Our mood, outlook, and attitude impact our lives so much more than is immediately obvious. Think about some of the more negative-minded people that you know. Don’t you think their lives would be dramatically improved by a more positive mindset? The impact of negativity becomes obvious the longer we walk around in the world as adults. We begin to instinctively understand that complaining and being pessimistic about the future is super counterproductive.
(Photo Credit: Andy Atzert/Flickr)
So, it stands to reason that thinking more positively (even if you’re beginning from a pretty upbeat place) could make a real difference for your career and your life. Let’s take a closer look at a few tips to maximize the positivity within. You’ll be glad you did.
1. Don’t start until you find the joy.
It’s tempting to dive right in when starting to tackle a new project or action item. But, before you present that information to others (either in writing or verbally) make sure you’re enthusiastic about the work.
Early on, focus on finding something in the project that makes you feel excited or even joyful. If you do, the work itself will be more pleasant for you, and your enthusiasm and positivity will leap out at others when you share your ideas with them. It might take you a little longer to get started or complete the task, but the benefits of your positive attitude will mean that the process was well worth your time.
2. Stay away from negative types.
Negative people are super draining, and their negative attitudes are actually contagious. Sometimes, we shift our ways of thinking and talking in order to empathetically match the mood of our negative co-worker, boss, or friend. It’s human nature to align ourselves energetically with others, but this is exactly the reason why staying away from negative people is important. Don’t let these folks rub off on you. Distance yourself from them as much as possible.
Negative thinking is often rooted in a fear of failure. The thoughts stem from a concern about outcome and how that outcome will impact the individuals involved. But, positive people don’t worry that way about mistakes. They know that they’ll make them and that they will learn from them when they do. It’s a lot easier to go through life with an upbeat attitude when we have realistic and forgiving expectations for ourselves.
Just because the work you’re doing is important, that doesn’t mean that you have to get all bogged down in the weight of it. Try to remember that you can take your work seriously without being too hard on yourself. Do your best professionally, and remember that finding relief from the heaviness and the struggle from time to time will only support the trajectory of your career and your overall happiness.
5. Remember that when things get tough, a positive attitude is especially important.
It can be tempting to give into negativity when times are difficult, but this is precisely when we need to step up the positivity. It’s important to find a silver lining through those rain clouds. It’s what gives us the energy and motivation to keep working through the problems that are dragging us down. Talk about your difficulties with others, even complain a little when you need to, just make sure that you end the conversation on a positive note.
It’s a simple trick that actually really works. Smiling can change the way you feel almost immediately. Try it the next time you’re feeling down and see if it doesn’t help. Even if you don’t have anything to smile about, do it anyway; it will still have an effect. But, smiling at someone else is even better still. They’ll likely smile back. It turns out that positivity is contagious too.
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