Years ago I was often accused having a negative attitude. To some point I’d agree. My negativity was often totally illogical. I’d book a holiday and until the plane took off I was sure something was going to happen to stop me going. Yet in the same light I’d walk out of job interviews determined I’d just got the job because I’d “nailed the interview.” When it came to other people I was always very positive. In fact, if anyone else had said something like “We’ve booked a holiday, but you know, something will happen and we won’t go,” I’d have questioned why they thought that and convinced them to think differently.
Reflection is a great process at times like these. So that’s what I did; I reflected on why I was negative in some circumstances and overly positive in others. I looked at how it felt to live through both situations and how my mood and attitude changed in each. I also looked at how my relationships, both personal and professional, were affected during these times. Through this reflection and coaching I managed to reframe my thought process and discovered the very simply yet rarely followed rule that life is so much easier when you have a positive attitude. You’d think, given it’s common sense, that more people would know this but there’s a truth behind not seeing something no matter how much it’s staring us in the face.
Being more positive has a vast array of results, from your interactions with other people to your own personal success. Below are four steps to help you be more positive.
1. Remove Comparisons.
Comparing yourself to someone is fine until you decide you want to be better than them. All that will happen is you’ll overtake this person and find, just past them, is the next person you’re going to start comparing yourself to. Look at your own successes, of which there are many if you look at them all, and acknowledge them. Work on the areas you think need improvement rather than working to be better and more successful than someone else.
This can be in any number of ways. Take courses in subjects you like or join clubs and organisations that revolve around hobbies you enjoy. Why not go to your local library and take out a book on self help in an area you’d like to improve. While you’re at it take out a book in a genre you like and take some time for yourself as well.
3. Accept, embrace and reframe failure.
Thomas Edison was once asked how it felt to have failed over 700 times. He replied “I haven’t failed at all, I’ve simply proved seven hundred ways it didn’t work.” This is the perfect acceptance, embrace and reframing of failure. He accepted that some aspects of his work had failed, he took these failures on board and reframed it to make it a success.
4. Live in the now.
Bill Keane said “Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.” You cannot change the past so don’t dwell on it as it’ll only breed negativity. Instead live for today. Appreciate the things you experience.
What tips do you have for living a positive life?