They say it takes 21 days to change a habit or make a new one.
I take it a step further and say it takes 21 days to make a new life – at least when it comes to the outlook on life as we know it.
I went through a season where I was literally speaking my life into existence. The problem was, there were plenty of things I didn't appreciate about my life and would complain about out loud. Ungrateful much? I won't backtrack and run down the items on the imaginary list that was long enough to be a grocery list, but this list existed in my mind and conversations.
Thankfully, it didn't take a tragedy or a major life-changing setback to force me to be grateful for what I had. It was a simple yet vital realization that I didn't like the direction that my life was going and knew the complaints had to stop in order to change that. The reason I said it takes 21 days to change a perspective on life as we see it, is because even though much of my life hasn't changed, my outlook is certainly different. I would definitely credit trading speaking negatively and complaining in exchange for being intentional about only letting positive things come out of my mouth. This new lease on life started with 30 days. (Clearly I needed a little extra boost outside of the 21-day habit rule.)
And while I made it through, it has really grown into a lifestyle change. I almost want to ask, "Who knew that's all it took?" But trust, it's much easier said than done. No pun intended.
Still, the benefits I've experienced as a result of even attempting to stay positive are noticeable without question.
Call me Beyoncé, I'm Feelin' Myself.
Any woman can look in the mirror and point out their flaws that they think the entire world notices and takes a mental note of during each interaction. Screenshots and social media don't help. Looking back, I didn't realize how negative I was being toward myself until I read a devotional (shout out to the Bible app) about kindness. The topic initially caught my attention because I assumed it would tell me how to be nicer and more compassionate toward other people. What I didn't expect was for Day 1 to tell me I need to be kind to myself.
Call me a late bloomer, but it was a reality I never thought of before. I'm loyal to a fault and will do anything for my friends, family, and even people with whom I don't get along. But it was tough to realize that I didn't show that same level of kindness to myself. This was the first unexpected step of this journey on the road to positivity, but it made the saying that every change really does begin from within a true one.
I began doing positive affirmations every morning to serve as a reminder throughout the day to be in love with every part of me. Once I started to speak only good about myself and subsequently feel good about myself, inside and out, I was able to see my life in a completely different way.
It's A Celebration – Clap, Clap, Bravo!
Once I started speaking positive things, I started to celebrate myself and others more and negatively compared myself to others and seemingly ideal situations less. My scrolling sessions on Instagram went from "She's beautiful! I wish I had her body," to simply, "She's beautiful!" Celebrating another woman's beauty doesn't take away from my own. In fact, I think clapping it up for another woman is attractive in itself.
Being able to celebrate features, accolades, and major moves that other women make is so liberating and feels so much better than the comparison game that I was clearly losing (even when I thought I was winning).
Stress Can't Touch Me.
Of course, I also had to realize I don't live in a bubble. So while I was on this trek to positivity, there were outside sources that tempted me to take two steps backward. While I can't control things that go on around me, I can control how I receive it. Interestingly enough, I realized that certain things would happen regardless of how I was speaking. So why not be positive about it? I can honestly say this helped me be less stressful about situations and things that I couldn't control. Instead of saying, "This is about to mess up my whole day," I would say things like, "It's cool, not even a big deal." Yes, I accepted them for what they were, but I also didn't feed into them by speaking negatively about it. Mind. Blown.
I Got My Mind Right, Too.
Growing up in church, I always heard the phrase, "Renew your mind." But my reaction was consistently, "How Sway?" I thought it meant when you had a bad thought, try to replace it with a good thought. Unfortunately, you can't fight fire with fire. As I started to embrace this life of positive speaking, I realized that THAT was the key to having a new mindset – speaking positive things out loud to replace a negative thought. While a thought is powerful, words bring thoughts to life and eventually create the life that you live. It might look and sound crazy, but in fact, it's helped me from feeling like I'm going insane with a ton of crazy thoughts.
I'm Ultimately Happier In Life!
The benefits of speaking only positive things are immeasurable. Negative thinking and speaking made me feel like I was in a rut I couldn't escape. But nowadays, I'm happier, more confident, and feel unstoppable. I wake up in the morning with the intention of being my best self and getting closer to my dreams; whether it's a dream job, dream image, or dream marriage, through speaking positively. It's something that seems so small but has so much power.
No, it's not always easy and sometimes I want to complain just to get it out, but where's the good in that at the end of the day? I would rather use positive words to go in a better direction than use the comfort of negative words to keep me where I am or even take me backwards.
For me, positive speaking is where it's at. What about you?
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