Are you a sports fan? If you or your children play sports, you’re probably familiar with the concept: where your eyes go, your body will follow. For example, if you’re looking down the field at where you want to hit a baseball, instead of looking at the ball, you’ll probably swing and miss. The same principle applies to virtually any sport; where your eyes go, your body will follow.
So, what does this have to do with positivity?
The same is true for your mindset. There are tons of books, articles, and podcasts available that discuss the importance of developing a positive mindset. We’re told that success is inevitable if we just block negativity and cultivate a positive way of thinking. We understand that in order to be successful, we have to focus on the positive.
Yet, for many of us, that’s easier said than done. Some folks are naturally quick to identify the negative before the positive in any given situation. As long as they can identify the positives as well, this tendency can be useful and help them avoid potential pitfalls and issues that may arise.
If this doesn’t sound like you, you likely know someone who fits this description; in fact, it’s most likely your spouse or even a parent or sibling (or even more likely, your inner critic). They may frustrate you whenever you share good news with them. A tendency to spot the negatives becomes a limitation when we’re only able to focus on the negatives; then it begins to shape the mindset and influence other areas of life and other people as well.
You say: “I doubled my sales this month; isn’t that great?”
Negativity says: “Well, that just means you’ll pay more in taxes.”
It’s very helpful to recognize that the more money you make the more taxes you may have to pay. However, don’t let that keep you from boosting your sales each month and reaching the ambitious goals you’ve set for your business. If you’re concerned, hire a great accountant as you become more successful to help you keep more of what you earn.
You say: “Sarah recommended my business to three people in her office.”
Negativity says: “That’s great, but they haven’t bought yet, have they?”
Many folks would hear this and say, “You’re right” and then give up. It’s true, these recommended folks haven’t bought yet – the key word is “yet.” As you continue to check in with them and get to know them, they’re more likely to purchase from you and want to join your team.
The #1 misconception about a positive mindset
…is that positive people totally ignore negativity. They see it; they just don’t let it limit them and they choose a better way. Positive people also see the negatives of a situation; however, they choose not to dwell on the negative and instead find ways to ensure the negatives don’t happen, if they can help it.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale
If you’re naturally pessimistic, you may be thinking, “hey now, I’m a realist. There’s no way negative thoughts have any bearing on my success.” Although the ability to identify the negatives helps overall, taking up residence in Cynical City can bring you down. In addition to feeling downright rotten about the state of your life and business, others may begin to avoid you as well. Most people seek the warm and sunny disposition of a positive person rather than the dark cloud of a negative person. You’ll build trust and a better rapport with your customers and team with a positive disposition than a negative one – you know, “you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” and all that.
But, it’s more than that. Who do you want to be around – someone whose outlook is positive and, in turn, improves your overall attitude or someone who’s super cynical and leaves you feeling worse? The first option, right? Think about your interactions with others – when you part company, are they feeling better or worse than before? There’s no doubt when you develop a positive attitude, it will spill over into all of your interactions with others.
“Point your attention to what’s hopeful, positive, possible and abundant, and your life will go in that direction.” – Darren Hardy
Many of us, especially when we’re first starting out in business, are quick to focus on the negative and what we don’t have instead of on what we do. Instead of rejoicing that we’re close to reaching our goal for the month, we dwell on the fact that we haven’t reached it yet. Instead of being stoked that we have a new prospect on our team, we sigh that it’ll take too long to develop the relationship with them. This negative thinking is what prevents us from reaching our goals and succeeding.
The remedy is to focus on the positive thoughts instead of the negative ones. This isn’t to say you’ll ignore them completely; instead, acknowledge them, and then move on. If the thought is useful, like in the first example above, then make a note of it. If it’s a thought that isn’t worth your time (like those that second guess your abilities, knowledge or skills), toss those aside and replace them with positive thoughts.
The first step is to identify the negative thoughts when they occur. Then take a deep breath, which will help you think more clearly and focus your energy on the positives.
How to Develop a Positive Mindset
Changing your thoughts – particularly if you tend to be pessimistic – takes time and practice, so be gentle with yourself.
- Seek out positive input. It’s easy to fall prey to the negativity around us. It comes at us anytime we turn on the television or cruise the internet. Instead, go on an information diet: Read positive books, listen to positive music and podcasts and watch positive and uplifting shows. That doesn’t mean you bury your head in the sand about current events; you just don’t let it hijack your entire mindset all day.
- Show gratitude. Whenever you feel a negative thought seep its way into your conscious mind, think about something you’re grateful for. Replace worry and self-doubt with something you’re grateful for – the ability to supplement your family’s income, the opportunity to share your knowledge and help others, the ability to live your purpose. Keep a gratitude journal so you can reflect when you feel negativity begin to consume you.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Positivity and negativity are both contagious. Deliberately put yourself in the path of positive people. Seek them out, whether it’s through an online group or in your daily life. Their bright spirits will lift you up and you’ll feel better about yourself, your business and life in general.
- Get a mantra. Find a favorite positive quote to recite whenever you feel sucked into negativity. Or, if music is more your thing, find a song that makes you feel uplifted, positive and all-around awesome – then, play it in order to reconnect with your positive mindset.
- Make someone’s day. What better way to improve your mindset than by sending a message to a client, prospect, distributor or loved one that makes their day a bit better? A short message to say ‘hello’ and wish them a great day (with the appropriate emojis, naturally) will also improve your mindset as well. We told you positivity was contagious! Not sure who to contact? Sign into Teamzy and review your Dashboard to see who to connect with in your network.
Like the athlete, your mind will go where your focus allows it. If you only focus on the negative, that’s where you’ll stay. However, if you cultivate a positive attitude, you’ll develop a can-do mindset that will help you succeed. Like a skier, you’ll avoid the obstacles in your path and swish safely around them to your goal.
Speaking of goals, have you set goals for 2019 yet? If you haven’t, be sure to log into Teamzy to help you create new goals and put you on the path achieving them this year. Click here to learn more.