More often than not we’d like to admit, we are our own worst enemies - nipping our skills in the bud, second guessing our decisions, limiting our imaginations, localizing our dreams, having little to no faith in our abilities, wishing we could have performed some tasks better, ok, maybe you really could have done it better but do you treat it as a learning experience or do you move forward feeling dejected? Nothing stunts professional growth in our careers and the work place like our own thoughts and the little opinions we have of ourselves.
Positive thinking is often affiliated with an upbeat attitude, it sounds nice to describe yourself as a positive thinker, and we all desire to exude positivity. It however, goes beyond having a sunny disposition, flashing a radiant smile, simply being happy or putting up Instagram posts with the #PositiveVibes hashtags. Positive thoughts have the power to make an undeniable impact in your professional growth, your health and it aids in developing your skillset.
Maintaining a positive disposition in the face of adversity is no mean feat, especially since we naturally have a negative bias that instinctively causes us to over-react, react negatively, become overly sensitive or build a mountain out of a mole hill. This inherent reaction to challenges and obstacles can easily hinder professional growth if not mastered. The following techniques help in subduing our natural inclination to react negatively to obstacles and threats.
Developing habits of positive thinking
1. Meditation — Sparing some time during your day to meditate helps in focusing your thoughts, and goes a long way in developing valuable long term skills such as organizational skills, attention to detail and mindfulness.
2. Writing — The therapeutic benefits of writing are undeniable. Take time every day to write about the day’s positive experiences and/or the positive lessons learned from challenging tasks. With time, writing helps you manage your stress levels, enabling you to be more effective in your tasks.
3. Play — All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It is imperative to intentionally schedule play time into your routine just like we do for conference calls, meetings, work events, and other responsibilities. If all you have time for is work and zero time to have fun, go on an adventure or explore, the lack luster life you lead will eventually start reflecting in the quality of your work and it may lead to burn out. You will start handling your tasks with displeasure and the time you spend in the office will be characterized by sporadic mood swings and feelings of emptiness, unhappiness and depression. Scheduling time for leisure enables you to feel instant gratification and helps you develop new skills.
4. Reading – Regularly reading motivational books, self-help publications and inspirational quotes automatically leads to the development of a positive attitude. You are what you read and feeding your mind positivity is critical in fostering a winning mindset. Reading helps you create a mantra to leave by and assists you in widening your vocabulary to accommodate more positive expressions.
In life, you are bound to encounter numerous obstacles in your path, both within the work place and without. You win some, you learn some, forget the ‘you win some you lose some’ narrative because if you don’t take home a win, it’s a learning experience. Purpose to always give 150% to all tasks you’re assigned, take the rough with the smooth, try not to sweat the small stuff, smile often, keep your chin up, and remember that you are in charge of your destiny and life is only as good as you make it.