Things will go wrong. It’s inevitable. No matter how much you prepare for a situation, there’s always a chance a curve-ball could be thrown leaving you feeling uncertain, demoralised, stressed, regretful, the list goes on. A key element that separates those that admit defeat and those that relentlessly persist, is the individual’s mindset during setbacks.
There are two types of people in the world:
- Negative Thinkers - These are your pessimists. The one’s who foresee every possible bump in the road - even if the road is 100 miles long - and sometimes give up before they start.
- Positive Thinkers - These are your optimists. The one’s who look at every bump in the road as a challenge or opportunity.
It’s important to remember that to be positive, is not to be care free or laissez faire towards situations, it’s about being aware of the negatives but focusing your energy on the positives.
Both of these mindsets are just as influential as each other. As a leader of yourself and others, it is your responsibility to role model a Positive Mindset as much as possible as this will directly impact those around you, such as; your family, friends and colleagues.
Negativity is Contagious
Your alarm goes off at 06:30. It’s raining outside. You get stuck in traffic. You arrive to work late and say to one of your colleagues “You wouldn’t believe the morning I’ve had!” and your colleagues start to discuss and compare their morning events… “I’m so tired.” “I had to rush to get ready” “I got soaked”.
As the morning goes on, the computer systems keep crashing whilst you’re in the middle of a project and your team are on the phones to customers. Everyone starts to complain that the system is down.
Later on, you have a call with an angry customer half an hour before the end of your shift and you miss your deadline. You then start to vent your frustrations as you leave the office.
Leaders are accountable for the behaviours of their team. If you openly share negative thoughts with your team, you are indirectly encouraging them to do the same. By role modelling your negative attitude, this will cause their motivation to go down and their outputs to decrease.
Building a Positive Mindset
Below are 5 ways we believe help to maintain and encourage a positive mindset both in and outside of work:
- Remove Negative Influences - As we mentioned, negativity is contagious. Remove negative individuals from your life to stop them demoralising you. In a work situation, if you’re unable to remove these individuals, it’s best to talk and coach them towards having a positive mindset.
- Acknowledge, Accept, Move On - You can’t change the past. If you made a mistake, it’s best to acknowledge it, analyse why it happened, accept it and then move on.
- Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do - “I can’t do that….no sorry, I can’t do that” Well what can you do? Stop focusing on the problem. The problem isn’t going anywhere. Start focusing your energy on finding a solution and that win-win scenario.
- See Failure as the best lesson - Every failure you will ever make has something to be learned from it. Analyse what happened to find the positives. What skills did you develop? What did you find out about yourself? How could you do it better next time?
- Positive Language...Challenges, not problems - Sometimes to change our mindsets towards situations, we simply need to rephrase our language. For example, the world “problem” often has a negative stigma attached to it. People start to feel anxious when hearing it and they see it as a non-enjoyable experience. The word “Challenge” on the other hand presents an opportunity for individuals to prove the quality of their skills. People get excited at this prospect as “challenge” gives the impression that it can be beaten, pushing individuals to achieve and beat said challenge.
Start putting the above techniques into practice with yourself and your team and you should see your motivation and outputs increase as well as those around you. No one wants to be around negativity all the time, so do your best to maintain a positive mindset.
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