Cultivating a Positive Outlook for a Happy and Successful Life
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Stress Management Coaching
Imagine if each of those thoughts were negative ones! What effect do you think that would have on your life?
Well, for one thing, you'd probably be unhappy most of the time.
You'd be disappointed with yourself and everyone around you.
You would also likely find that you were getting very little accomplished at work or home. You may feel defeated and see no point in living. You might eventually start dreading each day.
Now let's look at the opposite possibility. What if those 50,000 thoughts were positive instead? You would feel happy, optimistic, and confident about your life.
You would probably find that you could consistently accomplish your goals at work and home.
You would be making each day a success.
You would also be compassionate and accepting of others.
The concept that our thoughts affect our outlook on life isn't new. It has been around for a long time.
The movie, The Secret popularized the concept of the power of controlling your thoughts. You can find dozens of individuals who share the fundamentals of the need to take control of thoughts. Oprah Winfrey has interviewed hundreds of people who share this point of view over the course of her career.
In this two-part series, I hope you'll see how using positive thinking can change your life for the better. And I hope you will also learn that it can help you become more successful in life.
You'll begin by learning how the very idea of success is connected to your thoughts. Then, you'll discover ways to rid yourself of negative thoughts when they occur. Next, you'll learn how to tap into your subconscious mind for even more positive effects. And finally, you will uncover ways to harness the power of positive thinking to use in all areas of your life.
Connect Your Success with the Power of Positive Thinking
"Positive thinking is expecting, talking, believing, and visualizing what you want to achieve. It sees what you want as an accomplished fact." ~ Remez Sasson
Everywhere you look, you see interviews with successful people describing what they did to become so successful. The key is to look at how they do it. Almost all of them have a "can-do" attitude. They use the power of positive thinking to help them succeed.
Your outlook is what your perception of success (or failure) looks like. It has a significant impact on your success. The good news is that if you have a negative mindset, you can change it along with your attitude to be more positive.
Here are seven ways positive thinking leads to success:
1. Positive thinking is a proven way to help with problem-solving. People who think positively are better able to learn new information. Thinking positively improves your perspective. And it enables you to tackle problems and obstacles as they happen.
2. Positive thinking promotes and enhances your energy level. When you are in a good mood, you tend to laugh more, boosting your endorphins and energy level.
3. Positive thinking helps give you control by giving you confidence about yourself, your abilities, and situations. Successful people control their thought processes. They start turning a negative pattern into a positive pattern as the need arises.
4. A positive attitude attracts other positive people and situations to you. Successful people often have a large circle of friends and acquaintances. The more people you know, the more doors of opportunity will open to you.
5. Positive thinkers are more likely to set goals and follow through. They take action, which is also one of the keys to success--setting goals and following through.
6. Positive thinking improves your decision-making ability. It opens your mind to broad thinking and creative solutions. On the other hand, negative thoughts close your mind and narrow your thought process. Successful people are often open-minded. They are forward thinkers who make good decisions and are good problem solvers.
7. A positive outlook builds resilience. Successful people often face many failures and mistakes before they succeed. Those with a positive attitude are more resilient and recover quicker when they do fail.
Success is more than positive thinking.
It requires positive action as well. While positive thinking builds the foundation of success, you have to follow up by taking action.
How to Rid Yourself of Negative Thoughts
A positive attitude is one of the stepping-stones to success. Everyone has a negative thought occasionally. You may be able to counteract it with a positive thought. When negative thoughts fill your mind, it may be time to change your entire mindset. But, how do you do that?
Become acutely attuned to your thoughts.
The first trick is to take control of your thinking. Frequently ask yourself, "What am I thinking right now?" Learn to recognize your negative thinking patterns. Then, replace them with realistic, positive alternatives.
When a negative thought enters your mind, immediately replace it with a positive thought.
Negative thought: "I can't believe that jerk cut in front of me!
Positive thought change: "I'm not rushed and in a hurry like that guy. He must be stressed."
Negative thought: "I can't believe the poor service at this restaurant today!"
Positive thought change: "The waitress must be having a bad day because the service is usually great here."
It helps to read inspirational, positive quotes and articles as often as you can.
Read about the lives of successful and happy people. Discover the wisdom in the writing of Peale, Holmes, and others.
Do at least one thing every day that you enjoy doing.
Visualize your life as you want it to be.
Create a visual map. When negative thoughts intrude, look at your map to remind you of what you want.
In the end, everyone has a negative thought on occasion. The trick is to recognize and replace them with positive thoughts immediately so you don't dwell on negative thoughts.
It is absolutely possible for you to take control of your thoughts. You can create a positive mindset and attitude. When you do, you may amaze yourself with the successes you start to experience.
Next week, I will offer Part 2 of this series. It will offer top tips on how to cultivate a positive attitude with ease.
Until next time.