Success or failure in life is a direct result of our own mindset — how we use our mind power to accomplish our goals. Successful entrepreneurs, entertainers and the most accomplished individuals, understand the vital importance of having the right frame of mind.
As Henry Ford once said: “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Many people fail before they’ve even begun because they don’t invest the time to mentally prepare themselves. They let insecurities and past failures stand in their way and that prevents them from starting off on the right foot.
How Do They Do It?
Have you ever read a story about a highly accomplished person and think “how did they do it?” We often wrongly assume that they had help or that they had some advantage that we don’t. Sure, that is sometimes the case, but having an advantage doesn’t guarantee continued success. Real, long-lasting success comes from dedication and hard work — which of course, requires the right mindset.
Nurturing the faith and belief that we can succeed if we just put our mind to it, is one of the greatest challenges standing in our way. It takes commitment and effort to convince ourselves that we are capable of succeeding and that means accepting that we can’t just repeat a positive affirmation or tell ourselves a few times “I can do this” — it means we have to affirm that belief every day, until it becomes our reality.
How Will I Know?
When will you arrive at that point in life in which positive thinking will be guiding you forward? The simple answer is, you’ll just know. There is a vibrant rush or feeling throughout your body that lets you know that you believe in yourself — a feeling of confidence, hope, inspiration and positivity. Its at that time that we can’t give up though. Positive thinking is not some kind of magic and as you know, our thoughts create our reality because they influence our intention — positive thinking brings about a positive reality, while negative thinking creates the opposite effect.
“Be positive. Your mind is more powerful than you think. What is down in the well comes up in the bucket. Fill yourself with positive things.” – Tony Dungy
What You Can Do
Being a positive thinker first requires the sincere desire to do so. One must really want to make beneficial changes in their life and…mind. We don’t just say “okay, I’m going to start thinking more positively” and then it just happens. Positive thinking isn’t fantasy or putting on rose colored glasses. Real positive thinking means determining to be resilient, focused, open-minded, grateful, kind…the list goes on. These suggestions on how to be a positive person are a good starting point on your journey:
- Focus on Your Thoughts
To be a positive thinker and thus, a more positive person, one must learn how to confront and analyze their thoughts. Being introspective doesn’t come easy to everyone, but its necessary to understand how our mind’s work. When in a challenging situation, how do you react? What goes through your mind? Do you engage in negative self-talk? Do you lash out at yourself or others?
These types of internal or external thoughts and reactions are common types of negative thinking. When you analyze them, you realize that you’re focusing on the undesirable aspects of a situation and this habit causes stress, which in turn creates a feeling of nervousness, which in turn leads to rumination, which means…your mind quickly becomes overwhelmed withe the negative.
A good example can usually be drawn from our job, since career stress can typically lead to negative thinking. Say you’ve had a busy day at work in which you felt frazzled, yet still accomplished what you needed to. When you get home, you realize you forgot to do something — return an important call, send out an email, etc. — despite the fact you got much accomplished, you let that one “thing” nag at you, causing you to worry that you may be in trouble the next day. All that good and all those accomplishments, get flushed away, as you ruminate on the past and future.
Positive thinkers on the other hand, would take the time to be mindful. They would examine their thoughts in a rational manner and accept that no one is perfect and no one can do it all. Yes, a “mistake” was made, but overall, they do a good job, they’re honest and hard-working and the boss is a descent person…they will understand. In effect, you’re creating the reality and outcome. Focus on the accomplishments, be prepared to admit the mistake, go into work the next day and calmly, professionally, explain what you forgot to do and odds are, the boss will be okay with it.
Its important that we work to control our thinking. Being mindful, or, in the moment, means taking control of our thoughts and reactions and focusing on the good, with the commitment to addressing the bad — as in the example above, a focused positive thinker might conclude they need to make a “to-do” list to help ensure they don’t forget to do something important.
- Be Realistic
If anyone tells you that simply repeating a positive affirmation like “I’m good enough!” is all you need to do, please don’t listen. Sure, positive affirmations are valuable, but they only work if you take action. Yes, you can do it. Yes, you are good enough. Yes, thinking positively does work. But it takes time and thoughts need to lead to action. Condition your mind to be more aware and embrace positive things — people, thoughts, places, etc. A positive affirmation is a great morale booster and does help to keep you focused, so use them as a pick-me-up, rather than the sole path to a positive life. Be realistic and don’t expect miracles overnight. Stay focused and committed to your objectives and over time, the transformation will take root.
“A positive mind finds opportunity in everything. A negative mind finds fault in everything.” – Unknown
- Change Your Perspective
Be the change you want to see. Let go of hatred or jealousy. Practice gratitude. Be patient and kind. Give love. Accept love. These are things we want, so why do we always seem to be chasing them, when the truth is, they’re not hard to find. All we have to do is…just do it. Just let go of the toxic — take that leap of faith and just stop the negativity.
“The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.” ― Norman Vincent Peale
I think what happens is at some point, we get so tired of negativity. We become weary and feel beaten down. Often, people give into it: “there’s so much hostility and negativity in the world, so why bother?” That is the mindset we have to find and destroy. The reason why we can’t give up, is because we can never give in. So the best thing to do is to change our perspective: choose love, not hate. Choose compassion, not greed. Choose kindness, not cruelty.
“Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.” – Norman Vincent Peale
I personally believe that the “just do it” mindset is best when it comes to changing from the negative to the positive. One just has to want it bad enough to take that first step. Becoming a more positive person is a personal journey and what works for some, may not work for you. Find the support and resources that appeal most to you and and begin the journey…the rewards are amazing!