Some Words on Positivity

positivity

Positivity is something that has been on my mind a lot recently.  It’s just so easy to be happy when it’s a beautiful outside and you don’t have to go to class.  But, I have found that embracing positivity consistently takes a lot of thought and effort.  I am going to try to not be too “preachy” with this.  I just have a lot of information that I genuinely want to share with you guys for the sake of everyone’s well-being!  Friend to friend.

It begins with gratitude

The journey to positivity begins with gratitude.  Just taking some time to remind yourself of all that you have to be grateful for can seriously change the outlook of your day.  Here’s a challenge: write a list of 100 things you are grateful for.  I am certain that this will help you look at your day to day life a little differently.  There is always someone that has it worse than you do and we all have so much to be grateful for.

Finding gratitude for some of the smallest and most obvious things in life is often incredibly impactful.  Summer weather, the sunshine, and good health are all things that I am incredibly grateful for.  It can be quite moving to just realize how lucky we are to be alive.

Positivity takes effort

I spent a lot of time and effort in high school training myself to think positively, and I am just now realizing how much it is paying off.  Choosing to look on the bright side is always the right choice.

You may not realize how much negativity is engraved into our culture.  It is statistically proven that bad news sells better than good news.  Negativity excites people, but it can also be very damaging in the long run.  Fighting this natural tendency takes some effort.  Ultimately, you have to choose what kind of impact you are going to have.  You can let other people’s negativity influence you, giving way to more negativity or you can choose to inspire positivity for other people in your life.

Know Yourself

You should make an effort to know how you respond to both positivity and negativity.  How do you set up defenses against negativity?  What makes you happy?  I happen to be an introvert, so having some alone time is not only necessary for me, I actually get really excited to spend time alone!  Just taking a walk by myself helps clear my head and refocus my energy.  If you’re an introvert like me then you can probably relate!  No matter what your personality is like, just make sure you take care of yourself.

positivity

 

Keep a Record

Sometimes it helps to keep a record of things that make you happy or things that you are trying to accomplish.  For a while in high school, I would write down all the goals I had for the day during breakfast.  My goals were usually small things like compliment 3 people today, smile at someone you don’t know, get my homework done early, etc…  (I lost the journal I kept these goals in, that’s why I stopped.  Oops. 🙂 )  Even if you never get around to your goals, it helps to focus your mindset on positivity at the start of your day.  You can also keep a Pinterest board with positive quotes or motivational inspiration just to stay in the right headspace.

Rely on God

If there is one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that the ultimate peace comes from our God.  I think keeping positive relies on emotional stability, and for me that 100% comes from God.  God didn’t create us to live in a sludge of negativity.  Through Him, we have so much to rejoice in.  He is the one to whom all our gratitude should be directed.  He wants us to be happy.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  -John 14:27

All in all, it sounds pretty simple to keep a positive outlook, but I’m sure it’s no surprise that many people fail daily at this simple concept.  The good thing about being positive is that you get points for trying!  So, from a friend to a friend, I hope these points were helpful.  Please leave any advice on positivity!  I’m sure we can all learn from eachother.

Why I Started Blogging

blogging

I don’t know about you, but I really love to hear stories from other bloggers on how they got their start!  What’s cool about the blogging community is that everyone comes from different walks of life.  There are certainly more bloggers that never had a formal education in regards to blogging (this girl included!)  There is no required education for blogging, you just need a vision.  While I don’t have a degree in social media marketing or creative writing, I am happy to share with you how I got my start and a few things I’ve learned along the way.

When Did You Start Blogging?

In February of 2016.  I was a freshman in my second semester in college.  You could often find me doing a boatload of research in regards to blogging in my dorm room.  I had been thinking about starting a blog for several months, even though I barely had a clue what blogging really meant.  In fact, at the time I started blogging, I didn’t even follow a single blog online.  Other blogs might as well have been unicorns or leprechauns to me. 🙂

The kickstart to my blog was the result of a disappointment.  Unfortunately, I had a lot more time on my hands than I had anticipated.  I hadn’t gotten into the big musical of the semester that I really thought I had a chance of getting into.  (I’ve since learned a lot about how to get into shows too!)  So all the evenings that I thought would be used for rehearsal were open and I had nothing to do.  I spent a lot of those evenings figuring out the logistics of blogging.  I am glad that I turned a disappointment into a time of personal growth.

 

Why Did You Start Blogging?

Like I said, I had been thinking about starting a blog for several months.  It goes back to the summer before college, when I worked at camp.  Working at camp had been a time of great personal growth for me and everyone on staff.  I had learned so much about myself, and about God, and about personal relationships.  I felt like I had a really positive message to share.  I just didn’t know how.

I hadn’t ever really considered myself a “writer.”  You know the type: people who just have a natural thirst for writing.  That usually means they’re pretty good at it too!  That wasn’t me, but I knew I had some thoughts and ideas I wanted to share.

My blog has evolved quite a lot from my original visions.  I always planned on writing content about faith and my life though.  Then I discovered the college blogging community and I realized that blogging was a great way to meet other people!  Now I love writing content about college; anywhere from writing papers to study help.  I would call my blog a lifestyle/faith/college blog, which are most of the topics I write about.

Here is a special treat: this was the first header of my blog!  I don’t know why I wanted an off-center orange theme, but that’s just what I had envisioned!

blogging

Why Do You Like Blogging?

My blog was the first thing I built completely from scratch and completely by myself.  I had to go through some really frustrating moments to get what was in my head onto the screen in front of me, but I’m really glad I did!  Starting my blog really taught me to dream big and pursue my goals.  Furthermore, people are impacted and respond to what I write.  I didn’t think there would be something in my life besides theatre that would have an audience!  The months after starting my blog was when I felt the most empowered I had ever felt in my life.

The cool thing about my blog is that I can make it whatever I want it to be.  If you are thinking about starting a blog, I would absolutely recommend it!  Please feel free to reach out to me and ask questions.  Most people are quite willing to help out a new blogger!

If there is a story behind the start of your blog, I would love to hear it!




9 Simple New Year’s Resolutions

resolutions

Even though it’s the dead of winter, New Years is the ideal time for new beginnings!  New Year’s resolutions are exciting, but the question is: what resolution is right for you?  Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint what exactly needs to be done in your life to have a personal revolution.  But why do New Year’s resolutions have to have such high stakes?  If you’re looking for some change with the new year, but not a drastic plan of evolution, consider some of these simple but effective resolutions.

Read More Books

I used to be an avid reader when I was in grade school.  I was absolutely obsessed with several different book series.  I really love reading, but so many things get in the way.  Usually, I make the excuse of not having enough time on my hands, but I can’t really say that when I’m filling it with Netflix and Youtube videos.  I think reading one book a month is a good goal to start off with.  I’m taking recommendations now!  If you’re a blogger (or any type of creative) I would highly recommend Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  You can read my review here.

Try Something New

I think this is a pretty common resolution for people.  Trying to expand your horizons with something new every month, or every week, or every day is an admirable goal.  I think we can simplify this just by changing our mindset towards new things.  Teach yourself to be more open about trying different things and look forward to change in your life.

Be Healthier

This is probably the #1 resolution for many people, but it’s probably the #1 failure as well.  Instead of sticking to a rigorous diet or exercise regime, commit to simply adaptive your daily routine and habits.  Hardcore changes in lifestyle almost always fail, so just make yourself more open to healthier options.  Start by drinking more water!

Use Less

Brainstorm some ways that you can cut back.  Try to take shorter showers or not charge your phone for longer than you need to.  Throw away or give away things that you don’t have a use for or a place to store.  It always feels good to know that your are playing a little part in cutting back on waste.

Pick a Word

I’m a fan of picking a word for a particular season of life I’m going through.  What better time to start a new season than New Years?  I am in the habit of picking one word to let go of for the year as well.  You can read about my focus words for the last season of my life here.  I have found that picking these words have given me something to cling to when my mind and energies are spent elsewhere.  How much simpler can you get than one word?

Go to bed earlier

This happens to be a particular favorite of mine!  I love being in a routine that gets enough sleep with a quiet evening at home.  Who couldn’t benefit from waking up earlier and feeling more rested?  If I had my way, I would be in bed by 10:30pm every night, however, this isn’t always possible for full-time students.  I think turning out the lights before midnight with a good half hour of quiet time beforehand is a good alternative.

Read the Bible More

A New Year is a new opportunity to get into the Word more!  Start this year by making a commitment to spend more time with God, and the best way to do that is to read more of the Bible.  Some other things you can do to have a more rewarding quiet time is journaling, drawing, listening to or playing music, and reflecting on what you’ve learned.  I even have a post about how getting into the practice of reading your Bible can make you a better student.

Reflect

The Honors Program at my college has instilled in me the benefit of reflection.  This is totally up for interpretation.  Maybe you would like to keep a journal, or draw your life, or start a blog.  2017 is a great year to start a blog!  Either way, putting your thoughts into words has always been a beneficial practice for me, especially through this blog.  You’ve got thoughts and feelings that mean something, why not share with others?

Be Friendlier

Sometimes friendliness means going above and beyond what you would normally do as a friend or acquaintance.  Support others and be more open minded.  Be more generous, more encouraging, or more willing to help out.  It doesn’t hurt to be kind!

 

The Art of Not Caring what People Think About You

the art of not caring what people think about you

I don’t really care what people think about me.

JK, I actually do.

Well, generally I think I am pretty good at being indifferent to the opinions of others, but I know that I fall short more often than I should.  I believe everybody has some concern over what others think about them, don’t you?  Haven’t you ever had to throw away something in class, but you refuse to get up and go to the trash because you don’t want people to look at you?  Precisely.  I would be willing to bet this happens to us all more that we realize, but of course there are those moments when you really don’t care.  For example: 14 year old me would never let me get away with this, but now I’ll go out in sweats and a t-shirt that are both grey!  Scandal!  I may think about it for a minute, but it doesn’t stop me from going out.

I have a totally different reaction about my reputation and past successes in theatre.  As this school year has gone on, I have become more and more self-conscious about my accomplishments.  I’ve even told people my acting resume is the most embarrassing thing about my life!  I try to take this with a bit of perspective, but it’s hard to go easy on yourself when you go to a school where it seems like everybody has played several lead roles and worked in professional theatres.

Comparison is the ultimate downfall to relieving yourself of others opinions.  I am super guilty of playing the comparison game, and that’s just not fair to myself.  Nevermind all the crazy standards portrayed in the media and movies; I know some really stellar people in real life that I wish I could be more like!  Being surrounded by people who embody all the characteristics you wish you had is pretty intimidating, how can you not compare yourself to people like that?

The key to overcoming comparison is to strive to be the best version of yourself.  Chances are the people you admire aren’t amazing because they are a carbon copy of one of their role models.  They are amazing because they are the only ones that play their part perfectly.  You can do the same!

Everything is so much easier when you aren’t concerned about what people are thinking about you.  Have you ever been on a trip away from home, and you just don’t care about how you look or act because you will probably never see any of these people again?  Well, it’s possible to live like that all the time.

The most important thing to remember is that you have something to offer this world.  Wherever you go and whatever you are doing, just be prepared to live your life honestly and play your character right.  You are smart, you know things, and that’s what people want to see.

Why is it so hard for us to let go of what others think about us?  Because not all opinions people bestow on us are bad ones.  Approval from others can be a very addictive thing to pursue, but being dependent on positive opinions of others doesn’t just work one way; you are ultimately affected by the bad ones too.

To avoid this dependency, we have to find our value in something much more stable.  In the grand scheme of things, no one is qualified to pass judgement on anyone else, so don’t worry about it!  We also have to accept that everyone is an individual and we are all on our own walks of life.  Overcoming the opinions of others isn’t easy, but it can really save you some stress.  Don’t you have enough things to worry about?

I am calling this practice of overcoming the opinions of others an “art” instead of a “how to guide”.  Art is something that can always be improved and is never really finished.  Learning to let go of other people’s opinions of you is something to work on constantly.  We are likely to fail many times, but there is also great joy to be found in this practice.  Therefore, it is an art. 🙂

The thing is this: no one ever got anywhere by playing it safe.  We should not be afraid to embrace our individuality just because others who are equally as flawed call us out on it.  Our world would lack so much color if everyone lived in fear of other’s opinions.  Nearly everyone who has made a name for themselves had to ignore some haters at one point in time.

Do you know what the real secret is to being successful as an actor?  You have to be yourself.  Offering the world of theatre something that they have never seen before is the best way to get noticed, and ultimately someone will appreciate your individuality.  However, this goes for every single thing that we face as humans.  The secret to success is being yourself, and that’s what your are automatically best at.

I hope these few words were encouraging to you.  If this is something you struggle with, just remember that it’s perfectly natural, and perfectly in your control.  🙂

Let’s Rethink the Way We Look at Honesty

Let's Rethink The Way We Look At Honesty

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  -John 8:32

Dishonesty is a defense mechanism, at least it is in today’s culture.  People lie all the time to get out of trouble, clear their name, or even make money; and that’s acceptable.  If you have to lie to protect yourself, surely no one will hold it against you.  I think this especially applies to the politicians and celebrities of today’s world.

Honesty, on the other hand, isn’t such a virtue today.  Sometimes honesty is viewed as a vulnerability.  When you are completely honest, you look weak.  Your flaws and insecurities are exposed, and that’s not acceptable.  Even when you have only good things to share with the world, honesty can sometimes be considered annoying.  When you’re a Christian, people might not want your honesty at all.

Shouldn’t we do a double take about now?  There is a truth that is meant to set us free, but this doesn’t seem like freedom at all.  Lying is second nature to many, but maybe just telling the truth can move us towards freedom.

I think it’s about time we rethink the way we look at honesty.

Being Honest With Yourself

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?”  -Jeremiah 17:9

Wouldn’t it make sense that we have the ability to understand our hearts?  I mean, it’s not like anybody else can tell us our own thoughts and feelings.  For whatever emotion we are experiencing, there must be some reason for it.  But have you ever wanted something that you know is bad for you?  This is what Jeremiah 17:9 is talking about: our hearts deceive us.  They make us think we need something in our lives that would hurt us to pursue; like money, fame, success, relationships, respect.  Our heart makes us think that we are entitled to these things, and though these things are not evil in themselves, you could waste a lifetime of energy on pursuing your hearts desires.

Oh, but shouldn’t we follow our hearts?

Well, perhaps.  But, that doesn’t mean you should follow your every whim.  Our hearts are a major way that God communicates with us, so pray that He would live inside yours.  In truth, it is the unguarded heart that will trip you up, so make sure you are always praying that God would live in your heart to protect you from it.

Being Honest With Others

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”  -Colossians 3:9-10

If you are a Christian, that means you’re a Christ-follower, but it’s more than that.  Christians are meant to be people who strive to be like Christ.  And of course, we know that Jesus always told the truth.  That is what the Bible is built on; telling us the truth.  There are a lot of lies that people tell us in this world, but the Bible is the one thing we can rely on to always speak the truth into our lives.

We, as Christians, should be doing the same for others.  Whether or not the people you encounter on a daily basis are Christians, you should always strive to be honest with them.  Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb and make yourself vulnerable.  Tell your story; God has done amazing things for you, and it would be lying to say that you haven’t been changed by Him.

Being Honest With God

“Then hear from heaven, your dwelling place.  Forgive and act; deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of all men)”  -1 Kings 8:39

This seems kind of silly to say, but you can lie to God too.  Of course God knows every part of you, so it seems like lying to him wouldn’t be an issue, but when you aren’t honest with God, it means that you aren’t putting all your trust in Him.

Sometimes I’ve lied to God when I’ve said I’m ok.  I’ve found myself wanting to pray about something that’s bothering me, but then I don’t because I realize that there are some people who have it so much worse than I do.  However, God cares about all of our little problems that we face in life.  By refusing to pray about something that’s bothering me, I’m basically saying “Never mind God, I’ll handle this one!”  That’s certainly not what He wants, and I probably can’t take care of myself as well as he can.

I just realized this today, but the root of the word “honesty” is honor.  I’m sure this means more than just telling the truth.  If God desires us to be honest, then having a truthful attitude brings God glory.  It think this verse sums it up nicely.

“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”  -John 12:16

Honesty is more of a matter of the heart than about whether or not what you say is truthful.  So, do a double take, reconfigure your code of honor, and don’t be afraid to tell the truth.

Much love,

Delaney