Everyone has their own story of how their day went. What you see and how you think all depends on what you focus on. A positive thinker, the optimist, will share their story with excitement ensuring they don’t miss out on the details. They are hopeful and anticipate that good things will happen in the future. Whereas the negative thinker, the pessimist has a tendency to see the worst aspects of things and believe that the worst will happen. They lack hope and confidence in the future. They see positive results a just flukes. Do you know anyone with these qualities? Which one are you?
Knowing the Difference
The negative thinker is often exhausted, depressed, moody, irritable, and easily frustrated. Little things increase their stress level. Some negative thinkers are prone to overeating as they use food to comfort them. Positive thinkers tend to be healthier, more successful, and happy and fulfilled.
What is your reaction when an unexpected event occurs? Do you focus on the negative ignoring the positive? Do you look for the imperfections? Are you jumping to conclusions or trying to read someone’s mind? Do you take things personally regardless if it’s one person’s opinion? Chances are you are a pessimist or negative thinker if you have said yes to these questions.
Your self-talk is that internal dialogue that runs through your head that continuously is interpreting, judging, analyzing, and explaining situations. This self-talk has a tendency to make negative statements, judgments, and assumptions. Often what is believed can be completely off track and easily blown out of proportion. When you are stressed out, you cannot think rationally and make good decisions. Your thoughts and feelings impact your behaviors and actions. Negative thoughts lead to negative outcomes. Positive thoughts lead to positive outcomes.
In order to start getting the outcomes that you want, you need to shift your thinking to a more positive outlook. By doing so, you will decrease your stress level and you will be able to handle such a situations objectively and with ease. You can feel energized and hopeful for your future. Remember your thoughts are just thoughts they are not facts.
Let’s say you made a mistake. A pessimist is quick to look for fault or blame themselves for any shortcomings. They see situations as permanent and almost impossible to get out of. The optimist believes that they are responsible for their results and view as a mistake as a learning opportunity to move forward. They see setbacks as temporary and with this new knowledge they will advance further. Optimists are better at finding solutions to problems that arise.
At one time or another, you may have caught yourself thinking negatively. Most people are able to shift their thinking to a more positive outlook without blanketing one situation as impacting the rest of their lives. Some people feel that their childhood upbringing is responsible for their outcomes of their adulthood. However, if you truly think about it, your youth could be considered as the age of less than 21 years. I’m not discounting that some people have led challenging lives with neglect, abandonment, anxiety, abuse, or depression. What I am saying is that: Each person has a choice each day to choose their thoughts and how they feel to direct their actions and behavior. This choice is power – the power to live a life that you choose to live.
What will you choose?
“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.” – Dallin H. Oaks
Shift Your Thinking
What dialogue will are having right now about a situation or event? What emotions are coming up for you?
Ask yourself questions to challenge your thoughts because you could be wrong:
Is the thought that you’re having helpful or unhelpful?
What do you believe to be true?
Is there any evidence to disprove your thought?
What would you say to a friend or colleague in a similar situation?
What are the costs and benefits of you thinking in this way?
What other ways to look at this situation?
What thoughts do you wish to have instead?
What action(s)will you take to support your positive outlook?
Your thoughts are like magnets. If you are thinking positively, you will look for evidence that positively supports your belief. If you are thinking negatively, you will look for the negative that support that belief. Start looking for the good – build on the small success. Every situation could be seen from a positive or negative perspective. You have the opportunity to make a choice that could change her life. How will you describe your story or your day?
You get what you focus on. – Anthony Robbins
DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. She is a contributing writer for Diversity Magazine and Fabulous at 50 Magazine. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. www.debrakasowski.com