Look I am not going to come on here and tell you to look at life with rose-colored glasses because the reality is, life is freaking HARD. Sometimes even I want to crawl under my covers, read a fantasy book, and ignore life entirely. Shoot, sometimes I actually do this… and that is healthy, because I always, always come out and remind myself that life is truly beautiful, and the experiences I am having (“good” or “bad”) are meant to be.
I know what you’re thinking, Brenna… why are you saying this you’re supposed to be an inspiration all the time, and it’s because I want to really drive in the fact that you know, I know, life is hard and optimism is important… but I don’t see it all the time either. This episode is meant to be a reminder of how to find that optimism, and why it’s important, but also I don’t want to pretend I have it all figured out all of the time. I recorded this episode when I was feeling great, but I am writing this blog after a down period and I want to be honest about that.
Now, this episode is FULL of gems from my life in how I lean into optimism, why I lean into a positive mindset, and how, in all honesty, this is the most important piece to my success. Positivity and optimism are the most powerful, transformative mindsets you can have and in this post, I will share with you 3 ways to cultivate one for yourself, even when it feels hard. Now, this podcast episode has more than 3 tools and some are different than the blog, so be sure to check that out. Now without further ado, the moment you’ve been waiting for how to be a glass-half-full person even when the glass feels empty.
Thankful, Thankful, Thankful
Woof, I am writing this at the end of summer. I just had a summer of minimal childcare, many unfinished obligations, and an anxiety-inducing list of commitments with a lack of follow-through. If anyone feels empty right now it’s me, so how am I filling myself back up, seeing the good in myself and my life? Easy. The one bad-boy tool I turn back to, no matter where I am, is gratitude. I know I sound like a broken record when it comes to the power of gratitude but it really is a simple, quick, yet profound practice. It’s one you can do right now, so I will stop trying to convince you, and instead hold space for you to try it. Let’s do it right now, we will think up and visualize 3 things we are thankful for. I’ll go first. I am thankful for my kids being in school so I can write this for you today. I am thankful for a bathroom upstairs right next to me because I have been chugging coffee and water and I need to pee every 2 seconds and I can’t stand hobbling up and down the stairs. I am thankful for this computer because it could be a typewriter and the number of spelling mistakes I have made so far is a little embarrassing so it would be a nightmare typewriting this out (also v thankful for spellcheck).
Now, close your eyes and do this for yourself. What are you thankful for? Visualize it, say thank you, and feel the warm fuzzy feeling inside. It’s amazing isn’t it, how just thinking of some things you’re thankful for can relax you. Our brains are naturally wired to find the danger or the wrongs, so when we take a moment to break that cycle and show our minds all the really awesome things around us it gives us a freaking break! So, when you’re feeling empty, fill yourself up with gratitude. Wanna go the extra mile? Practice this daily so maybe your cup empties less.
Don’t Go At It Alone
Speaking of gratitude and cup-filling tools, do you know what else I am grateful for? Community. I moved to Montana not too long ago so the community is something I am still building, but thankfully that doesn’t diminish the people I have in other ways. I’ll be honest, one of the best ways to feel optimistic is by surrounding yourself with people who feel good too. Yes, I know to do this we have to get vulnerable and also let people in, which can be a bit scary, but when you allow yourself to do this guess what? You find more reasons to feel good. More than that, they can be the accountability you need to be better. I have a whole story about this in my podcast episode which is just easier to listen to than type it out, so check it out and see how it can relate to your life and your experience. I dont know about you, but sometimes life feels isolating. When I take the time to really reflect on the people and communities I have built, I recognize that while I feel alone, I never truly am. I just need to connect with them, and that is all it takes.
Self-Care Isn’t Selfish- And If It Is? Who Cares.
One thing I have come to know about myself is in order to fully connect with those around me, I need to connect with myself. I do this by self-care, baby. I am the queen of self-care… I mean I may have self-appointed that but shhhhh. Self-care really helps fill your cup for 2 reasons, There’s probably more but this is what I am sharing today. 1. It gives you rest, relaxation, and recharging energy to carry you through emptying your cup for your career or others, and 2. It gives you intentional time for yourself which allows you to better know who you are which allows you to better love yourself. Self-care isn’t just treating yo self, it’s also eating a meal you would typically skip. It’s sitting down and putting your feet up when you feel like you can’t go on any longer. It’s going to the gym to move your body because it gives you those feel-good endorphins and your mental health thanks you (this one for me). Whatever your self-care looks like setting intentional time can greatly improve your life. Look I am so serious about my self-care I have alarms on my phone reminding me to eat, move my body, and rest. It needs to be scheduled just like a work meeting or a date night with your partner. No one else can give you the care you need like yourself. I am telling you, it’s important.
I can’t stress this enough( lol that feels ironic), but positivity and love get you really far in life. Sure, you can accomplish your goals from a self-loathing place. I have done it! I reached the top of my sport from a place of low self-worth because I used sports and achievement as a way to feel good enough, but guess what? It was the most unfulfilled I have ever felt in life. The second leaned into mixing optimism with success, my life was transformed. Now, I live on my own terms, and sure sometimes I do need to hide from the world for a few days, but with these tools, I always come out stronger than before. Want more? Check out this episode on the Gold Medal Mindset podcast. I guarantee you’ll feel really good and walk away with more confidence and tools to live a glass-half full kinda life.