Positivity is something a lot of us strive for, but we often end up missing the mark. It takes a lot of effort to reshape our thought processes into a giant ball of positive energy. So why, then, do we expect it to come so easily?

A few weeks ago, I attempted to filter out anything negative from my life. Instead of sleeping in, I aimed to wake up early and start my days fresh with inspirational Youtube videos, low-fat breakfast, and green tea. I adjusted my schedule to include daily workouts after months away from the gym and tried my ever hardest to keep a smile on my face during my five-hour shift at work. Every time a complaint formed on tip of my tongue, I swallowed it back. After all, positive people don't complain. They look for the good in the midst of unfortunate circumstances.

Similar to running a race, I was energized at the start with a simple goal in mind. Just stay positive. I hammered it into my brain over and over again until the smile on my face began to feel as if it were painted on. After a couple of days, it began to feel more like a chore than an actual goal that I was trying to reach. As you can imagine, I didn't make it to the finish line. We often hear the phrase "just be positive," but there's a lot more to it than that.

Positivity is a transient thing. It isn't realistic for us to be bursting balls of sunshine twenty-four hours a day. Sometimes we get angry or we feel sad, and that is completely normal. That's what makes us human. Guilting ourselves for such feelings in an effort to remain "positive" won't do us any good in the long run.

This isn't to say that the overall goal is bad. The changes to my routine were in fact very beneficial. I felt a lot lighter and much more awake by changing up my dietary patterns and working out, and beginning my mornings with positive videos put me in a good mindset for the day. But, while trying to reach this goal, it's important to be realistic. We can't expect ourselves to bloom into someone else overnight. Positivity is something that we may never grasp entirely, but every step does make a difference.