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Is Positive Thinking Just Gobbledygook?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 Author // Denise Becker - Positive Life B.C. Categories // Women, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Ms. Crimson Lips

Denise Becker says Confidence is the key to unlocking good things - like, for example enabling her to go to an Ottawa Canadian AIDS Society World AIDS Day gala to receive a medal!

Is Positive Thinking Just Gobbledygook?

When I was told I was terminally ill in 1994, the doctor put his arm around my shoulders as I left his office and said:  “I know it’s hard but try to think positive, it helps”.

I thought he had lost his mind.  I had just received devastating news and he was telling me to think positive - it felt like an impossible task.  I felt like I had just been thrown overboard, lost at sea, treading water, and all I could do was just try to breathe air!

It was hard to think positive when I heard people mocking those with HIV.  I listened to the radio one day and there was a joke about Magic Johnson “dribbling” a ball down the court and people clearing the way.  Those kinds of comments made me feel angry and sick.

After two years, I had enough and was keenly aware that I had to be part of a change.  I knew that if I wanted people to understand what it was like living with HIV, I had to get over my fear and tell people. As Ghandi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

From that time on, I always felt confident that people would understand.  I stopped caring what people thought.  I knew I would tell them the facts and if they chose to be willfully ignorant after that, then it was not my problem, I wouldn’t take it on.

However, without knowing it, I was now thinking positive. I believe there is a difference between wanting something to happen and being sure it will.  Confidence is the key.  Being in the NOW, as Eckhart Tolle would say, is different than wishing for a change in the future.  And I have a great recent example.

I was told I would be one of the lucky recipients   of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. I say “lucky” because I think there were many, many people who were far more worthy than me but I was very fortunate to be nominated. That aside, I knew I couldn’t afford to go to the Canadian AIDS Society World AIDS Day Gala but I had every bit of confidence that I would be going and I had no idea how or why, I just KNEW I would go.

I was so sure I would go that I started to find out who would send me and began looking for a sponsor, I had no doubt I would find one.  Without the confidence, I would not have taken the action steps.  After a few enquiries didn’t pan out, I thought about a lady I had recently become reacquainted with - Fiona Macfarlane, the Managing Partner of the Vancouver accounting firm of Ernst & Young International. I knew she had contacts and could recommend whom I could approach.  I emailed her and she replied to leave it with her and she would give it some thought. The next day, to my huge surprise, she said she and her Ernst & Young partner, Elise Rees, would use their Aeroplan points to send me - I was stunned.  I had not expected that outcome at all!

I knew then that positive thinking and confidence worked, when you believed in yourself enough to use actionable steps then mountains move.  I am a strong believer that if you don’t put your knowledge into practice, then you will never succeed.

I strongly believe in being thankful for good people and knowing that you are very fortunate, recognizing it and being grateful for it.  I believe with all my heart that CONFIDENCE is the key that unlocks positive thinking and is the key to the positive action door.

About the Author

Denise Becker - Positive Life B.C.

Denise Becker - Positive Life B.C.

Denise Becker lives in Mission, BC.  She has had HIV for 25 years and enjoys helping others with motivational speeches and blogging.  Her hobbies are photography, writing and spending time with Ziggy, her doberman.

Denise is an inspirational and motivational speaker, on twitter @DeniseSBecker and also blogs under her own website

In 2012, Denise was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for her work and commitment to HIV/AIDS in Canada.