A yellow background with black text that says build a positive mindset.

Positive Mindset: Your Path Towards Happiness

Being positive may feel elusive to you if you are experiencing self-pity, anxiety, or depression. I understand the feeling. Even as a life coach for entrepreneurs, I have been in a negative state of mind more times than I wish to admit.

The good news is that you can escape negative thinking and journey towards a positive mindset. This is where you view opportunities in the midst of obstacles and see how your tests are perfect for a testimony for others to hear.

In this article, we will discuss how we may be predisposed to negativity and how we can change our mindset for the better.

First, let’s talk about how our parents may have taught us messages that were well-meaning yet harmful to our mental outlook.

Trauma-Inducing Messages from Parents

As a transactional analyst, I focus on understanding how your past impacts your present. Most of our problems originate from the messages from our childhood and our faulty life scripts. Consequently, we suffer emotionally because we repeat these messages through our actions.

Let’s specifically talk about the impact parents have on their children. Many parents inadvertently traumatize their children through their body language. They might clap enthusiastically when their child does something they approve of, but frown or ignore them when they are displeased.

Damage from emotionally damaged parents

Emotionally disabled parents mistakenly believe that their reaction alone will teach the child the correct behavior. Unfortunately, their approach teaches their child to pursue perfection relentlessly to gain approval. 
Inevitably, children learn to be only as valuable as their last achievement, which extends to many areas of life, including relationships with teachers, bosses, lovers, friends and anyone from whom they seek validation.

Don’t let your parents mistakes ruin your life

I know it can offend people when I say that their parents traumatize them. Even the best parents mess up and do stuff they will later regret. It’s the good parents that will admit their mistakes and make amends. The bad parents will just blame you for their emotional immaturity. 
Your job now is not to blame your parents or caregivers, but to understand how their behavior impacted your view of yourself and your mindset.
Next, let’s talk about how these messages from parents and later from others create rules. 

Why Rule-Based Living Ruins a Positive Mindset

Whether we want to believe it or not, many of us have created numerous rules for ourselves and for others. For instance, “If someone criticizes me, I feel miserable because this means there is something wrong with me or what I am doing,” or “If they really loved me, then they wouldn’t do this.”

Many of us are unhappy because we have never questioned whether the rules we follow are actually true. Sometimes we even get physically sick from the stress of abiding by them. To take care of our mental health, we need to examine the rules we follow and determine whether they stem from misguided ideas.

We cannot continue doing things that make us feel stressed and anxious. Just because our parents or society taught us these rules does not mean they benefit us.

In the next section, we will discuss ways to reduce negativity and improve your mindset.

Tips to a Positive Mindset

Creating a positive mindset can be challenging, but with consistent effort and practice, it is possible to gain control over them. Here are some strategies to help you:

Awareness and recognition of negative thoughts 

Start by becoming aware of your negative thoughts. Here’s some negative thoughts you may have:

  • If someone criticizes me, it must be true.
  • My worth is dependent on my achievements or praise.
  • Any mistakes can undermine my whole career. I am a failure unless I am successful  at all times
  • Nobody who is worthwhile to me will tolerate my imperfection. I have to gain approval from all people at all times. Otherwise, I’ll be punished.
  • Disapproval means I am a worthless person.

Miserable thinking. Miserable outcomes.

No wonder we feel so sad and miserable all the time when we think so negatively. As a young woman, I used to listen to countless sad love songs. My favorite song was Toni Braxton’s “Another Sad Love Song.” Is it any wonder why I never had a healthy relationship? 
Now it is time to break this vicious cycle. Notice each negative thought and recognize its impact on your emotions and behavior. I highly recommend creating a journal to track  the number of times you think negatively.

Challenge the source of your negative thoughts

Question the validity and accuracy of your negative thoughts. Ask yourself if there is evidence to support them, or if they are based on assumptions or distorted thinking patterns.

The table below will help you examine your thoughts and the origin of your distorted ideas.


A table with three different types of negative thoughts.

Increase your gratitude 

Cultivate a practice of gratitude by regularly acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of your life.

For some of us, we need to be way more grateful for the simple pleasures such as being able to eat, bathe, or walk without assistance. You may feel negative because your mind is focused on things beyond your control. Instead, focus on improving your life by expressing daily gratitude. Each positive thought helps increase your ability to creatively solve problems.

A yellow background with black text that says build a positive mindset.

Get rid of the resentment 

Some people work as unpaid wardens, and inside their minds is a prison full of inmates who have done everything from minor infractions to outright “harms against all humanity.” Just bringing up their name makes their pupils dilate, fists clench, or seethe with anger.

Love, this madness needs to stop. Being addicted to resentment is a false form of superiority. It only hurts you while the other person continues to live their life in ignorant bliss.

Self-care and stress management

Take care of your physical and emotional well-being. Engage in activities that reduce stress, such as exercising, getting enough sleep, and practising relaxation techniques.

Hold yourself accountable by scheduling these activities into your calendar and make it a non-negotiable activity. When you prioritize self-care, you enhance your resilience to negative thoughts.

Next, I will share with your my final thoughts about cultivating a positive mindset.

Being addicted to resentment is a false form of superiority. It only hurts you while the other person continues to live their life in ignorant bliss.

Final thoughts about creating a positive mindset

Remember, cultivating a positive mindset takes time and practice. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you develop these skills. If you find that negative thoughts persistently impact your daily life, don’t hesitate to work with me.

Dig deeper: Listen to this podcast episode about improving your mindset or press the play button below.


The information in this article is for informational purposes only. No material in this article or website is to be a substitute for professional medical and/or mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read from me or anyone else online.

Also, this article is not designed to diagnose or treat you or anyone with a suspected mental health illness. Please, if you need help, seek appropriate help from a lawyer, health care provider or law enforcement officer.