I mentioned in passing that I have struggled off and on with anxiety. I am a first-born, Type A perfectionist who is also a people pleaser. It has been a difficult road to get to the place of embracing doing things well versus perfectly (which doesn’t exist) and realizing what others think doesn’t really matter.
I am gifted with a vivid imagination and that has a dark side: what if. If you struggle like I do with worry, fear, or anxiety (and who doesn’t from time to time), you will immediately get this.
But along the way, I have learned a wonderful truth: in every negative quality we have lies a gift. The key that unlocks it is my attitude.
The quote below was written by a wonderful Bible teacher and author, Chuck Swindoll. It became a defining “ah-ha” moment for me when I first read it. Check it out:
So, how has attitude-the ability to approach a situation with a positive or negative mindset-helped me? I see my WHAT IF as a good thing. When my mind says, “what if this bad thing happens, ” I stop and think, “yes, but what if …” and list the good things that can occur. And my imagination suddenly becomes a positive asset to me.
So how can you adjust your attitude? Do you see physical limitations as a bad thing? I have flat feet, bunions, and slight scoliosis. I can’t run without getting shin splints. But I have discovered a world of fun walking my dog, or with friends, or learning to dance and try other forms of cardio. And I cheer on my runner friends and family and lend a sympathetic ear to those struggling with limitations, aches, and pains.
A positive attitude is not something a person is born with. You work at it. Some days my attitude stinks. But I get up, practice gratitude, and keep learning. What if… at the end of my life, I can look back and think I made my days count rather than worrying them away. Now that’s a WHAT IF I can get excited about.
Let me know your struggles, thoughts, tips, and tricks to develop a healthy mindset.