I've been thinking today about positivity ... its power, why we lose it, what it can do for us, why it can be hard to remain positive at times. I think we have all experienced a loss of positive feelings, for however brief a time. I know I have. I know there have been times I have wanted to quit, to vent, to stomp my feet and throw a fit. Luckily, most of the time I manage to bring myself back from the edge before too long. Something I have come to realize is that negativity breeds negativity; and a positive outlook multiplies exponentially.
Don't we all know these two people?
Danny Downer never has a good word to say about anything or anyone. He will regale you with his latest woes all afternoon if you'll let him. When you leave Danny, you feel a bit grumpy, put-upon and just plain old tired.
On the other hand, Sunny Sally never met a person she didn't like, never goes anywhere without a smile on her face. Somehow, Sally leaves you feeling like you can take on the world, like you matter. She leaves you with a smile on your face.
Yes, I know I'm being a bit simplistic. But I'll bet if you think hard enough, there's a few people in your life that you can put in each category. And by the way, between Danny and Sally, who do you think will sign up more Stylists and book more parties? Just sayin' ...
The thing about both positivity and negativity is that each attitude is highly contagious. Not only does negativity affect one individual, it spreads to everyone that person interacts with. Developing a positive focus is a habit that can be formed like any other. Here are some suggestions to help shift the mindset from negative to positive.
- Shift Your Thoughts. Be conscious of your thoughts, especially when things are not going your way. As soon as you can see that you are going into a negative spiral, STOP! Think about something completely unrelated. This breaks the thought pattern, and helps you to gain control of how you think.
- Have an Attitude of Gratitude. It has been said, and I think even proven, that you cannot be both angry and grateful at the same time. There is abundance in your life ... see it.
- What Makes You Smile? We all have memories that bring a smile to our face whenever we think of them. Think of them as needed.
- What is the Lesson? No matter the situation, there is a lesson to be learned. In fact, I would argue that the worse the situation, the more powerful and necessary the lesson. Understand and appreciate this gift.
- Use Positive Affirmations. Many of us are tougher on ourselves than on anyone else. So give yourself positive feedback and affirmations. Practice seeing yourself as a positive and confident individual.
- Put Criticism on a Diet. See if you can stop, or at least cut down on criticizing other people and situations. Shift from fault-finding to appreciation-giving.
(Thanks to Tina Su)
To your success!