Did you know October is "Positive Attitude Month"? Yes that right, I did not realize this was a thing until last year but then again there is an awareness day or month for so many things nowadays. As I reflected on what it means to have a positive attitude, I realized it is more than just saying nice things about yourself. Have you ever thought about something positive and you actually say it but deep down you actually do not believe it? See, I was raised in a culture where "faking it till you make" it was normalized. There was a sense of pride in showing strength, being private and not showing your vulnerable side to the world. My grandmother always used to say in my native language "usafambe uchiratidza nhamo pausu pako" which translates to "never wear your struggles on your face for the world to see." For me as a child this meant nomatter how tough things might be, always look like you have it together. The older I got I understood there was a deeper meaning in terms of preserving dignity and how people view you because who you were as a person set the standard on how society treated you. To me. this was the foundation of being a "strong black woman".
As I reflect back, I realize I have always been a positive person. If you ask people around me , they will tell you I am such an optimist. It dawned on me yesterday as I was pondering on ways I can think more positively, that I was already doing that since I was young BUT did I believe my positive thoughts? Unfortunately "acting the part" comes with consequences. We can put ourselves in situations where we are captives of our own lies. We have convinces ourselves for so long that we are this and that but not always do we deeply believe that. Sometimes I hear people who say something good about themselves and they follow it with this sarcastic laugh. Often they are waiting on the other person to validate what they have said but guess what? Even if that person does not, they have already saved themselves the embarrassment because "it was joke".
Positive thoughts are great, but you know what is greater? Believing those positive thoughts with the deepest part of your soul! A positive attitude can make any difficult situation less intimidating to deal with. It means looking at positive aspects of very challenging situations. Having a positive attitude helps with your motivation because you are always looking at a "glass half full" instead of "glass half empty". Negative attitudes especially from our past do nothing to help us where we are today. Holding on to negative thoughts from our past only hurts us more, it already happened and sometimes there isn't much, if anything we can do to change it. Now I am not saying stick your face in the sand and ignore your stressors, I am simply challenging you to face your stressors and go through them with a positive outlook.
Here are some ways to exercise a positive attitude this month:
Being better starts with believing that you are actually capable! When YOU believe, you CAN!