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
grateful?
● 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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Are you looking for coaching for you or someone you love?

Dustin Jones

Dustin, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, is one of our college aged coaches who is currently obtaining a degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Indiana. Dustin serves as the Associate Director of Community Service for his Business Fraternity and also sits on the Board of Directors for our non-profit, Positive Presence Foundation. He loves to spend his down time hiking, hammocking with friends, and drawing. Dustin is passionate about helping teenagers because there were many times in his life that he didn’t know what he would have done without the support of people that reached out to help him. He believes asking for help should never make one feel like a burden. Dustin is an introvert who is finding his voice through mentor coaching, and is able to relate with his students by putting himself in their shoes. His sense of humor and generous personality is what makes him stand out as a coach. Dustin is an easy-going mentor who always tries to find the light even in dark times and stays positive by reminding himself of all that he is grateful for in life.

Jasmine Alexander

Jasmine, a Human Relations major at the University of Oakland is a dynamic community role model. As a generational member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc, she embodies a zest for excellence. Her bubbly personality and kind hearted nature touches the lives of everyone she comes into contact with. Her desire for being a positive catalyst is the reason why Jasmine is such a good fit with the Positive Presence Coaching Program. This creative young woman displays the trademarks of a great leader – skills she desires to impart on the next generation.

Cheyanne Peters

Cheyanne Peters, a first generation college student born and raised in Kansas, graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelors in Psychology and Minor in Applied Behavioral Science. Her passion for helping teenagers feel confident, successful and prepared for their next chapter in life stems from multiple years of working with at-risk youth.

Cheyanne has experience working in a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility rehabilitating children who have endured severe trauma, abuse and neglect and as a result developed behavioral/mood disorders. A former Mentor Program Facilitator at a Juvenile Detention Center, Cheyanne became an expert at aiding youth in their positive transition into society and adulthood. An empathetic and enthusiastic mentor, Cheyanne believes everyone deserves to live a joyful and fulfilling life – a profound passion that drives her in her coaching career.

Emily Lamb

Emily Lamb, a student at the University of Arizona has an unwavering passion to contribute large-scale, positive change to the world, and the people around her. A recipient of the Arizona Excellence Scholarship, Emily’s deep pool of knowledge, easy going attitude, kind persona and empathy makes her an exceptional mentor. As a leader, tutor, researcher and adventurer, Emily surrounds herself with things and people that contribute to her best self. It’s through her personal journey as a former student of Positive Presence, Emily experienced first hand the profound impact this coaching has on the lives of those we coach.

Jamal Johnson

Jamal was born and raised in Georgetown, Guyana and moved to the United States at the age of 12. His experience in the mental health industry the past six years has made him an expert in supporting and guiding young men and women living with autism and intellectual disability. He is also the co-founder of a small construction company based in New York. Jamal’s passionate approach to personal development, calming charisma and innovative techniques to understanding emotional awareness make him an excellent mentor to our Positive Presence coaching team. He stays positive by constantly reflecting on his own journey while creating a safe and positive space for others to do the same. Jamal travels to Guyana on a yearly basis promoting the importance of wellness care and healthy living habits in underserved communities.

Currently a student at UNC-Pembroke, Jamal is in pursuit of his Master’s in Business Administration and Finance. He plans to use his degrees to bolster his current skill set and promote the importance of entrepreneurship in underserved communities in the United States and Guyana.

Veronica Hurford

Veronica Hurford grew up in Fairfield, CA and studied abroad in England while she pursued her master’s degree in Education from UC Santa Cruz. Since the age of 9, Veronica has wanted to be an elementary school teacher and has been tutoring students in writing since she was a senior in college. She spent several summers as a counselor at a non-profit summer camp in southern California. Her fire to coach was initially ignited when she became an executive functioning tutor to teenagers in Colorado. Veronica saw many other needs that weren’t being met with her students outside of academics and had a deep desire to help them have success in school AND life. As an elementary school teacher, mentor, wife, writer and chef, her passion for helping teenagers and young adults far exceeds classroom knowledge. Her engaging personality and thoughtful approach to supporting youth makes her an excellent coach, a positive presence and a life-changing mentor.

Verona Matthews

Verona Matthews is a passionate professional from South Africa who takes a heart-centered approach to her coaching style. Her life’s mission is to leave a legacy of love and acceptance to the future generation. She is able to incorporate her life experiences and empathetic nature to provide her students with tangible life changing skills. Verona is an advocate of embracing change and continuous self-evolution. Her passion for impacting the next generation as a Mentor Coach with Positive Presence comes second only to her devotion to her family and her faith.

Jackie Fouchia

Jackie Fouchia, a Certified Health Coach, Personal Trainer & Yoga Instructor, has a degree in psychology of health and healing from Naropa University. A former beauty queen turned health and fitness expert, Jackie has overcome her own mental health struggles and found her passion for helping others both physically and spiritually. Discovering how to radiate self-confidence through her own journey of personal development, Jackie has learned how to teach others how to do the same. Doing all things with love, her patient personality and empathetic approach to supporting those in need makes her an excellent coach, a positive presence and a life-changing mentor.

Elysa Swenson

Elysa Swenson, a charismatic Kansas native and certified CNA, is currently in pursuit of her BSN in Nursing at the University of Kansas. As a former student of the Positive Presence Mentor Coaching program, Elysa found an insatiable amount of purpose and self-acceptance, something she attributes her new-found sense of peace and positivity to. Elysa’s awakening was in understanding that living a life of light and love comes when you decide to simply CHOOSE that life.

Since graduating from Positive Presence as a student, Elysa felt a deep responsibility and higher calling to help her generation find the same. Her passion for person-centered care coupled with her determination to help her generation find THEIR purpose makes her an excellent Mentor Coach for Positive Presence Global!

Alysha Montgomery

Alysha Montgomery, an animal science major and biological sciences minor at the University of Arkansas, is a passionate philanthropist. As a former student of the Positive Presence Mentor Coaching program, Alysha discovered the best version of herself and developed an unwavering passion for helping others find the same. That passion is fueled by her desire to inspire our youth to value themselves and recognize their purpose – a life-changing mentality she learned through her coaching with Positive Presence. Her intuitive nature and peaceful, diplomatic approach to coaching makes her a respected member of the global Positive Presence family and an exemplary mentor to our students.

Michelle Marie King

Michelle Marie King is the premier Confidence Coach for teenagers, young adults and young entrepreneurs across the globe. She founded Positive Presence Global – the largest confidence coaching company in North America – and has helped people worldwide find their confidence in all aspects of their life. Michelle’s engaging and energetic personality coupled with her ability to motivate has distinguished her as a personal development trailblazer.

In her career as a model, philanthropist, emcee, entrepreneur, spokesperson and public speaker, Michelle has appeared on radio, television, billboards and print in over 15 different states for her community efforts and her ongoing business ventures.