Are you accentuating the positive?
I’ve often referred to myself as a “born-again optimist,” but it wasn’t always this way.
Early in my corporate career I spent a considerable amount of my time thinking about “what might go wrong.” I was always presenting the risks associated with a situation or initiative rather than focusing on the opportunities.
I thought that I was being of value by presenting risks for others to consider – after all, if we prepare for the worst then we should be guaranteed success, right?
It wasn’t until I spent a brief period of time selling cars that my mindset changed.
It has to change. There is simply no possible way to think positively while being pessimistic, and when your pay cheque is 100% dependent on your ability to remain positive and hopeful, a mindset shift is critical to success.
Are you focused on the positive; on what might be? That’s not to say that considering risks isn’t helpful or valuable, but it doesn’t create the energy and momentum necessary to achieve success.
Earle Nightingale once said, “We become what we think about,” which reinforces the importance of remaining optimistic and focusing on what might become.
In order to create a more positive and optimistic frame of mind, you have to be very conscious and specific about your thoughts.
One of the key ways to be more positive and optimistic is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
For example replace:
“I don’t think I’m going to make the deadline.” WITH: “How can I reset my priorities to make the deadline? What other support or help can I acquire to make this happen?”
“I’m never going to get out of here on time.” WITH: “If I can’t get this all done, what needs to be done before I leave, and how might I reschedule other priorities to wrap this up?”
Notice that in both examples we transition from vague generalities to specific actions. This is the key to replacing negative and pessimistic thoughts with positive and powerful actions – which in turn drive your natural tendency to be more optimistic.
If you are conscious about your thoughts and make a concerted effort to replace negative or pessimistic thoughts with positive and reinforcing actions, you will become more optimistic.
It’s through optimism that we can make progress toward our biggest goals and objectives.
Are you being unconscious about your thoughts, or controlling them?
© Shawn Casemore 2015. All rights reserved.
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