From Pessimist to The Hopefulist
I wasn’t a kid with a lot self confidence. I felt pretty insecure and unsure of myself most of the time. But I was always a story teller or trying to entertain in some way. I would put on little shows for my family. I loved to dance even though I wasn’t really good at it. I tried to take lessons but at my first session we were told to move about the room in any way we wanted. To just let go and dance and make movements. ???? I was way to insecure to do something like that. There is no way I was comfortable doing something like that at the age of 12 so I never went back. It scared me off. I also wasn’t very self introspective and didn’t really know myself very well. I think I only went off the examples I saw and unfortunately for me I grew up surrounded by pessimists. I heard constantly about how life wasn’t fair and why does this always happen to me and I have the worst luck. I grew up around a victim mentality and sadly it was what I knew.
Luckily I was encouraged to go after what I wanted (even if doing that ended up causing resentment) and I have always been somewhat ambitious. It took me a long time to get through college. I wasn’t a great student. But after seven long years I finally got that bachelors degree in business with a marketing major. But now what? I had always been very into music. I was fascinated with the record industry. I had a dream of being an A&R rep at a record company. They were the people who went out and scouted new talent and developed their careers. But my parents were on my case to get a real job….whatever that meant. I guess as an accountant or an executive. But it wasn’t the music business.
I had a discussion with a friend of mine and he suggested giving myself a time line to pursue my passion of music. A year from graduation to find something in music and if nothing turned up then I could get a sales job and start working on that career. I decided to take that route. The year went by pretty quick and I was still waitressing full time. But a few months before my time was up I went gung ho and sent resumes to anyone and everyone that had something to do with music. I got a response one time from a woman who worked at a major record label and she said my resume hit her desk on the right day and I reminded her a lot of herself and wanted to give me advice on how to get in. (she didn’t have a job for me but I thought it was really great for her to take the time out of her day). She said to try to volunteer at local radio stations, to offer to help out at community concert events, to do whatever I could to get some experience even if I wasn’t getting paid.
Is it just me or does everyone seem to always have two choices when it comes to major life decisions? I had gotten a few bites on the resumes I sent out. One was from a company that ran concert promotions. The other was as a part time promotions rep for a Top 40 radio station in Philadelphia. That was pretty big time. But the radio station job paid two dollars an hour less than the concert promoter job. Hmmm…what to do? What to do? I decided to go with less money because I thought there would be more opportunities available working for the radio station. And guess what? I’ve been working in radio for the past 25 years. Obviously that was the right decision for me.
So I had a job I loved and was on my way to a spectacular career but I was still quite the Debbie downer. I never looked on the bright side. I had a constant attitude that I had the worst luck with everything. I somehow felt like life was more unfair for me. Instead of focusing on having a job I loved…I focused on everything I didn’t have that I wanted and thought I needed in order to be happy.
I watched a lot of Oprah. I watched a lot of Dr. Phil. I loved his no nonsense way of letting you know you were in charge of your life and choices and if you weren’t happy you were the only one who could change it. No more excuses! Get off that excuse caboose! I started reading self help books and felt silly while doing it. I felt silly doing the things they said you should do…like daily affirmations. I felt like an idiot telling myself everyday how wonderful I was. The biggest problem is I didn’t really believe it. I think reading these books gave me a solid foundation to start working on. I read the advice and didn’t usually follow it but it seemed that all these different books were basically telling to do the same things. It finally hit me that there was something to what they were all saying.
At one time I made myself a vision board. I put up pictures of a happy couple walking hand in hand along the beach to achieve that someday. I put pictures of money all over it to draw more money into my life. I didn’t have a lot on it. I thought to myself…I can’t even find stuff that I want in my life. So I just started cutting out pictures of stuff I liked from magazines. Yes, I felt like a 14 year old girl but stay with me. I still don’t remember much of what was on that board but I remember one thing in particular very clearly. It was a pearl and diamond choker necklace from some high end jewelry store. I knew I would never get that necklace…it was way out of my price range. It actually took me awhile to realize that I had bought a necklace that looked identical to the one on my vision board in the costume jewelry department at New York and Company. Coincidence? I brought it into my life by envisioning it. I made it happen. Can it really be that easy? So easy that I didn’t even realize when it happened? Give it a try…you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Even a fabulous necklace that may still be in your collection today!
The one thing that really started making a difference in my life was my gratitude journal practice. I would write down five things I was grateful for throughout the day. It could be anything from how good my coffee tasted that morning to having the most incredible husband. It’s okay to repeat things but not too often. You want to find new things everyday. It sets you up to look for the positive as you move through your day. Keep doing this…it takes practice. It feels weird and annoying at first but I promise you it will be worth the effort and you will be so happy you started doing it. I believe this was the start of my major change. A lot of it ties in together but once you begin to train your brain to look for the positive instead of the negative you are well on your way.
So get yourself a cute little notebook and a fabulous pen. The more you enjoy the tools the more you will want to do the work. And write down five things you are grateful for that happened today or yesterday. Do it right now! You will see how it makes life seem not as bad as you thought. That there are always things to be grateful for.
It’s taco Tuesday!! Now go make it your best day yet!