Be Extraordinary!

Optimism is a Choice Part 2/2

Traci

Positively Optimistic To read part I of this series, click here.

I have gained awareness about my negativity and, because of that awareness, I no longer want to walk that path. Now what? Ephesians 4:28-32 in the Bible says that the person who steals must stop stealing, but it doesn't end there. It goes on to say, "rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands. . " And, similarly, if you are going to stop unwholesome talk from coming out of your mouth, the idea is not to stop talking completely, but to choose words that benefit and build up the listener. The same is true of negativity. When I made a decision to stop being negative, that negativity needed a replacement. I wanted to insert joy in my life, but trying harder wasn't enough.

48  cloudsSurface change is only temporary, so to dig deep and truly change it was necessary to make core changes. The initial awareness was a big factor, followed by some lessons I learned and poured over in the book The 4:8 Principle. This book is based on the verse Philippians 4:8 which encourages us to choose which things we think about. It was the study and application of the principles in this book that brought about lasting change.

A couple of sentences that contributed to my changed outlook from Tommy Newberry's book, The 4:8 Principle:

"Start programming your mind by first disciplining your mouth."

Changing my language is a relatively simple and very practicle way to reprogram a negative mindset. Try this little exercise: Next time someone asks you how you are doing, respond with "I'm great!" or "Doing fantastic! Thanks for asking." This may seem silly, especially when you aren't "feeling" it, but please give it a try and see what happens. You may just surprise yourself. My husband, Joe, has a great illustration of this. You can read his story here.

"You will always feel what you dwell on."

Creating financial abundance in my business has been wonderful, but it hasn't always felt wonderful. While creating this financial freedom we were also facing enormous amounts of debt that had accumulated from hospital bills, sewer problems in our home, etc. When I dwell on enormous amounts of debt it doesn't matter how many dollars go into the bank account each Friday; I only feel the burden of debt. If I want to feel abundant, then I must dwell on abundance.

"You can starve negative emotions by tuning in to the big picture." This is what I call a heavy dose of perspective. I think about how busy, stressed, and overwhelmed I felt at times in high school. Relationships and homework were all-consuming. Everything was a big deal. Then I went to college. I could not believe how busy, stressed and overwhelmed those high schoolers acted. They had no idea what life was really like! The reality is that college gave me some experience and perspective. Sometimes I need to step outside my current situation (and negative emotions) and see life from a bigger vantage point. The big picture helps me release negative emotions and see the positive, potential, and promise of my situation.

Does your negativity need to be replaced? What steps will you take to begin this life-changing process? I would love to hear about your journey.

Change is not easy, but it is always worth it! Be Extraordinary!

Optimism is a Choice . . . Really? part 1/2

Traci

Once upon a time I considered myself a natural pessimist. After a while, I decided that didn't carry such a nice ring so I called myself a realist. My assumption was that optimists were just the people that were born naturally positive. You know those people? The positive people that always see the glass half full and believe things will always turn out ok. I am married to one such person, and too often he was right and things did turn out ok even when it looked like they wouldn't. That is maddening to those of us who are naturally pessimistic -- um, I mean realists. I'm not sure when the aha came for me, but one day I realized that I, too - a naturally born realist - could CHOOSE to be positively optimistic. What? I have a choice even in this? Wow! But how?

Sunset in Frankfort, Michigan.

The first key is awareness. I chose to step out of the denial that said I was born that way and had no choice in the matter. When I was no longer in denial, I could see the reality of my attitude - it stunk! Awareness stings. I realized I wasn't perfect and I wasn't right. I became aware that I needed things to turn out poorly so I could be right about my belief that things often turn out poorly. (That sounds terrible as I write it!)

I also became aware that my negativity was contagious. Have you ever noticed that negativity breeds more negativity which breeds more negativity which can turn the focus of your entire day? It is so easy to allow the negativity of others to create negativity in the outlook of your day. Just look through Facebook. Negative people read negative posts, comment on those posts then post their own negative posts. Then those people get in cars, shop in stores, engage their families and carry that negativity all over this world. It sounds dramatic because it is.

In my next post I will share some practical action steps that helped me see and choose to live on the positive side of the street where extraordinary people live. Until then, how about some negativity awareness? Are you breeding negativity - on Facebook, in your family, in your workplace, at the grocery store, behind the wheel? What excuses are you making for that negativity? Awareness is the first key.

Be Extraordinary!