Positive Reinforcement

Even the most adept optimist cannot always come out victorious when life throws stupid stuff at you. It’s like life is giving you reminders that it’s not perfect, you’re not perfect, that you’ve got problems. Well, we can have our own reminders too, to offset life.

I have a piece of paper tacked to my cork board titled Positive Reinforcement, and on this paper I listed positive things about myself. I typed it up, numbered them, and color-coordinated them.

In blue are things physically about me, like one of them is, “I do not have vitamin deficiencies.”

In green are things mentally and emotionally about me. A few say, “I have confidence, I do not live in fear, I am not a jealous person, I am a talented writer and will be published.”

In red are things I would like to see happen in the future or now continually. Some read, “I will succeed in all my classes, I will change someone’s life, I will go to New Zealand one day.”

Whenever I’m feeling low and depressed for any reason, I go to my board and read over the list. There’s power in the voice, and so sometimes I will read them aloud, to myself, over and over. Having this not only keeps my positive and hopeful, but it also reminds me of my goals and what’s important to me. Sometimes when I feel lost, I will pick an item from the list and focus on it.

Even if you don’t have the time to make a fancy paper list, you can have them ready in your head, so when life reminds you of something you’d rather not remember, refute it with an “I will…/I am…/I have…/I do…” Even if you don’t believe what you’re saying, keep saying it. Eventually your mind will have not choice but to come to an agreement with your mouth.

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