I have often thought about people around me who are negative. Sometimes the only comments I have ever heard them make are negative. I have often wondered if they even know they are doing it? Probably not, it is human nature to be negative, we are hard-wired that way. It is human nature to focus on problems first, it is easier. It takes effort to move out of the negative, find space to think and being positive. For those of you that are positive, optimistic people this will be a bold statement, but think about it, you must have come across people where the first comment out of their mouths is always negative – their glass is half empty and never half full.
Reality – we live in a negative world – so what impact do I want to have?
I’ve spent some time recently attending some leadership workshops and during that time have had my way of thinking challenged and learnt a lot. Since completing the workshops I’ve had time to piece it together for me, my understanding of it, and the following thoughts are as result. I certainly can’t take the credit for these ideas as they are based on other people’s work, but I wanted to pull it all together and see if I can come to some sort of conclusion on positive thinking and where it fits in my life and what it means for me.
Prior to the leadership workshops even, I had been doing a lot of thinking about the power of positive thinking – a well known phrase and concept. For me it’s about how do I want people to remember me. I’m sure that it is not what I say that they will remember, but how I said it. Do I come across in a positive way, do I treat them with respect and compassion, do I want them to feel positive and energised?
How do you stop being in that part of your brain where it is all negative, the fear based part, and move into the clear space where you can think?
One way is to talk about it, name it and acknowledge it.
This gives me some relief. By acknowledging and recognising it I no longer allow it to control my thinking space, but bring it out into the open and bring in light and give myself space to think. By dealing with the situation at hand, after some time I am then more receptive to positive thoughts.
Another way when I feel down, when I realise that I’m allowing myself to wallow in negative thoughts, is to step back and reflect.
How’s it going? Can I do this better? How can I do this differently? By taking the time and space to stop and reflect I take control of the situation and again bring it out into the light and create space in which to think.
Positive things happen to positive people
I move in the direction where I focus my attention, if this happens to be a negative space, then it is in a negative direction I travel. My attention wanders around and lands on anything, unless I direct it. I have to make a conscious effort to be positive, to take the time out and move from the hard-wired negative part of my brain, into clear thinking space.
The voice in my head is not me! I need to decide if I’m going to be the voice in my head, or the person listening to the voice in my head. I need to exert influence over the voice in my head and make a conscious decision about what I am going to focus my attention on. I need to decide not to go there, not to be negative, not to be sucked into it and decide where to focus my attention.
It’s not external, the latest thing, the next craze, guru or self-help book – it’s inside me – it’s me
When I am comfortable with who I am, I am not distracted from being positive, I don’t allow negativity to take control and I am able to be the real me.
By looking inwards I can find the stillness, where there is no noise and no negative thoughts and find calm. When I am in the eye of the storm, standing firm in my place, with a sense of peace and know who I am and what I am doing, even with the chaos swirling around me, I can find the calm and space to think.
For me, it’s about meditation and moments of mindfulness. Moments where it is quiet and still, where I have control of my mind and I am able to come back to the moment, to be present in the moment, when I have space to think.
Those moments are the times I treasure, they are my sanctuary.