Becoming an Optimist

Reaping the benefits of living a more positive life seems so far-fetched when you become overwhelmed with obligations, obstacles, and redundant routines. It is no secret that life is ever- changing and there are times when you feel like you cannot catch a break. What if I told you that you have control over giving yourself that break? Something we often remind our students here at Positive Presence Global is their ability to create an external environment that reflects the peace their internal selves crave. Simply shifting your mindset to prioritize a more optimistic view of life can create the path to benefiting from a more positive life!

Shifting your mindset from a Negative Nancy to an Outgoing Optimist may not be an overnight endeavor, but with consistency and the guidance of these 7 steps you will be well on your way to a more fulfilling and positive life:

1. Practice self-care
Incorporating self-care into your daily life is so incredibly important in leading a more optimistic life. Learning to prioritize your needs and self first ensures that you are your best self for others and the world around you. In this video the Founder of Positive Presence Global, Michelle Marie King, demonstrates the importance of filling up our cup first before pouring into someone else’s.

Some questions to ask yourself to reflect on your self-care habits:
● What self-care activities do you already engage in?
● What are some self-care activities you would like to add to your routine?

2. Take control
Oftentimes, what causes us to relate more to a Negative Nancy is the lack of control we feel
in our lives. Life tends to move very quickly and will shift constantly, and to take back control is a conscious effort. Allowing yourself to be in control of how you view and maneuver life leads to finding spaces where optimism can grow.

Question to ask yourself when wanting to take back control:
● What is something you can take control of today? Consider your relationships, job,
school, hobbies, health, etc.

3. Make it your mission to dodge negativity
Once you begin to recognize where in your life you can take control, the next important
aspect to recognize is where negativity is present in your life. After identifying how negativity can creep in, make it your mission to dodge it completely! We often don’t realize that our
pessimistic perception of the world around us is merely a reaction to what we are surrounded by. Making a conscious effort to identify and avoid the negativity around us leads to a habitual way of living that is positive and fruitful.

Questions to ask yourself when identifying negativity:
● What are some negative influences in your life right now?
● How can you eliminate them?

4. Surround yourself with supportive friends, and spend time doing things that make you happy
Two really important factors in filling up your own cup are the PEOPLE you CHOOSE to
spend your time with and HOW you CHOOSE to spend your time. Ensuring that you are living a more optimistic life begins with how you value your time. How you spend your time and the people you choose to spend it with are measurements of how much your life really means to you. This step feeds into the previous step of taking back control because your time is extremely valuable. Identifying the value of your time and life creates the space for optimism to grow.

Questions to guide you in surrounding yourself with supportive friends:
● Who are the most supportive people in your life?
● How can you make more time for them?
Questions to examine how you are spending your time:
● What activities make you happy?
● How can you make more time for these?

5. Keep your distance from media (books, music, movies, etc.) that bring you down
If something isn’t positively contributing to you, your surroundings, or others, it’s having a
negative impact. Like the previous step, taking inventory of the kind of media you’re
consuming is an examination of how you spend your time. Once you begin to value your
time, you begin to value your energy. Valuing your energy means prioritizing your emotional
and mental well-being. Being mindful of the media you’re consuming is part of taking the
responsibility for the relationship between your internal and external worlds.

Something you can do to examine the impact of media in your life is assess how it makes
you feel. Break the media you consume down to 4 categories. These four categories include:
● The songs and artist you listen to
● The video games you play
● The movies and shows you watch
● Your social media accounts

After writing out these four categories, rank them either 1, 3, or 5. In this ranking 1 means the media typically leaves you feeling drained or more sad, angry, or violent. 5 means that you typically feel happier, more energized, and hopeful.

If you rated any of these categories below a 3, create a plan for either spending less time engaging with that media or replacing it with more positive content. Write this plan out and hold yourself accountable to it. Whether it’s replacing the kind of music you listen to, finding different activities instead of video games that make you feel violent, or cutting down your time on social media, these are all ways to prioritize filling up your life with positivity and optimism only.

6. Misery loves company, so watch out for downers!
While it’s great to examine who in your life is supportive and amazing, it is just as important
to recognize those who tend to bring you down. Don’t worry—we all have a downer(s) in
our lives! It’s unrealistic to think that everyone in our lives is on the same frequency as us, so
it is just as important to identify the downers and how they impact us.

Questions to ask yourself when identifying the downers in your life:
● Be completely honest with yourself. Who is a downer in your life?
● How can you cut back on the amount of time you spend with them?

7. Pay attention to what makes you feel optimistic and grateful
Gratitude is oftentimes associated with optimism. People who practice gratitude are happier, receive more social support, and feel less stressed and depressed. Take time every single day to reflect on when you felt optimistic or grateful that day. Practicing this will increase your awareness of these moments and attract more of them!

Questions for assessing your optimism and gratitude each day:
● When did you feel most optimistic and grateful today?
● When will you set aside time each day to reflect on when you felt optimistic and
● Where will you keep track of these moments so you can look back on them when
you need a reminder of all of the great things happening in your life?

Now that you have examined and identified where in your life you can fill up with more optimism
and positivity, set reminders for yourself to follow through with these steps. It all starts with a small
change in our habits, and before we know it we are basking in the significant, happy changes in our
lives. You will be well on your way to being the light and positive changes you seek in the world, and
you will even inspire the creation of more positivity all around you!

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Jessica Waugh

Special Projects Director


Jessica has roughly 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, curating premier wine programs in Las Vegas and developing educational programs for the largest beverage distribution company in North America. In 2022, Jessica altered her focus and is now utilizing her educational, management, and organizational skills to positively impact others on a grander scale. She is now developing multiple modalities focused in emotional intelligence, executive functioning, meta-learning, and positive psychology for struggling teens and young adults.

Favorite Mindfulness Techniques:

Meditating with sound bowls!

A Fun Fact:

I was the architect for my grandmother’s house

State: Nevada

Positive Presence Corporate Team

Missy Vandenheuvel

Sales Manager


Missy is a revitalized mother of two teenagers who understands the resilience it takes to raise children in the midst of a global pandemic. She is a passionate mentor because she recognizes there isn’t nearly enough support for the overwhelming number of people silently struggling. Her sincere and compassionate personality is what makes her thrive as a coach and a leading member of our company. As our Sales manager she recognized that her role is to listen and learn as much about your child (or yourself) as possible. While listening, I am identifying a mentor coach that I believe your child will not only like based on their personality, but also one who has experienced and overcome similar pain points, and areas of opportunity, optimizing relatability. Ultimately, setting your child up for growth and fulfillment socially, mentally, and physically. 

Favorite Mindfulness Techniques:

My Favorite Mindful technique is to Shifting Thought Patterns by focusing on the Grounding Technique. Starts with a big belly breath in. Then, you tap into your 5 senses, to quickly and effortlessly shift your current focus. Choose a sense- any sense, and count down from 5 (order or senses can be altered): 5 things you see, 4 things you smell, 3 things you feel, 2 things you hear, 1 thing you taste.

A Fun Fact:

 I travel to Florida from Wisconsin 3-4 times a year, and we plan to relocate somewhere with the state in 1.5 years. I’ve been dreaming about this since I first saw the ocean at the age of 14 years old. 

State: Wyoming

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