Do you ever take time to check in on the quality of your thoughts? Is your belief that you can’t help the way you think?
Neuroscience research tells us that the quality of our thinking directly affects our emotions
And of course our emotions directly affect how we behave and so this absolutely impacts on our results.
Add to this the evidence which suggests that people who have a positive perspective (ie outcome focussed) tend to have greater well being than those who have a negative view (ie problem focussed), and it becomes more obvious that having a more positive perspective will impact on your life and your results.
So, what can you do to develop a more positive perspective and experience more success?
Identify your habits
Having a tendency for negative thoughts can be
- a habit you’ve had for as long as you can remember
- the result of habit development during a more recent phase of your life
Habits of thought are just like any other habit – you’re aware of them consciously initially, until you’re so good at them you don’t even think about them any more – they just seem to happen of their own volition and before you know it, you’re stuck and feeling helpless.
Negative thinking habits will be affecting your results by limiting your awareness of other possibilities
Take action – Awareness Raising (printable available)
- Pay more attention to your emotions, feelings and thoughts to identify those habitual responses to certain situations or events
- Make a note of times when you feel afraid, roll your eyes, raise your eyebrows, sigh, feel irritated, withdraw, or any other limiting reaction to something within your environment (trigger)
- Note also the times when you feel elated, positive, motivated, energised, excited
- Notice any belief statements which you repeat in response to certain events
- Recognise the thoughts you’re having and identify them as negative or positive
This is an important step. Use the printable worksheet to get really clear about how you feel and whether your thoughts are generally positive or negative. We cannot change something if we have no awareness of it.
“Now I know better, I can do better” – Maya Angelou
Develop a positive perspective
You now know the balance between your negative and positive thoughts and you’ve identified some of the events which trigger them. If your balance weighs more on the negative side, you can start the process of change.
The important thing to remember is that you will still experience the full range of human emotions. The aim is to open up your perspective so that when you encounter a problem, you recognise it and come up with a solution rather than dwelling on the problem itself. Here are some questions that will help you to do this.
Take action – What’s your focus? (printable available) Ask yourself these questions to have give you that positive perspective
- “What exactly do I want?”
- “When do I want it?”
- “What skills, strengths, experience and resources do I already have to achieve this?”
- “What in my life will improve when I achieve it?”
- “What similar things have I already succeeded in doing?”
- “What actions could I take towards achieving this?”
- “What actions will I take towards achieving this?”
Complete the printable worksheet so that you have the opportunity to notice the difference between being problem focussed or outcome focussed. The more you practise being positive, the easier it will become because you’re creating new neural pathways in your brain. You’re learning new, positive habits. How amazing!
Remember that we have to experience the ‘negative’ emotions so that we can also experience and fully enjoy their positive counterparts – this is our human experience. Learning to acknowledge and name those negative emotions, recognise what you can learn from them, and then let them go means that you’re choosing to take control of your actions and results.
Develop a positive perspective and open up your mind to more possibilities
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Let’s spread the positivity!