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Image from Pexels

The power of positive thinking is truly remarkable. Without the self-confidence and personal belief that you can and will succeed, it is often terribly difficult to excel in the way that you would like to.

While I’ve just stressed the immense importance of having this mindset, it’s necessary that I explain why it’s not always easy to uphold. Thinking negatively, as sad as it is, is often so much easier—humans have a tendency to tear themselves apart. However, thinking in this way harms more than just your self-esteem. When you think poorly about yourself, you’ll often start to see these thoughts reflected in your actions and performances.

Case in point: There was once a test in which I had adequately studied for, and had great understanding of the material. However, it being in one of my toughest classes, I went into the testing environment with a negative attitude; I was expecting failure, regardless of the time I had put into preparing for it. Stressed and unable to concentrate on anything other than the stress I was feeling, my mind fogged up, and I flunked the test. Upon reviewing the exam individually with my teacher a few days later, I realized that I had truly known all of the information, and if it hadn’t been for my ability to trick myself into thinking I didn’t know it, I would have had a drastically different outcome.

As you can see, this spiral of negative thinking is one that is easy to fall into and not the easiest to come out of. So my advice is as follows: Don’t fall into the trap! Remain positive, and you will see positive results. Here are five tips that will keep your spirits high and help you avoid and push away what ever bad thoughts may come your way.

1. Smile

It’s a lot harder than it seems to be in poor spirits when you exhibit a happy demeanor. As long as there’s a smile across your face, your attitude will likely replicate what you portray on the outside.

2. Get inspiration elsewhere.

Inspirational quotes can be cheesy as heck, but there’s no doubt that beneath the cheesiness, there’s a message that can cheer you up by even the smallest amount. Read a quote everyday when you get out of bed, or write something uplifting on a post-it note and stick it on your mirror or in your locker.

3. Help others and reaffirm your confidence.

Nothing demonstrates your mastery of something like being able to help others with it. If you lack confidence despite your existent ability in a hobby, sport, or subject, offer to teach, assist, or tutor a friend, teammate, or classmate. This will not only instill self-confidence, but you can reinforce any area with which you may have previously had difficulty.

4. Avoid over-analyzation.

One of the most common reasons people falter with things they ordinarily do not have trouble with is because they second guess and overthink situations. If you’ve practiced a piece nonstop for an audition, but on the way there convince yourself that you should’ve practiced more, you’ll force yourself into believing it. Once a situation is past the point of change, leave it be.

5. Maintain or cultivate relationships with supportive people.

Since you often adapt similar mindsets to those you spend your time with, it is important that you choose these people wisely. If you’re surrounded by negative thinkers, you’ll begin to criticize yourself. On the other hand, if you befriend upbeat and encouraging people, you’ll not only see yourself beginning to think this way, but you’ll also have a strong support system of people who will be willing to pick you up when you fall.

The true key to success is simply believing that you will succeed. Reduce negativity in your life by adopting some of these changes, and you’ll soon believe in all that you can achieve.

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