Being positive can make you feel energized and take calculated risks. On the other hand, being negative slows productivity. Sure, it’s possible to learn to think more positively and approach tasks and setbacks with a brighter attitude. The trick is in how to change your mindset.
For years, many authors and speakers have emphasized the power of daily affirmations, or repetition of phrases such as “I am smart,” or maybe, “today is the first day of the rest of my life.” Although these steps work better than repeating negative thoughts internally or out loud, author David A. Fields, who wrote Guide to Winning Clients (Morgan James Publishing, 2017), says affirmations are a waste of time.
Fields gives two reasons why he believes the practice fails: Although a person might repeat positive affirmations, the affirmations only work if the individual truly believes in the positive message. Otherwise, it’s a regular opportunity to doubt oneself, and eventually introduce negative thoughts, the opposite of what the affirmation should accomplish. Secondly, always trying to quash negative feedback with positive affirmations can prevent learning from one’s mistakes, an essential success factor as leaders learn to persevere.
So, how can you or potential self-starters in your organization improve your positive thinking? Try these five tips from Success Factors Inc:
- Start with a vision. Instead of an affirmation, work on your vision. That is, consider your dreams and create a clear picture of what you want to achieve in life, or what a team can achieve at work. Ask as many detailed questions as necessary to get to the inner vision that works best for you and align it with the vision of your organization if you can. By building on this visual, positive start, you can more easily persevere during setbacks. Vision inspires possibilities!
- Use your vision and positive mindset to tackle issues head on. With a clear vision in mind, you can map out your plan for success and address decisions and issues with the positive image of where you’re headed. For example, if your vision is to be head of your department in five years, every major decision you make or action you take should support that vision. Having a vision might make you think twice before reacting negatively or ignoring a problem you must tackle.
- Deal with challenges by deciding what’s possible vs. what could go wrong. There are two ways to approach challenges and obstacles. One is to accept defeat, and the other is to list possibilities for making it better. And willingness to take calculated risks, another success factor, requires seeing possibility in a situation.
- Use constructive feedback. Spread your positive approach with those who can help you reach your vision. This works best when you provide constructive feedback that leads all your team in the same direction instead of criticizing out of frustration. Few people succeed with no help at all!
- Create a culture of positive thinking and success. The only way an organization can continue to succeed is with a culture that approaches the business, clients and setbacks positively. Leaders set the tone for the productivity of their workers by rewarding hard work and showing how it pays off, for instance. Culture plays a huge role in helping everyone on a team or in an organization work together toward a common vision. And if you’re the manager who sets the tone, you’re well on your way to personal success.
Give us a call at 425-485-3221 today to discuss how we can help with your positive mindset. We would love to help you!