For those of you that know me, most would agree that I’m a pretty positive person. This week I want to talk about something that I’ve started to see appear more around me lately, and that’s negativity. The road of life, whether personal or professional, can be fraught with bumps and obstacles. At times, these stresses can seem overwhelming to all of us. Everyone, including me, has an occasional bad day, but learning to maintain a positive attitude is the first line of defense against the negative effects of life’s challenges.
I think negativity is like a wet blanket. It is not comforting, and it depletes your energy and drive for achievement. A negative attitude wears down your happiness, your motivation and your chances for success. A positive attitude promotes happiness, energy, confidence, and creative inspiration. These effects drive you to take on problems and challenges with a determination to solve them, and you feel motivated to strive for new goals and embark on new endeavors. When you adopt a positive attitude, you exude the confidence to conquer life’s obstacles, and this confidence empowers you to achieve your goals. A positive attitude is contagious as it radiates from your demeanor and encourages others around you. When you believe in yourself, then your family members, friends and coworkers are inspired to believe in themselves as well.
If you are a parent, you likely want your children to be all that they wish to be. You have done your best to instill confidence in your children, encouraging them to try out for the school play, tackle the tough math problem, enter the writing contest or even apply to the college of their dreams. We all believe in our children. You must believe in yourself, just as you would believe in your children, to achieve the rewarding results we’re all working towards.
Many people have asked me how I manage to stay so positive despite difficulties or problems. Adopting a positive attitude is a matter of learning to acknowledge your abilities and conveying from within that you are more than capable of expanding on your talents. Once you achieve this powerful first step of self-appreciation, your renewed confidence in yourself will start to inspire others. I’ve found that others are very drawn to positive people, and the same is just as true for a positive person. I don’t want to be around those who are always negative, so I try to help by giving them tips that have helped me.
There are several additional simple things that you can do to increase your happiness, confidence and motivation. First, simply choose to be happy. This may seem silly, but the decision to be happy is your choice. There are times when this is easier said than done, but most of the little annoyances that bring you down can be cast aside in your mind. Many of these things are likely insignificant in the grand scheme of your life, and dwelling on them will only detract from your goal of maintaining a positive attitude.
Force yourself to be optimistic by finding a silver lining in every cloud. View challenges and obstacles as opportunities and learning experiences. If you try to visualize the outcome that you desire and mentally accept nothing less, the solution will come into focus more easily. By worrying over the potential outcome that you fear, your negativity will only lead to your mind spinning its wheels in a desperate search for the solution.
Find things to smile about, no matter how trivial some of these things may be. A smile has the power to elevate other people’s confidence in you, which boosts your own positive attitude. The client on the other end of the phone can actually detect your smile in your voice while talking on the telephone.
Seek inspiration from others. Read inspiring books, watch an inspiring movie or put an inspiring quote on your computer monitor where you’ll see it each day. The achievements of others who began from a similar background as your own can be the most powerful motivators.
A positive attitude will set the stage for thriving in the workplace, effectively dealing with challenges at home and be successful at keeping you healthy. When life throws you a curve ball, you will find yourself surrounded by a support network of those who have benefited from your positive attitude to help you through those hard days. Being a member of a group that strives to be uplifting and successful will offer you a front row seat to witness the ultimate power of a positive attitude.