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At this point in my life, and because of my experiences, I have more confidence to be who I want to be than ever before. That kind of wisdom, to believe in yourself and cherish each day, only comes after living through struggle-to-strength moments.

You must have a few down times in your life to cherish the good times. You can decide for what you have time in your life, and for what you do not.

I no longer have time for careless negativity, and neither should you. It zaps your precious energy. Like a vacuum, negativity sucks dreams right from their core and makes you believe you are not worthy to pursue your goals and dreams.

If you allow negativity to have a foothold in your life, you will have a difficult time ever kicking it away.

When I started becoming active on social media presence, I occasionally received criticism for my positive and enthusiastic approach to life and martial arts. Careless and ridiculous comments rolled in.

Even worse, strangers, I didn’t even know threatened to “ruin me” online for no apparent reason. I never understood it. Why, in the midst of a positivity mission, was I being blasted into negative space?

Still, it didn’t stop me because I knew what I wanted. I had to thicken my skin in order to take control. I began ignoring, deleting, and blocking those who wanted to thwart my positive approach. I decided that what anyone else had to say had nothing to do with my outreach or mission. Only I could define it or create it.

I only offer an opinion, and I don’t try to cram positivity down anyone’s throat. My approach is, If you like the idea, climb on board. If you think you are not living to your potential, or are feeling down about yourself, then a positive word can make all the difference, and that is exactly why I am here.

This is another life lesson, as well. Being you, and I mean really you, the unique and unlike any other you, takes bravery. If you want to rise above the ordinary to the extraordinary, it takes time, patience, effort, and confidence. While you cannot delete real negative people in real life as easily as you can the online ones, the idea is still the same.

Let go of the relationships that hinder you, and find the positive tribe that supports and believes in you.

While you cannot delete real negative people in real life as easily as you can the online ones, the idea is still the same. Let go of the relationships that hinder you, and find the positive tribe that supports and believes in you.

The moral of the story is that you cannot let others control you into being what they want you to be, or who they want to believe that you are. They might be jealous or stuck so far in negativity that they don’t know how to climb out.

You, though, have the choice and the chance to break free.  You can purposely choose positivity, or allow it’s opposite to distract you from living the life you want. What do you choose?

Why am I so certain that positivity works? Wisdom is my credential. I’ve “been there, done that,” and know that when I apply a positive mindset I rough the hard times more easily. By training in a martial art, and choosing positivity, I have taught my mind to think differently.

The mind, body, spirit concept is not some transparent bubble. Each element intimately connects to the other and offers you a haven to be your true self. How and what you feel on the inside is often comprised of outside influences, but if you let those go, you can control the negativity around you and begin to live a better, happier life.

Believe in yourself and know that there is no outside influence, even if negative or hurtful, that can change who you are. You can improve and you can grow, but you are you, and the sooner you accept that you are as worthy as any other person to find success, the sooner you begin your journey to success.

I can honestly say, that if not for the very difficult times in my life, I would not be writing about positivity. That may be the most contradictory statement I’ve ever made!

I would not change a thing, even if given the opportunity. I am exactly where I hoped, and have always wanted, to be because I decided to zap negativity.

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Andrea Harkins, a/k/a “The Martial Arts Woman,” is an internationally recognized writer, published book author, blogger, motivator, and public speaker. She has been a martial artist for 28 years, and is also a martial art instructor. Today, along with teaching and training, Andrea's passion and goal is to make the world a better place through her mission of positivity through martial arts.