Awhile back ago I remember watching a Buzzfeed video 'Signs You're Still Not An Adult'. While I relate to pretty much every "sign" in that video, there's one in particular that relates to what I'm talking about today.
"Treats still excite you."
It's not so much the fact that it's treats, but small things still excite me and I pretty much gasp at everything that does. Friends and family are a testament to that because I've scared a few of them that way.
*GASP* A parking space!
*GASP* The corn man!
While maybe it is a sign that I'm still not an adult yet, I like to take it in the sense that I can still be enthusiastic about things. Not just the big things like "*GASP* ___'s pregnant!" but also the small things like the examples above.
An example of this is "Costa Rica Money". Let me explain what Costa Rica Money is. One of my dream vacations is to go to Costa Rica, and I'm saving up for it, but another way that I'm getting money for it is simply by picking up change from the ground. A penny may just be a penny to you, but add them up over time and you eventually get $17 in pennies, and that's $17 that you didn't have beforehand. Tax-free that you didn't have to work for! You don't realize how often you can find change on the ground, but every time I do, I get excited. "*GASP* COSTA RICA MONEY!" because to me, it represents an opportunity, a dream that I'm trying to fulfill. So eventually when I get to Costa Rica, I'll have myself and countless, unknowing donors who helped me get there.
I try to keep the excitement of experiencing things, new. I don't like the thought of being jaded to situations and experiences so this is my way to prevent that. A good example of this is kids. Kids see everything with excitement and wonder, and that's how I try to view things.
So maybe you're finding that you're lacking in the enthusiasm portion of your life, or that you're not as enthusiastic as you used to be? Here are five ways to bring enthusiasm into your life.
1. Accept Small Victories
Sometimes people are so caught up in winning the big battles that they forget about small victories. Okay, so you didn't get into your first choice college but you got accepted to your second and third choices. It's not a bad thing. Who's to say that your first choice college would have been a good fit for you? And maybe you meet "the one" at college number three? That's definitely not a bad thing. Just because things didn't go the way you wanted them to doesn't mean that all is lost. Look for the silver lining.
2. Be Yourself
It goes without saying, but when you're yourself life is SO much better. Trying to be someone that you're not is exhausting. You can't be an authentic version of somebody else. Plus, why deny the world your awesomeness? You have personality strengths and flaws that are unique to yourself, so show them off. Personally, I'm a giant goofball. I like making people smile and laugh. It feels good to me. I also like to dance. So what's my "thing"? Being goofy while dancing. I do it everywhere. At the post office. On the train. In line while waiting to order coffee. I have rhythm but I purposely dance as if I had none because I know that it makes people laugh. That's my authentic self. Find your thing. Embrace it. Unleash it on the world.
3. Be Positive
The whole reason I'm starting #PositiveVibes Primer is because I'm going through a whole 'nother round of CBT. My therapist has told me I have a penchant for going straight to the doom and gloom of issues. There's no in-between for me. It's either zero or 100. Zero being everything is fine, 100 being worse possible scenario and then some. Last August I talked about how Robin Williams' death brought me closer to my own pit but I was able to recognize it and keep away. Unfortunately, I've had a slip and now I'm back on the road to my peak. So this whole post is essentially an exercise in positivity. Find things to be positive about, like the small victories and that fact that you are the only you that will ever exist. Nobody in this world, nor universe, nor galaxy, nor in the entire existence of life, will have your soul.
4. Set Goals and Figure Out a Way to Reach Them
Now that you're actually trying to think positively, try setting some goals. My goal for this round of CBT and subsequently, this series is to get to the point where I don't have to find daily positive reminders and affirmations. Where I can learn to view every day as a gift and spread that love, positivity and enthusiasm to others. I have a friend who's mantra is, abundance creates abundance. And it's true. I'm a firm believer that if you send positivity, love, and enthusiasm out into the universe, the universe will send you those things right back. It's like a good vibes boomerang. So what are some goals that you would like to achieve?
5. Fake it
…until you make it. We've all heard this phrase. Convince yourself that you already are enthusiastic, and then keep doing it until one day you just realize that you are. It's good to have a goal but you have to believe that your goal is actually attainable. If your goal is a big one, figure out a way to break it down into small doable tidbits. Work on those actionable steps until you can get to the bigger ones.
Check back next Monday as I go over part 2 of #PositiveVibes Primer: How to Be Enthusiastic.