The power of positive thinking
“Where focus goes, energy flows.” – Tony Robbins
Back in 1919, a young, aspiring cartoonist was fired from his job at a Kansas City newspaper. The reason? His editor told him he simply wasn’t creative enough, and should look into work elsewhere. Had the cartoonist listened to his boss, and given in to the power of negative thinking, we wouldn’t have the work of Walt Disney. After being fired from the newspaper, Disney pursued his dreams and continued to fail throughout his early career, even going on to acquire an animation studio and drive it to the point of bankruptcy. However, Walt Disney prevailed, and ultimately created a legacy that will be enjoyed by generations to come.
At one point or another, Disney had to have had doubts about his talents. He might have considered quitting or going after a different line of work, but he persisted. He believed he had what it took to succeed, and listened to the voice inside himself urging him to keep trying. He turned to the positive thoughts that encouraged him to go after success instead of succumbing to his fear of failure.
Positive thinking can make or break an individual. Your thoughts affect your actions, which translates into whether or not you succeed in your field, the quality of your personal relationships and how you view the world at large. The power of positive thinking can’t be understated, but luckily, you can get into the habit of thinking positively if you set your mind to it.
Take control of your state
Have you noticed that when you’re having a bad day, your body language shows it? You slump over in your chair, you have a hard time making eye contact with others and do things like cross your arms when you’re feeling uncomfortable. Developing a positive mindset is as much about your body as it is about your brain. Take control of your physiology by taking pride in how you present yourself. Work on your posture, give those around you nonverbal cues that you’re listening to them and try to nip nervous habits, like fidgeting or twirling your hair, in the bud. By holding your body in a power pose, your positive thoughts will be able to flow more freely.
Checking your state also means shifting your focus. Let’s say you’re at the airport and are unnecessarily delayed while going through security, and then the airline attendant checking you in is rude to you. Another airline worker overhears, apologizes and offers to bump your ticket up to business class. Once you’re in the air, are you fixated on the hassles you faced in the airport, or are you full of gratitude for your spacious seat and free cocktail? You can choose to focus on the negatives or the positives of this – and any – scenario, but if you choose to focus on what’s bothering you, it will begin to negatively impact your life. By consciously choosing to focus on positive moments in your life, you’ll begin to reframe your thoughts.
Cut out negative habits
You can’t form new habits if you’re unaware of your current ones. Are there things that set you into a negative spiral of self doubt? What are they? Perhaps you become agitated whenever you start thinking about going after a promotion at work. Your thoughts take you to a dark place – you start thinking about how you should already have gotten your promotion, you question your skills and then you wonder if you’ll ever move up in your field.
Think of all the time you’re wasting by falling back on this negative habit. What if, instead of getting swept up in a pattern of negative thoughts, you refocused your energy. By doing this, you would be able to get more done at work, which is more likely to lead to a promotion than sitting around feeling badly about your prospects. If you’re able to cut off a negative thought pattern before it gets out of hand, you can shift to recalling positive affirmations instead. Replace thoughts of “I’ll never get the job I want” with “I’m smart. I’m capable. I’m hardworking and can acquire the job of my choosing.” By embodying this positive mindset, your world will open up with possibility.
Look to those you admire
Think of someone who’s had a profound impact on your life. It could be a close friend or family member, or someone you’ve never met, like a celebrity, professional athlete or renowned entrepreneur. What mottos does that person live by? Is their world dominated by positive thinking, or do they preach negativity?
Chances are, they use the power of positive thinking to find the success they seek – and you can, too. When you feel yourself falling into negative habits, pull up a quotation from someone you respect, or get on the phone if it’s someone you know, and ask them to share a word of advice. It can be challenging to integrate positive thinking tips into your life, but if you accept that the people you admire most have been able to build lives they love due to their positive thinking habits, you’ll be more motivated to do the same.
Becoming conscious of the negative thought patterns that don’t serve you and choosing to incorporate new, positive habits is essential to finding joy and fulfillment in life. Decide to start reframing your mindset today, and start experiencing true happiness.
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