Research organization Gallup has investigated the impact of positive and negative interactions in our work and in our personal life. It points out that many scientific research projects have found that the ratio of our positive and negative approaches to situations is remarkably accurate at predicting a whole range of outcomes – from workplace performance to divorce!
What’s more, Gallup says that managers who lead with a positive mindset help to spread a positive mindset through their organisations. This has been shown to deliver a range of benefits: a more positive mood, enhanced job satisfaction, greater engagement and improved performance.
Billionaire businessman Richard Branson is also a big fan of having a positive mindset: “Positivity breeds positivity,” he says.
The first step in any project is to conduct an audit of where we are now.
According to Jenny Darmody, developing a positive mindset is no different. Writing in Silicon Republic, she says “If you have an occasional negative mindset that plants doubt in your mind about your abilities, the first step to changing that voice of doubt is recognizing it.”
Importantly, she argues that you can’t simply ignore this negative voice – you need to start answering back. “When your inner voice tries to plant doubt, have an answer for it,” she writes. “Tell yourself why you can do this. Remind yourself why you shouldn’t doubt your own abilities.”
Keeping a daily journal is really helpful in this regard. You can spot your own negative thought patterns and stop them in your tracks. Furthermore, you can commit your first attempts at answering back to paper.
Checking in with yourself and tracking your progress against key goals is a really important part of developing a healthy mindset. One of the great advantages of journaling is the long-term view it helps to foster.
With the benefit of hindsight, it is easier to see the stumbling blocks you encounter as learning opportunities – far more so than it is in the moment. Journaling is also a great opportunity to celebrate your successes and feed your positive mindset.
Shay Berman, CEO and founder of Digital Resource, is a big fan of conducting daily and weekend wellness check-ins. “It may sound a little new age, but evaluating your happiness on a routine basis lets you observe whether your thoughts and feelings are lining up in positive ways. Spend time getting to know the real you, and you’ll be better able to kick your professional motor into high gear.”
While journaling is a great way to develop a healthy perspective on your daily and weekly challenges, there are also simple ways to exercise your positive mindset in interactions with others.
“In most circumstances, asking a question in a positive manner generates a better response,” according to Richard Branson. For example, “Preacher can I smoke while I’m praying?” is likely to elicit a negative response, whereas reframing the question can produce a different result.
Branson says if you were to ask “Preacher, can I pray whilst I’m smoking?” you’re more likely to get the answer “Of course you can.”
Shay Berman recommends three changes you can make to your mindset which can have a major effect:
This way, you can transform the way you approach your professional life: changing challenges into opportunities and inspiring greater positivity – and all the benefits it brings – through the rest of your team.