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Got Positivity? 5 Reasons to Be Positive Backed by Science

Got Positivity? 5 Reasons to Be Positive Backed by Science

Whatever your situation, you have the power to reshape your life and the world around you for the better. You have, within you, the ingredients to be resilient, happy, and fulfilled. These ingredients are renewable. You just need to learn how to tap into them.

If you’re like I was not long ago, you’re missing the recipe to your best possible life. If you’re like I was, you don’t know what lies within you. You search for happiness in the wrong places. You look outside yourself to money, possessions, or status for fulfillment, but still feel like something’s missing.

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What can you add to your life that will help?

Positivity! 
Positivity comes in all shapes and sizes. Positivity comes from connection and love, creativity and humor, savoring and gratitude; it’s when you feel energized by an exciting new idea or hobby, or when you look in awe at the beauty of nature. Positivity comes from positive emotions like joy, peace, and inspiration. Positivity opens your heart and your mind to the world.

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Here are just a few reasons to add more positivity to your life:

1. Positivity feels good

Notice how much better you feel by simply watching a pleasant story on the news, compared to a sad one? This may seem obvious, but many of us seek out dark and depressing things in our lives. Feeling good motivates you to change for the better and to give back. When you’re feeling down, you can’t help but be defensive and only focus on your own needs. Feeling positive is a gift to share with others.

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2. Positivity changes the workings of your mind

Positivity not only changes the quality of thoughts in your mind, but also expands the boundaries of your mind. Positivity gives you the tools to bounce back and find new options in your life. Positivity keeps your focus on your larger goals and aspirations in life. Positivity increases your patience and compassion, and helps you to forgive sooner. Positivity enables you to let go of negative thoughts and to stay connected with those your love. Positivity means no matter how busy you get, you’ll always find time to phone home or check up on someone you care about.

3. Positivity brightens your future

Our positive emotions tend to fade, but increasing our experiences of positivity over time brings out the best in us. Positivity in your life tends to compound over time- you just need to build some momentum. Positivity increases resourcefulness, optimism, and resiliency. It also improves your relationships through allowing you to form better social connections.

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4. Positivity stops negativity in its tracks

In a split second negativity can ruin your day, but positivity can bring you back to a happier mindset. Positivity is like a second chance: it can take you from being angry at yourself for being late to work, to realizing how lucky you are to be employed. Positivity means making the best out of your circumstances- it’s what it takes to be resilient.

5. Positivity increases with practice

You have more influence over how you’re feeling moment-to-moment than you’d think. Just as you have the ability to be negative, you also have the ability to be positive. Increasing your happiness is just as much about not paying as much attention to the negative as it is tending to the positive aspects of your life. Making positivity a habit is how you open yourself up to seeing new possibilities, and learn to cope with setbacks and adversity. Learning to see the positive aspects of a situation is essential to living your best life.

Conclusion

Positivity doesn’t mean burying your head in the sand. It doesn’t prevent bad things from happening, but it can, nonetheless, make a very noticeable difference in your life. Whether you seek to increase pleasure and contentment, engagement and flow, or meaning and purpose, positivity can help you find what you’re looking for.

Featured photo credit: www.flickriver.com/photos/deweggis/ via flickr.com

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Bob Dempsey

Psychology Major

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

The Art of Humble Confidence

The Art of Humble Confidence

To be confident or not to be confident, that is the question. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been a bit confused about all this discussion about the subject of confidence. Do you really need to be more confident or should you try to be more humble? I think the answer is both – you just have to know where to use it.

East VS West – Confidence, It’s a Cultural Thing

In typical Western countries, the answer to the confidence debate is obvious – more is better. Our heros are rebellious, independent and shoot first, ask questions later. I think this snippet of dialog from The Matrix sums it up best:

Agent Smith – “We’re willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start. All that we’re asking in return is your cooperation in bringing a known terrorist to justice.”
Neo – “Yeah. Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think I may have a better one. How about, I give you the finger”
[He does]
Neo -“ …and you give me my phone call.”

In Eastern countries, the tone is often considerably different. Elders are supposed to be revered not dismissed. The words ‘guru,’ meaning a teacher, and the philosophy of dharma, loosely translated to mean ‘duty,’ come from here. In Eastern cultures humility and respect are more important than confidence.

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These perspectives are generalizations, but it shows how the confidence debate goes back deep into our culture. I think that both extremes of pure confidence or pure humility are misguided. Instead of rectifying this situation by simply blending the two: becoming somewhat humble, somewhat confident all the time, I believe the answer is to know when to be confident and when to be humble.

Humble Confidence – Know When to Use It

I’m going to make another broad generalization. I believe that virtually every relationship you are going to have is going to fit into one of two major archetypes, either master or student. In peer relationships this master/student role may switch frequently, but it is extremely rare that the relationship never leans to one side.

In the master role, you are displaying confidence to get what you want. This is public speaker, leader or seducer. Being the master has advantages. You have more control and ability to influence from this role.

The student role is the opposite. You are intentionally displaying humility. This is the student, disciple or follower. Being the student has advantages too. You can learn a lot more in this role and are more likely to win the trust of the other person.

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Know When to Shut Up and Learn

If you are a typical Westerner, you are probably already thinking about which role you prefer. Being the leader is great. You get respect and a higher status. Most of all you get a greater degree of control.

But the problem is that you can’t and shouldn’t always try to be the leader. Trying to assume that role without the skills, resources or status to back it up will lead to conflict. More importantly, there are many times when you purposely want to display humility. Some of the benefits to the student role include:

  • You learn more.
  • Smooths relationships.
  • Makes others more willing to lend a helping hand.

Knowing when taking the humble route is to your advantage. It is far easier to get mentors and advisors if you use humility rather than arrogance. A small sacrifice to your ego can open up the potential to learn a lot.

Confidence to Persuade, Humility to Learn

In reality almost no relationship is as clearly defined as master/student. Within our connections, people have overlapping areas of expertise. I might be an expert in blogging to a non-blogger, but they might be an expert in finance. In each area there are different roles to take.

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Before any interaction ask yourself what the purpose is. Are you trying to learn or persuade?

Persuasion requires confidence. If you are trying to sell, instruct or lead you need to display the confidence to match your message. But learning requires humility. You won’t learn anything if you are constantly arguing with your professors, mentors or employers. Taking a dose of humility and temporarily making yourself a student gives you the opportunity to absorb.

Persuade Less, Learn More

Persuasion is great for immediate effect, but learning matters over the long-haul. Instead of washing over all your communication with pure confidence, look for opportunities to learn. Persuading someone to follow you may give you an immediate boost of satisfaction, but it doesn’t last. Learning, however, is an investment for the future.

Whenever I make a connection with someone and realize they have a skill or understanding I want, I am careful to express humility in that area. That means listening with what they say even if I don’t immediately agree and being patient with their response. This method often drastically cuts down the time I need to spend on trial and error to learn by myself.

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Confidence/Humility Doesn’t Replace Communication Skills

This approach of selectively using confidence and humility for different purposes doesn’t replace communication skills. Humility isn’t going to work if the other person thinks you’re an irritating whiner. Confidence won’t work if the entire room thinks you are an arrogant jerk. Knowing how to display these two qualities takes practice.

The next time you are about to enter into an interaction ask yourself why you are doing it. Are you trying to persuade or learn? Depending on which you can take a completely different tact for far better results.

Featured photo credit: BBH Singapore via unsplash.com

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