I recently got a puppy, and all of the training resources I have been seeking out focus on positive reinforcement and training methods. No force, no negativity, no anger, no frustration. It makes a lot of sense and is something to very much aspire to, but sometimes my puppy really makes me mad! Like the other day when she took off on our walk in a direction I was not expecting her to go in to chase a bird and I landed hard on my butt before I could figure out what hit me!
(For the more conscious among you, I know the puppy is actually only triggering me because of course I take responsibility for the “getting mad” part…but it still happens sometimes!).
As I was walking her recently after that event, I was working with her on several positive reinforcement methods I had learned since then. For example, instead of jerking back on the leash to protect all passers-by from her friendly exuberance to meet them (which isn’t so cute now that she is 47 pounds!), distracting her with a clicking noise and a treat. The instinctual jerking back on the leash method will ultimately only teach her to fear or have apprehension toward those she so eagerly wants to meet, which is obviously not the desired long-term effect I want to cultivate. I do want to make sure, however, that she doesn’t trip up or jump on every passer-by, and teach her how to walk nicely on a leash.
It is amazing that one can agree with the tenets of positive reinforcement, but it can at times be so hard to implement, and our gut instincts can be to do the exact opposite of what we “should” do.
I think the same is true with how we often view life – it is so much easier to focus on what’s wrong (especially for us problem solvers in the group) and not focus enough on what’s right!
This got me thinking about how to replace the negative with the positive more consistently and habitually, which is so applicable to all areas of our lives.
Over the last two years I have been very focused on letting go of things that don’t work for me instead of struggling through them. I have been focused on letting go of emotions that I have held onto for too long so that I can free my body up to function better. I have been practicing being more kind and loving and compassionate toward myself instead of hyper-critical as I have been for the better part of the last 40 years.
So on this recent walk where we were practicing positive training techniques and focusing on what my puppy does that is right instead of wrong, and thinking about my journey to date, I came up with the idea to create this 30 Day Positivity Challenge.
To challenge each of you, as well as myself, to purposefully replace negativity or what’s wrong with us and in the world around us with positivity and a focus on all the things that are already right with us and the world around us!
Each day for 30 days, starting on June 1, 2015, everyone who signs up will receive an email from me with some inspiration and a new daily exercise to focus on the positive side of life. Together, with consistent action every day, we can change the way we view the world, which will also change our experience in it.
This doesn’t mean that we won’t have challenges, or that we should ignore things that aren’t working or the areas in which we need to grow. It doesn’t mean we slap a positive Pollyanna view on things and shove our negative feelings down so we don’t have to deal with them or beat ourselves up for feeling negatively about something.
It instead means feeling what we feel, and consciously seeking out ways to shift our perspective so we don’t stay stuck in what’s not working and instead create more of what does work for us.
It means getting out of our unconscious patterns and becoming much more intentional about what we think and how we show up for ourselves and others.
So much of our experience in life is what we make of it, so why not make the experience of life as positive as possible?
I leave you today with one of my favorite quotes from Wayne Dyer (and there are SO many to choose from!)
“Hostile people live in a hostile world. Loving people live in a loving world. Same world.” ~Wayne Dyer
What kind of world do you want to live in?
If I can ask you a huge favor, I would really appreciate your help in spreading the word. I want to share this content with as many people as possible because I believe in the power of it so deeply…and did I mention it’s FREE?
Share this tweetable! Do this to improve the quality of your life!
I’d love to hear from you! Tell me in the comments below what comes up for you reading this post and what you most want to get out of the 30 Day Positivity Challenge!
Have a great week!