Accentuate the Positive

Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative

I was thinking lately about the roller coaster ride that is life.  For those of you who are passionate and very in touch with your emotions (like me), we tend to have higher highs and lower lows than some people.

Things right now are falling in place for me.  I was ecstatic to pr in the half marathon, am thrilled to be kicking off my coaching services, got good news about my husband’s job, and realized my posts have been especially upbeat and giddy.

There is nothing more annoying than a giddy, over-positive person when you are not at the same point on your roller coaster of life.

So I wanted to stop to say thank you all for sharing my excitement and being so supportive along the way.

And I want to be real and acknowledge that part of what makes this high so high is that six months ago I was at a pretty low point.  We were trying to get pregnant with no luck.  I had a shin injury and thought it was likely I would never run a marathon again.  Our future in terms of jobs, settling in one place, and my career were up in the air.

I felt out of control.  Not a good place for a type A control freak.

However, even at my low points I work hard to remain hopeful and optimistic.  To choose contentment.  To allow myself to cry and get angry and sulk around, but then acknowledge that things are out of my control and I will be okay.

Here are 5 things that help me look up even in the low moments-

1) Spirituality- I’ve mentioned before that I’m a very spiritual person.  My faith is important to me, and provides a lens or road map through which I can make sense of life.  It reminds me that I am not the center of the world, but only a small part of something bigger, a movement toward peace, joy, justice, hope and love.  Life has pain, it’s part of our journey.

2) Vulnerability- Some people like to be very private with their pain, but my personality finds a sense of relief in sharing what I’m going through with others.  Not shouting it to any random stranger, but being open and honest with those closest to me and letting them in.

3) A Voice of Reason- A benefit of opening up to others is that you allow fresh perspectives on your scenario.  Most often in my life, this voice comes from my husband.  He is able to see more than I can in my moment of frustration and reminds me that we’ve been taken care of in the past and will be taken care of in the future.

4)  Relinquishing Control- I like control! As long as I want to be in charge, I am frustrated that I’m not getting the outcome I want.  When I release that control and let things be what they are, I can take a deep breath and realize that I’m okay.

5) Action Steps- Although letting go of control is important, it can also be helpful to come up with several simple steps that I can take to change the situation or make the best of it. Sometimes this may help solve the issue, other times it simple provides me with a distraction while the issue sorts itself out.

The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.

I’ve found that these steps help me choose to be positive most of the time, despite my circumstances.

Now I can look back and see where these six months have brought us:

We decided to stop trying to get pregnant in the fall… and I went on to sign up for the Nutrition school and start my health coaching business. I trained for a marathon…. and got my BQ.

And more news… we have answers to the next stage of our life- we accepted a job in NYC and will be moving back to the east coast!

Another roller coaster ride of transitions is ahead, so you can all remind me of this post when I’m stumbling down the other side of this mountain in a few months.  🙂

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through… But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person that walked in.  That’s what this storm’s all about.  – Haruki Murakami

For more on this topic, I loved my friend Gabby’s post on “Plugging into the Positive Cord.” I’m also linking up with Katie for Marvelous in my Monday.

Are you a naturally positive person? What things help you to deal with life when it’s not going your way?



82 thoughts on “Accentuate the Positive

  1. This post comes at a great time for me. While I’m mostly a positive person, things with work have been very, very stressful. At times it’s so draining mentally that you just want to cry and say I give up. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. The reason just may take some time to shine through. Glad things are going so great for you- that makes me happy!!

    • haha, she is always peppy! but that’s what i like about MIZ! It’s contagious. Laura, this is what i love about you. Realistic. We can’t always be peppy but we can always be positive and hopeful. <3
      lindsay recently posted..Sunday’s Simple TruthMy Profile

  2. Wow! I am amazed that I read this post today because my sister-in-law handed me a book this weekend called Making Hope Happen. I wrote a little bit about it on my other blog for Motivation Monday. Basically, what you’ve described is how hopeful people handle adversity in their lives while working on their goals.

    I highly recommend finding the book if you haven’t read it yet. The author’s name is Shane Lopez.
    Barb @ Frugal Local Kitchen recently plan monday 3.18.13My Profile

  3. This is a really great post! I am usually a negative person but I really want to try the five steps in your post to see if it will help me in my low times.

  4. Good post and it is very well understood. As we get older we often start finding more peace within ourselves and can understand that everyone rides on their own personal roller coaster and that no one is always perfect. I recently wrote about something related – not comparing yourself to others. I’m glad to read you are having the “good times” right now! 🙂
    Christina recently posted..SXSW and running races, Google Reader, and CPRMy Profile

  5. Laura this describes me almost to the T!! I’m naturally pessimistic or I see life very realistically(I have almost no self-deception). But through my walk with God I’ve learned that I can be positive and not negative in circumstances. I’ve lived through a lot of painful places in my life which initially caused me to think that good things don’t last but through Christ I’ve learned I can do all things and not by my own strength. I’m up early sort of feeling out of control and opened my email and here is your post and its confirming to know that I’m not alone in my thought processes. Thanks for sharing!! Excited to hear your news:)
    My mottos are: “Life is a journey, enjoy it!!” “Weeping may last a night but Joy will come in the morning!”
    Verses I focus on:
    Philippians 4:13 NKJV
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
    1 Corinthians 9:24 NKJV
    Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
    Philippians 3:14 NKJV
    I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
    Kris recently posted..FIGHT HARD, FINISH YOUR RACEMy Profile

    • Kris, thanks so much for sharing. I’m glad that you could relate and found it helpful. You picked out some fantastic verses and mottos for life. And I’m happy to listen to you vent if you ever need to. 🙂
      Laura recently posted..Accentuate the PositiveMy Profile

  6. Number 1 is the most important part of my life that gets me through the rough spots! God is my savior and I don’t know what I’d do without Him in my life. SO glad things are going so great for you girl! And congrats on the move!
    Mindy @ Road Runner Girl recently posted..The Weekly Chase #12My Profile

  7. Right on Laura! I absolutely love this post.
    Whether it is sharing the good news or the frustrating parts of life, I love how genuine and sincere you are. There are certainly many things I can relate with you! I am very fortunate to have connected with you and am excited to have the opportunity to hear about your upcoming adventures.

  8. “For those of you who are passionate and very in touch with your emotions (like me), we tend to have higher highs and lower lows than some people.” <– It's like you're inside my brain. I love this post Laura. I'm so so glad that your life is in a better place than it was a few months ago. You work so hard, and you deserve all the happiness in the world! I can't wait to read about your next chapter in NY!
    Ari @ Ari’s Menu recently posted..Healthy Crockpot Orange ChickenMy Profile

  9. Lately, I have felt like everything has been very positive… but it just has been. And every single day I worry if it is going to be the day that something bad happens, or I receive bad news, or things start falling apart. I think 1 year ago if my car window would have shattered on me, my entire day would have been ruined… when it happened last week I simply just handled it and moved on with my day. Learning to approach situations a little less “dramatic” (aka that voice of reason!)helped tremendously. It took me a long time to learn this.
    I’m so excited about your move! Big changes are coming, but I know they will work out wonderfully for you 🙂
    beka @ rebecca roams recently posted..Shamrock Classic 10kMy Profile

    • Yes, you’re so right. That shattered windshield could ruin your day, or you can learn to brush it off and move on. I’m glad you’re finding that voice of reason! And yay for things going well for you right now!
      Laura recently posted..Accentuate the PositiveMy Profile

  10. How exciting about moving to NY! I was born and raised there and my family still all lives there. 🙂 Yes, life is a roller coaster. I try to always focus on the positive, especially when times are harder, and to count my blessings. I am so happy that all is going so well for you! hugs!
    Erin recently posted..LuckyMy Profile

  11. A perfect post! Congratulations on all the positives in your life right now! We are getting ready for another move too… to NY as well. All the best in your transition! Lisa
    Lisa recently posted..Rock ‘n’ RollMy Profile

  12. Love this post Laura and haha I could use a touch of positive 🙂
    I’m so beyond excited and happy for you and how things are falling into place. I’m so glad that things are in a better place now. As another Type-A control freak, it is really hard to relinquish control and have faith and find peace. That’s kind of where I am right now with a bunch of different things – trying not to force it and control it too much and be positive.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..TBDMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing my excitement, Christine. Especially when you’re at a point in your own life where you’re trying to find peace… I’m trusting things will fall into place for you. And I’m super excited to be neighbors!
      Laura recently posted..Accentuate the PositiveMy Profile

    • Yes, looking back at the last six months has given me a really helpful perspective. I don’t always get to see how the low points lead to better things, but it’s nice when it does make some sense and come back around.
      Laura recently posted..Accentuate the PositiveMy Profile

  13. I really needed this post this morning, Laura, thank you. After the fun of the girls’ weekend in Moab wore off, I woke up this morning and had a teary sulk over my bad time in the half-marathon. I thought I was OK with it, but realized it really did disappoint me. As usual, my husband was the beneficiary of my tears! :^)

    You are so right about the steps you mention–I’m choosing to focus on number five and will be tweaking my nutrition and my sleep, and trying not to worry about things I can’t control (like whether I or my kids are sick).

    I can’t wait to hear your new news, and I do hope your happy streak continues. You deserve it!!

    • I’m glad it resonated with you, Terzah. And good for you for letting those tears out! Yes, focusing on number five helps me a lot- knowing I can do something, and focusing on that.
      Laura recently posted..Accentuate the PositiveMy Profile

  14. I am so excited that you’re moving to NYC! We will have to meet up in person! Congratulations on such a big, exciting development.
    Hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it? It’s always satisfying to look back and see the wonderful things that perceived stumbling blocks led to. Great post, and thanks for linking up!
    Gabby @ Marathons and Macarons recently posted..Volunteering at the 2013 NYC HalfMy Profile

  15. Love this post! I am a very positive person but haven’t always been that way. I went thru tough, soul crushing events that caused me to withdraw rather than express my sadness. In retrospect, not the best way to cope. But there is always light after the darkness and I am thrilled how things are unfolding for you. All the best with this next exciting chapter!
    Marcia recently posted..Weekend Wrap-UpMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing, Marcia… I’m glad you’ve been able to use difficult events to find gratitude and positivity. My initial reaction in tough times is still to withdraw, but I’m getting better all the time about opening up and coping in healthier ways.
      Laura recently posted..Accentuate the PositiveMy Profile

  16. I am new to this site but I already feel that I connect with it! I am usually a pretty positive person. I have had a few stumbling blocks this year which has shaken my outlook a bit. I usually need to vent a bit before I pick myself back up and move forward.

  17. Great post and I totally agree with your tips. I feel like when things are not going right, the best thing I can do is step back, figure out what’s wrong and put some actions together to fix it. Then I at least feel like I have control, even if I don’t.

    I’m so happy for you and your family. can’t wait to read the big move!
    Katie @momslrb recently posted..This is What 36 Weeks Looks Like..My Profile

  18. Love this post! Like you I’m a sensitive, emotional person and feel things deeply. Recently, I’ve acknowledged I haven’t been in the best place emotionally or mentally. This is such a helpful post! Spirituality is a growing aspect in my life right now and I find it so helpful when I’m not feeling upbeat. Love the quote about stumbling blocks v stepping stones. xoxo
    Yoli recently posted..Feet & Sneaks!My Profile

  19. Life has ups and downs- I love reading blogs that are honest about both :). Sharing the good and bad times. Congrats on all the happy, positive things going on for you and your family!
    I don’t tend to dwell on the negative, so I guess that makes me mostly positive… but I definitely have my down moments.
    Jerilee recently posted..Another 20 miles in large circles…My Profile

  20. So well said! I’m the same way–passionate and Type A. It is so frustrating when you feel like you’re losing control in life, but I agree that that’s the time to turn to faith as a means of letting go. Congratulations on your exciting changes!
    Kim @ Healthy Nest recently posted..Lucky meMy Profile

  21. Such a great post!!
    I’m usually a positive, happy person. The problem when I’m not is that I don’t want many people to know which means that I don’t have a big support system at a time when I need it most. (I’m pretty sure that has to do with control issues!)
    Kim recently posted..March MadnessMy Profile

    • Yes, I get that. My first reaction is always to withdraw, too. I still do it, but I now speak up much sooner and reach out for support than I used to. It’s still hard to do, but really does help!

  22. this post came at a good time for me – thanks for the reminder to stay positive, even when things are challenging (and out of your control).

    congrats on the job! moving back east will be great (and exciting!)! if you are looking for any NYC running clubs, i definitely recommend the New York Flyers. I was a member the entire time I lived there are just LOVED the team! It was a great way to meet people and immerse myself in the running community. i’d be happy to tell you more about them if you like. best of luck!
    runner26 recently posted..Menu planning – March 17 … And St. Patrick’s DayMy Profile

    • Oh, that’s awesome! I will definitely be looking to get connected with a running group. We are probably not going to live in the city– we’re looking at towns on the NJ side right off the train, but we’ll see… either way, I’d love to hear more about them! Thanks!
      Laura recently posted..Accentuate the PositiveMy Profile

  23. I wasn’t always positive before I got sick. Sometimes it takes almost losing your life to realize how valuable it is and how little things really don’t matter most of the time.
    Karen recently posted..Why I Love FairbanksMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing our excitement! You know, we still want to get to the pacific northwest someday, so when we do, I’ll be looking you up. 🙂 And anytime you want to come check out NYC, let me know!
      Laura recently posted..Accentuate the PositiveMy Profile

  24. What a great post! Congrats on that new half PR too! Amazing! I love that obstacle quote too. Totally sharing that on FB.

    Everyone has highs and lows. As a blogger, I think when you are having a “low,” it’s best to step back from the blog roll and focus on getting yourself back to that “high” place. At least that is what works for me. I have never felt annoyed with you though, just so you know. A tad jealous of your ever-increasing speed and faster recovery time than me? Heck yeah! But never annoyed. 😉

    Good luck with your move! We are moving to the VA/DC/MD (not sure where exactly yet!) in May, so I feel you with the stress of a move.
    Allison @ Johnson Jocks recently posted..6 WeeksMy Profile

    • Thanks for the feedback, Allison. We’re not going to be far from each other! We’re looking at the Jersey side of the city, as our family is in southeastern PA. We’ll have to pick a race to do together… 🙂
      Laura recently posted..Accentuate the PositiveMy Profile

  25. This was a very much needed post for me! I had a horrible day today and when that happens e erything else pretty much goes to the pooper. You can look at my workouts andfood for the week and know exactly how I’ve been feeling. You reminded me of a few things I need to do to get back on track.
    Carli recently posted..St. Patrick’s Day Virtual Race Recap #13in2013My Profile

  26. I like to think I’m a positive person when it comes to major things. For one, I really try not to complain about my kids. I don’t complain about my job or money. I do, however, get sucked into complaining about other people (not my business) and the weather (always too hot or too cold for me LOL).

    Like you, my spirituality really helps. I really have no idea how people see the good in anything without it. It really helps me to remember it’s NOT all about me; it’s part of a bigger plan.
    jan recently posted..Google Reader & Running TimesMy Profile

  27. Did you say NYC!?!? I can’t wait to hear more! That is so exciting, Laura. I know how it is to feel a loss of control and to not know where your life is headed and it’s so frustrating! It is good that you have something concrete in your life now and a move back towards your family is such a great thing too!
    Travel Spot recently posted..Step Back!My Profile

  28. Giddy posts are not annoying to me at all! I love them and as far as you, I want to share every joy and smile that you have. I am so sorry things have been tough, but your perspective is right on and I no one should ever say they sorry for feeling joy, reaching goals, and having successes…. don’t ever dim your light because it makes someone else uncomfortable, that discomfort is theirs and theirs alone. I am SO happy for you! You have all these great things happening right now, thank you SO much for sharing those moments with us! It’s inspiring!

  29. Congrats on all of the exciting things happening in your life! I am a type A person, too, so when things don’t always go as planned, it is hard to remain calm and let things go. I struggle with that all the time. I try to see the positives in the situation and seek comfort in believing that all things happen for a reason (even if I don’t know the reason quite yet).
    Melissa @ Fit ‘n’ Well Mommy recently posted..Rocky Mountain Popcorn Giveaway + Weekend Highlights!My Profile

  30. As so many have said this post is very timely! I would not say I’m a glass half full person, but I’m not a total debbie downer 🙂 Lately the storms of life are blowing hard but I’m thankful in the midst of them and I think for me, giving thanks is a key to enduring. Congrats on the new job and adventure ahead! I’m sure you will be success as you have with this last transition.
    Terri recently posted..Coming up for AirMy Profile

  31. Great post! I’m naturally a fairly positive person….when I’m not positive, it seems that much worse since it’s so out of character. Congratulations on all the positives in your life right now! Well deserved!
    Mandy recently posted..Training TuesdayMy Profile

  32. I’m definitely a positive person, but will struggle from time to time with those negative thoughts and feelings. I had a tough Sunday evening so reading this post was just so perfect! Cheers to you and all that’s wonderful in your life right now!!!

  33. You sound a lot like me. Great points! I’m a total control freak and it is hard to relinquish control. I’ve worked hard at maintaining a positive outlook after coming to terms with my car accident in 2007. I’m so glad that things are on the up and up for you! You totally deserve it! Congrats on the move too! Too bad you’re too far away, I would have loved to meet up with you for a run or two! 🙂
    Maria @ Lil Mys Ninja recently posted..St Pat’s Get to the Green 5k Race Recap (and a new PR!)My Profile

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