by Monika Blichar
It’s January 2018 and although I’ve heard that this is the month that most people describe as the one of the most dreary, dismal and depressing, I have had a complete opposite experience this year. January 2018 for me has been one of the best months that I have had in a long time-not only for my business goals but also for my personal victories. I would have to attribute this happy experience to being positive and being extremely conscious of my thoughts so far this year. Paying attention to my thoughts and striving to think only positive (and big!) has truly brought me motivation, passion, and confidence this month that I haven’t experienced in a long time professionally or personally. If you are an artist or creative entrepreneur, you know how difficult it can be to think positive when you are responsible for so much! Yet, this month in particular, I have found a tremendous amount of joy in being joyful!
Here are my top 5 tips to stay positive as we go into February! If they help you, please send me your thoughts or experiences. If you think they can help someone else, please share! If you have something to add, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I always love to hear from all of you who follow what I do with my art life!
1-Declutter and Organize
We are moving our studio and gallery to our new location this week, I have been decluttering and organizing A LOT since about October when I found out our building was going to be sold. It has meant throwing stuff out, giving things away, and doing a really good overhaul of what is serving me and what isn’t. Why do we hang onto things even when we don’t use them? I had ammassed a huge stock pile of supplies that I hadn’t even touched and accepted gifts of donations for ‘that one day maybe project’. As a result of this deep clean, I have been able to organize my new space with more ease, free up space for my own mental process and also feel like I have less to worry about. When you declutter your space and life, you feel less weight (literally from carrying so much stuff around with you!) and that makes you feel more positive and clear about where you are going. What can you get rid of this week?
2-Share Positivity on Your Platform!
I’ve always been very conscious of what I say or with whom I share my challenges or complaints with. I intentionally fill my personal and professional social media pages with positivity and cheerfulness becuase I know that what I send out there affects other people when they see it. I am so aware of all the connectivity between people, in the cyber world or in reality, that I always make sure people remember me as the one who is super positive and full of sunshine. Why? Well, I do this for two reasons. The first is because I genuinely want people around me to FEEL good. When people feel good around me, they are happy, positive and fueled by this energy of happiness which they carry on into their daily lives. I feel good when people feel good too! Second, being positive is contagious. Afterall, when people are super negative around you, do you want to hang around or work with them in the future? Be cautious of what you toss around on your social media. Use your platform online and your daily interactions with people in your life to inspire, motivate and encourage others! Try it out for a week and notice how much your world will change.
3-The World Ain’t All Sunshine and Rainbows-Rocky VI
It’s not always sunshine and rainbows-life is not fair, things will happen that won’t be ideal, you will loose, you will fail, you will struggle. That is the nature of life-we are not meant to be here to live in Eutopia. We have to work for what we want out of life-no one comes in to save the day and hand it to you. (Well not without strings attached if you know what I mean!) You have to chase that dream with so much vigor and desire knowing that if you don’t, it could fade away into the abyss of forgotten dreams and never be realized. Acknowledge and let go of what you have told yourself about your past, your experiences, your current situation and all those things that are stopping you from letting go of the excuses that it takes to make your dreams happen. Sure, you had a cummy childhood but that was 30 years ago. So what you have a horrible boss right now who takes up all your time and you can’t work on your art like you’ve always wanted. Do something about it. Maybe you don’t have the confidence to ask a gallery to put your work up; however, if you never put yourself out there, you will never get that solo show you’ve been dreaming of. Stand up for yourself and your dream. No one else is going to do it for you. Make yourself and your dreams your number one priority and keep going no matter what! When the going gets tough, the tough get going!
4-Squash Negativity Immediately
When I am alone with my thoughts and something negative pops up, I’ve been very receptive and quick to acknowledge it and then let it go. When people start talking to me about something that is negative, my strategy is to try to deflect it as much as possible and focus on the solution to what they are complaining about rather than continue to delve into their problem with them. I’ve always tried to be a listener and someone that people can count on which is very flattering (and also why lots of people tell me their problems!) but this year, I am choosing to focus on people, experiences, and development that not only fills me with joy and passion, but does the same for the people I surround myself with. Sure, that taxi driver you get might not be super nice but give him a compliment when you leave. Maybe your partner had a rough day, do something nice for them to cheer them up. Have a friend telling you all about their problems? Politely tell them that they should seek advice elsewhere or suggest a destressing activity like yoga or meditation. Steering people into positive interactions with you will only help stop negativity from seeping into your life!
Last, I want to focus on bringing positive people into your sphere. Sure, this sounds easier said than done becuase, what do you do with all those negative people you’ve been friends with or perhaps tolerated in your business for so long? What I know for sure is that successful people; and I mean truly genuine go-getters, don’t surround themselves with negative people or put themselves in negative situations by choice. Taking an inventory of the negative influences in your life both personally and professionally will help you find out who the positive people are you do know and will help you better assess who you should be spending your time with. One of my goals this year is to meet as many positive people as I can and make new friends who also share this belief in the power of positivity in life and business as I do. Don’t just dump your old friends, but rather encourage them to join you at a new professional event, a mindfulness or creative retreat or other uplifting activity. Try to surround yourself with people who are like minded, goal orientated and most of all people who lift you up and want to help you become your best self!
Try some of these things out in February! See how they shape your life and how they affect your outcome!
Monika Blichar has a B.C.College of Teachers accreditation and a B.A. in English and French from the University of Victoria. She is the owner of Art World Expo, Monika’s Art Boutique-Studio & Gallery, and Painting Dreams International Art Tours. She has a passion for art and all things good in life. Headshot by Shannon Ruth Dionne Photography.