12 signs you’re a positive person (even if you’ve had your fair share of struggles)

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When you picture a positive thinker, maybe you imagine an annoying Pollyanna type, thrusting unsolicited and excessive zeal upon everyone they meet.

But positivity isn’t about surface-level platitudes and insisting everyone sees the world through rose-tinted glasses.

Denying that life can be hard and avoiding difficult feelings doesn’t make you a positive person, it makes you a fool.

Truly positive people get annoyed and grumble from time to time, just like the rest of us.

Unlike negative people though, they don’t find misery at every turn, and when they do encounter it, they don’t let it consume them.

Sound familiar?

Read on to see if you have these 12 signs of being a positive person, despite facing your fair share of struggles.

1.  You are a solution seeker.

Everyone has problems, and positive people are no exception.

It’s not that you experience less hardship in life, and it’s not that you brush your problems off and don’t feel the pain they can cause.

But rather than wasting time wallowing in self-pity, positive people face the problem head-on and use their time and resources to seek out a practical solution.

This might mean asking for advice or help (and then acting on it) to solve the problem.

Or it might mean working out what caused the problem in the first place, to prevent it from happening again.

And if a solution isn’t possible?

2. You trust that everything is happening as it should.

In a world of constant change and uncertainty, relinquishing control can be a tough pill to swallow.

But truly positive people have a deep sense that everything is happening according to a higher plan.

A plan they might not necessarily understand right now (or even like).  

This doesn’t necessarily mean you believe in a God in the traditional sense (although maybe you do), but you tend to have a feeling or knowing that the universe has its own design and that you are only a tiny part of it.

That’s not to say you sit back and let life happen to you (we’ll talk about that in point #11), but when things happen that you can’t control or understand, you let go and trust.

3. You find the good, even amongst the bad.

It can be hard to understand why bad things happen, and with the media delivering endlessly negative news, it’s easy to believe that the world is a terrible place filled with terrible people.

But when you’re a positive person, you know that for all the horrible acts committed, a million kind and good things are happening every minute of every day.

You believe the world is inherently a good place.

You don’t deny the hard times, but you focus on the joy life has to bring rather than letting the darkness take hold of you.

What’s more, because positive people trust that everything is happening as it should, they keep a sense of curiosity about what good and bad really mean.

Take this ancient Chinese proverb about a farmer whose horse runs away as an example.

The farmer’s neighbors are quick to comment on his bad luck. The farmer responds that no one can know what is good and what is bad. When the horse comes back with a wild stallion, the neighbors are quick to comment, this time talking about the farmer’s good luck. Again, the farmer replies that no one can know what is good and what is bad. When the farmer’s son breaks his leg trying to tame the wild stallion, the neighbors now are certain of the farmer’s bad luck. Again, the farmer says that no one knows. When war breaks out, all the able-bodied young men are conscripted into battle except the farmer’s son, who was spared because of his broken leg.

We all have preconceived ideas about what ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are, but in the grand scheme of life, none of us knows the truth until it has all played out to the very end.

4. You live in the now.

If you’re a positive person, you know that worrying about the future or dwelling in the past is a fruitless activity.

You’re only a human though, so let’s not pretend you don’t fall into this trap now and again.

But deep down you know there is nothing to be gained from getting lost in the past or obsessed with the future, and to do so risks missing out on many wonderful things that are happening right now.

So, you experience the emotions that present themselves, and then you move on.

You learn from the past rather than dwelling on it, and you prepare for the future and then let go, knowing you’ve done all you can.

Although you live in the now, you still have hopes and dreams for the future, but you approach them with a sense of wonder rather than a sense of expectation.

5. You’re thankful.    

If you’re a positive person, you’ll know how lucky you are.

Not lucky that you’re positive (although I’m sure you’re also grateful for that), but lucky for all the amazing things you have and experience.

You don’t take life for granted and you don’t have a sense of entitlement about what life, and everyone in it, owes you.

Take the bed you sleep in, your morning coffee, or your beautiful (and extremely noisy) children.

You don’t see these things as your right, but as a gift that you are eternally grateful for.

I’m not saying that you never take these things for granted. You’re not superhuman.

But when all is said and done, you know how truly blessed you are.

6. You’re fun to be with.

It’s easy to enjoy life when you have a positive outlook. And it’s easy to have a positive outlook when you enjoy life.

The endorphins released when you enjoy yourself keep you in a positive feedback cycle, that everyone wants a piece of.

You don’t take things too seriously, and you’re not afraid to embrace your inner child and laugh at yourself.

Whilst others are self-consciously worrying about looking silly, you aren’t afraid to let it all out on the dance floor (even if it’s only the private one you’ve made in your bedroom).

People are drawn to your positive and carefree energy, and you tend to inspire and bring out the best in others.

7. You’re kind.

When you’re a positive soul, you have more than enough good vibes to go around, and of course, you want to share them.

This doesn’t mean shoving meaninglessly positive platitudes in people’s faces. Rather, it means showing real empathy and offering to lend a hand or a non-judgmental ear to listen when your friends and family need it.

You smile at strangers on the street or hold open the door for the parent struggling with their buggy, knowing that a simple act of kindness like this can have a huge impact on someone’s day.

You don’t do it for gratitude, but of course, knowing you’ve made a difference boosts your positivity further.

8. You practice self-care.

Like everything in life, positivity takes effort. And if you’re a positive person you’ll know the value in making an effort with yourself.

I’m not talking about making an effort with how you look (unless that’s what you enjoy doing), but rather taking time out for yourself to keep your positivity tank topped up.

After all, if you’re running on empty, your PMA will be too.

So, when you feel your positivity starting to dwindle, it’s time to step back and give yourself some TLC.

9. You are open-minded.

If you’re a positive person you’ll know that everyone has their own views and beliefs, and that these differences can make life a rich tapestry, rather than a place of conflict.

You don’t force your beliefs or your positive approach onto others, but instead, see interactions with those who think differently from you as an opportunity for growth and learning.

Of course, now and then you’ll meet people who can’t handle your positive energy and will try to bring you down or wind you up.

But you don’t try to win them over, and you know when it’s time to cut them off and move on.

10. You accept responsibility and learn from setbacks.

You’re not afraid to admit when you’ve made a mistake, and you’re not in the habit of blaming others for problems of your own making.

You see these setbacks as opportunities for personal growth and you make sure you learn your lesson for next time.

Because of your positive outlook, you believe in yourself, and you trust that you can handle whatever life throws at you.

This allows you to face challenges and setbacks with resilience and determination.

11. You don’t wait for things to happen.

You don’t sit around waiting for good things to come to you.

Because you don’t have a sense of the world owing you, you know that if you want something, you are responsible for making it happen.

You believe that if you put good vibes out into the world, you will get good vibes back.

And you do.

We’ve all met that person who seems to have all the good luck…or the person who has all the bad luck.

Of course, bad things will still happen regardless of how positive you are. But there is no denying that what you give to the world and the people in it greatly affects what you get back.

12. You know yourself…

…and you stay true to yourself.

Positive people are authentic.

They aren’t faking surface-level positivity with social media posts of inspiring quotes and affirmations, whilst seething with negative thoughts and opinions on the inside.

If you are truly positive, you feel it deep within, and you don’t feel the need to thrust it, unsolicited, upon others.

Because it’s authentic, it just radiates from you.

You still have dark days, and you don’t pretend otherwise to yourself or others.

But you have the unshakeable belief that whatever happens, you will handle it.

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