Scrolling through Instagram today actually inspired me to write this article. I came across a quote from Gary Vaynerchuk (If you don’t know who he is google him): “Negativity can be leading at halftime, but positivity wins championships.”
I used to be one of the most negative people around. I will be completely honest and admit to this because doing so was my first step toward changing things for the better. I came from a troubled background, but so do many people. After dealing with years of bullying from my peers and being put down by my own family members, I believed all of the things I was constantly being told about myself.
Looking back to when I first started living on my own in my early 20s, I realized I was my own worst critic. I was unhappy in my own skin, I thought I was not smart enough to accomplish anything, and each day was a struggle to just get through.
My own personal negative thoughts also poured over into the things I was saying to other people too. The people around me in general were similar to me because the majority of the people I secretly wanted to be like would not associate themselves with me. At the time I thought it was because I wasn’t attractive, smart or successful enough, but the truth was I was a negative person.
What changed for me? I honestly got sick of myself. At some point I realized all of the toxic people in my life had serious issues with themselves and not me. You see, when people take time out their day to tear you down, the issue is with them and not you. I also knew that if I wanted to be in a better place I had to believe in myself and understand I was worth every ounce of effort I put into myself.
I spent years in and out of counseling. I worked toward adopting healthier habits. I gave up partying and started to cut certain people out of my life. Slowly I started to align myself with people who truly believed in my potential and sought out great mentors. The end result has been nothing short of amazing.
Now I am 37 years old. Although I regret nothing anymore, I do wish I could have been kinder to myself over the years. You have the power to decide whether or not to give into your troubled past. Today I choose to have healthier reactions to challenges and rationalize things better. The truth is many of my thoughts and reactions in my past were the result of my own thinking rather than reality.
Today I love genuinely smiling and being surrounded by those who lift me up and fuel my fire. My days of tearing myself apart or tolerating others who do are over. When I am unhappy with a situation, I no longer complain for hours, but rather take action. I wake up each day and put myself first by living an active healthy lifestyle. I am no longer miserable, and I wake up each day wanting to put forth my best effort and be kind to myself.
Remember things start with you. If you don’t take the steps to value yourself and take care of yourself, who will? Things finally became clear for me when I understood I had the power to shape my present and future. Today I am the happiest I have ever been because I finally decided to be an action taker. You can too!