A Practical Guide to Positivity. Because “just think positive” is not enough

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Think positive! Stay positive! How often have you heard those words or even said them yourself? All of us probably have, because positivity is a big precursor to success or overcoming a challenge. However, remaining upbeat when everything seems to be going downhill is tough. To be honest, positivity requires daily attention and focus, but it’s something that we can learn to do and make into a habit.

Positivity isn’t just a “nice to have,” it’s correlated to performance and a necessity to keep you motivated through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

How positive you are is a combination of your attitude toward the outside world and your attitude towards yourself. Gratitude and a growth mindset are the secret ingredients to truly making yourself “think positive.”

Gratitude

Raise your hand if you find yourself complaining more often than you would like. Hey, everyone does it and probably too much, so you are not alone! Complaining can be categorized as the negative things people say when they’re “just being honest” or venting. Or really any instance where you’re expressing your dissatisfaction without actively trying to find a solution or working to change the circumstances.

Other than being an energy drain on those around you, constant complaining is also bad for you and your business. The more you complain, the more it becomes a habit and suppresses positive thoughts. It also causes stress which affects everything from problem-solving skills and productivity to your health.

None of that sounds good, right?

The key to quelling complaining and the negativity it brings is to practice gratitude.

Let’s be honest, most of the things we complain about are first world problems. Little inconveniences that at the end of the day don’t affect our quality of life. When you start feeling like complaining about your slow wi-fi or a rainy day, stop yourself before you start and find reasons to be thankful in that very moment. It can be big things like family or health or the fact that you’re having a really good hair day. Gratitude helps us snap out of our own pity parties.

End each day on a positive note by keeping a journal and writing down three things you are grateful for. This helps redirect your thoughts to all the abundance in your life and how much it outweighs any current troubles.

Mindset

Mindset is EVERYTHING! Your thoughts become your actions and your actions become your reality. Do you know what the biggest predictor of success is? It’s so simple that you can attain it right this moment… belief.

People who believe in themselves and their ability to improve and grow have what is called a growth mindset. They believe that no matter their current circumstances or skills they can improve and succeed. The people who get stuck in cycles and never quite achieve their goals have a fixed mindset, i.e. “there’s nothing I can do to change where I am in life.”

How many times have thoughts like “you’re not good enough, talented enough, or smart enough” passed through your head? Everyone has flashes of doubt from time to time, but when doubt turns into negative self-talk, it becomes a fixed mindset and one of biggest barriers to success!

Your reaction is what determines if you will let negative thoughts keep you stuck in place or if you will flip them around and use them to your advantage. 

People always say if you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything. Which is absolutely true! But how do you do that? Realize that with every internal dialogue is under your control and no one else’s.

Steps to shift your mindset and start reaching your full potential:

  1. Your mindset is essentially how you talk to yourself. Pay attention to what your internal conversation sounds like. Are you telling yourself that you will fail? That you aren’t talented enough? These are indicators of a fixed mindset.

  2. Recognize that you have a choice in how you interpret situations. You can choose to start viewing challenges as signs of how to expand your abilities.

  3. Talk back to yourself with attitude. Once you catch your inner voice expressing a limiting belief, counter it with growth-oriented beliefs. Adding the word “yet” is an easy way to shift… “I can’t do this, yet.”

  4. Once you have your thoughts in order, make sure to act upon them. This is where many people get stuck. Success doesn’t come without a healthy dose of action. Learn new skills, try out those ideas that seem kind of crazy… do anything that will propel you forward.

  5. Always know you are in control. When things start going not-so-perfectly, never assume that it’s out of your hands. Giving in and letting things happen to you is mental weaknesses. Instead of complaining, find ways to bounce back and create solutions.

  6. Don’t listen to the negativity of others. As an entrepreneur, you will face comments from people that don’t think you can do it, you’ll hear hundreds of opinions as to what you’re doing wrong, and just about as many doubts in your abilities. But you know what? Every negative comment reflects the other person’s reality, not yours. Rise above it. 

  7. Hold yourself to high-standards, as you define them. Once again, don’t let others define how much you can achieve, but make that decision yourself (and shoot high!). Just like you set tough fitness goals and work towards them getting stronger each day, you will grow more mentally tough working towards difficult goals. And once you build those muscles, nothing seems impossible.

  8. The more often you hear something, the more likely you are to believe it! And that is true about what you say about yourself. Select two or three positive affirmations and repeat them to yourself every morning. With time they will become your identity and make you more resilient to negative events.

Our world view and self-view are what determine if we are brimming with positivity or drowning in our own negative reality. You hold the power, so choose wisely.