Some people scoff at the power of positive thinking and refuse to change their attitude, never realizing that a positive attitude gives you power with a competitive edge that can drive you and your team to success. How does it work?
George applied for a new job but didn’t believe he deserved it or would get it. He had poor self-confidence and considered himself unworthy of success. During the week leading up to his interview, his mind was occupied with negative thoughts, self-doubt, and worries about the interview. On the morning of the interview, he got up late and discovered that his shirt was extremely wrinkled and his favorite necktie was stained. Too late to iron it, he ran out the door, looking rumpled, and without eating breakfast.
During the long-awaited interview, he worried about the wrinkled shirt and tie and was so distracted by it, he made a bad impression. Consequently, he failed to get the job – his worst fears materialized.
Now consider Janice, who applied for the same job. The week prior, she practiced visualizing herself making a good impression, researched the organization, and planned what she was going to wear to the interview. Two days prior to the interview, she double-checked her suit and blouse. On the day of the interview, she got up early, ate breakfast, and then arrived early for the meeting.
What do we learn from these two stories? Positive thinking is a choice, and you can become better at being self-confident and positive. Try these 5 tips for moving in that direction.
Tip 1: Monitor your inner dialogue.
When things heat up, do you tend to start talking to yourself in a negative way? Be keenly aware of your inner thoughts and refocus to a positive frame of mind when you start spiraling into negative thinking.
Tip 2: Avoid hyperbole.
Avoid “never” and “always” statements when reacting to a situation. Your client most likely doesn’t “always” lose her temper when talking to you, and it’s most likely not true that you “never” get recognized for your contributions. Overstating the facts makes it difficult to stay positive.
Tip 3: Give yourself credit.
When you’ve done something good, allow yourself a pat on the back for your actions. On the flip side, don’t blame yourself when things happen that are out of your control. Doing this cultivates optimism and can have a huge impact on your ability to be a positive thinker.
Tip 4: Get up and move around
When you feel yourself starting to go down a negative road, get up and walk around for a few minutes. Get the blood flowing and clear your head so that you can come back to the situation with a new outlook.
Tip 5: Practice makes perfect
As with any skill, positive thinking takes practice. Commit to being a positive thinker and practice it every day.