Editor’s note: Liberty Forrest, author of several self-help books and a certified Law of Attraction Life Coach, writes that even after the chaos and turbulence of sociopaths, you can decide to be positive. Read more about Liberty.
By Liberty Forrest
I wish I had a couple of bucks for every time people said that they wished they were as positive as I am. I heard it a few times again yesterday. It’s kinda funny when I think about it because I can assure you, I didn’t come out of the chute this way.
Growing up in a home with sociopaths, there wasn’t much by way of sunshine and roses. And the resulting damage meant ongoing chaos and turbulence well into adulthood and spending years trying to clean it up. If you’ve been affected by sociopaths, too, I’m sure you’ve been to hell and back more times than you’d care to think about. I know what that’s like; it’s the same for me.
That’s precisely why I’ve finally got to the point of understanding how important it is to focus on the good, the successes, the happiness, and what I want, and I can let go of thinking about the fears, the worries, the failures, and what might (or did) go wrong. I could decide to be positive.
The Happy Pessimist
I used to be known as probably the biggest pessimist on the planet. I always said – with a big smile, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all!” People always whined at me because of it, saying I was so negative, so pessimistic, always expecting the worst etc. And my response was, “Well, the worst always happens so what else do you expect me to do?”
Then I read about an organisation in America called BLOOP – the Benevolent and Loyal Order Of Pessimists. They claimed that contrary to popular belief, they were not gloomy and depressed because 95% of the time they were proven to be right, and 5% of the time they were pleasantly surprised.
On the other hand, they said, 95% of the time optimists were disappointed, and 5% of the time, they were proven to be right. Therefore, optimists couldn’t possibly be nearly as happy as pessimists, or so BLOOP members claimed.
I was only too happy to adopt their beliefs as my own. It was a great reason (um, excuse) to continue to expect the worst.
A Reason to Change
However…over the many years since then, and after a lot of study and insights, I’ve had occasion to reconsider. I used to think that you expect what you get. But I have come to believe that you get what you expect. So of course, as I look back on a few decades of misery, I can see that I was expecting the worst and it kept happening. I continued to put – or keep – myself in situations and beliefs that would perpetuate it.
Now I expect good things, wonderful things – and more than ever before, they are happening for me. This doesn’t mean that my life is perfect or that there aren’t difficulties for me or for my family. And it doesn’t mean that I’m not still occasionally faced with residual challenges from those long-ago years of life with sociopaths.
But it’s how I view those difficulties that makes a big difference. And I continue to give as little attention as possible to thinking about them in a negative way.
Instead, I insist on focusing on positives, on health, wellbeing, growth and learning. I’m all about happiness and changing my thoughts to reflect what I want, and not what I don’t want, or what I fear. The more I focus on what I want, the less I want to even begin to consider what I don’t want.
My life is so much lighter and happier for it. And yours can be, too.
How to Decide to be Positive
Look, I know how hard it can be when a sociopath has trashed your life or done significant damage. I’m not dismissing any of that. I’ve got plenty of battle scars myself. I just know that dwelling on them is only going to make me feel worse. Clean it up best you can and keep moving forward, one step at a time, and insist on positive thoughts of the life you are creating.
Every time I’m told how much people wish they could be as positive as I am, or how they wish they could think like I do, I remind them that I wasn’t always like this – not by a long shot! – and I know what it is to learn to change those negatives into positives.
The best bit is that once I started doing it, it felt so good it made me want to do it more. The more I did it, the easier it got; it’s really just about developing the habit of choosing positive thoughts over negative ones. Doing it is its own reward because it just feels so great to live in a positive frame of mind. Then, when Life lobs a bunch of lemons – or when the sociopath delivers a truckload of them – it’s so much easier to get out of the misery and back into a place that feels good.
Yes, you can decide to be positve. But once you get good at it, there’s no decision to be made. It’s like if you’re used to drinking cheap wine and you don’t really like it but you drink it because you’re used to it, then you start drinking better wine, and soon you discover that the cheap stuff is really nasty. It doesn’t take long and you’re bypassing the cheap stuff without even thinking about it, and heading straight for the wine that you enjoy. You will never find yourself standing in front of shelves of wine and asking yourself, “Hmm, should I buy this yummy one that I love? Or this really nasty stuff that’s made from turpentine?” The thought would never cross your mind.
You get to choose. Do you want the yummy wine? Of course you do.
This article was originally published at LibertyForrest.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.