“Creating Positive Change” Series – Part 7

By Dr. Paula Fellingham

One of the things I’m discussing in this Blog Series is How to Create

Your Own Joy and Confidence. The first critical key is gratitude. We discussed gratitude in Blog #6 of this series.

The second way to create your own joy is to offer love and kindness to others.

Be others-centered.

Mother Teresa said, “Spread love wherever you go. First of all in your own home. Give love to your husband, your wife, your children, your next door neighbor. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness. Kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”

The third way to create your own happiness is to be flexible and cheerful. Our ability to adapt well and be cheerful is an indicator of our strength of character.

For several years, on our refrigerator at home was this saying: “Be pretty if you are. Be witty if you can. But be cheerful if it kills you!”

Usually, if our face smiles (even when we’re not 100% happy) our heart will follow.

The fourth key is happiness is to be passionate about something. People who open their eyes each morning and immediately look forward to something that they’re passionate about are usually interesting folks who focus on the positive.

My son David – an All-American swimmer – got up every morning at 4:45am all through high school to work out in an outside pool. Even in sub-zero weather. Why? Because he loves to swim and because competing in his sport of choice sings to his heart. What sings to your heart?

We need to schedule time for things we love doing – you can give love better from your overflow – so fill your cup! In my book “Believe It! Become It!” I talk a lot about how to do this.

The fifth key to creating your own happiness: Use Positive Self-talk and Healthy Self-fulfilling Prophecies

We want to turn self-talk from negative to positive:

Instead of negative self-talk like this:

  • “I’m so stupid!”
  • “I’m such a lousy mom”
  • “I’ll never understand this computer!”


  • “This isn’t what I’m best at, but I’ll keep trying and get better!”
  • “Each day I’m more patient and loving.”
  • “I’m clever enough to figure this out!”

The sixth thing we can do to create joy and confidence is to ignore our negative thoughts.

We all have thousands of thoughts each day. Some are going to be positive and productive, and others will be worrisome, fearful, covetous, etc. The question isn’t whether or not you’re going to have negative thoughts – we all do – it’s what you choose to do with the ones you have.

You really only have two choices. You can either worry about them, analyze them, think more and more about them, or you can dismiss them; let them go! When you have a thought – that’s all it is…just a thought. It can’t hurt you without your permission.

Think of your negative thought as a match which has just been lit. You can either blow it out immediately and stay healthy, or you can let it burn, hurt and scar you.

The choice is yours.

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