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Published on June 12, 2018

How the Power of Positive Thinking Can Pay Off in Your Career

How the Power of Positive Thinking Can Pay Off in Your Career

Want to expand your career potential? It all starts with the thoughts that we have and our self-talk (the stories we tell to ourselves). Negative and limiting beliefs will contract our potential; positive, and affirming thoughts will help it expand.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before but you might think that this is easier said than done. You probably tried at some point to shift things around yet the results were not the ones you expected.

In this article, I’ll share basic concepts of positive thinking, the common stories that people tell themselves that limit their potential, how the power of positive thinking will improve your career and ways in which you can start applying positive thinking in your life so you can start seeing a positive difference in your life.

What is positive thinking

Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you live in a world of rainbows and unicorns, where you ignore life’s less pleasant situations. Positive thinking means that you respond to uncomfortable or unpleasant situations in a more positive and optimistic way.

Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will. ~ Zig Ziglar

Our mind is our greatest tool and ally or opponent when it comes to achieving our success goals. We all have a constant flow of thoughts in our minds, which is basically the self-talk that runs our lives. If the majority of our thoughts are negative, it means that our outlook on life is more pessimistic. On the other hand, if our predominant thoughts are positive, we are optimistics.

The good news is if you think you’re not that optimistic, positive thinking skills can be learned!

Common stories that people tell themselves that limit their potential

As I mentioned before, the stories we tell ourselves will determine our experiences and could open or close doors to opportunities we have both personally and professionally.

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When we choose to tell ourselves stories using the lens of negative or limiting self-talk, we will limit our career’s potential. Here are some of the most common stories:

“I can’t”

When people are facing a big decision like applying for a promotion, considering a career change or even leaving a job to do work that feels more fulfilling, they will come up with a lot of reasons why they can’t make that decision. And these reasons will feel absolutely authentic and true.

But if they allowed themselves to dig a little deeper and see what’s behind the “I can’t”, they would find that one of the true main reasons behind it is fear – fear of stepping outside of their comfort zone, fear of taking a risk, fear of not having what it takes, fear of losing the security of what’s known.

This could stem from previous events. But here’s the thing: just because we had bad events that happened to us in the past, it doesn’t mean that it will be pervasive and that making a new decision will undermine everything we do.

“I don’t have time”

A quote by Steven Covey says,

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”

Many people struggle with time management and the truth is that we can’t manage time. We can, however, manage our choices, priorities and energy. Maybe they’re telling themselves “I don’t have time” because deep down they don’t want change due to fear. Or maybe they need to get clarity on how satisfied they are with their situation and how that’s affecting their capacity to move forward.

We all need to take personal and energetic responsibility because at the end of the day, the lives that we’re living now are the direct results of our own creation.

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“It can work for others, not for me”

This thought comes from thinking that “They are not enough”. By believing this they are catastrophizing and anticipating the worst without even giving the opportunity a try. Fear of failure is behind it and they could be thinking about how their life would change and what would other people say or think of them if they failed.

When they think “It can work for others, not for me”, it really relates to low self esteem. But even if they don’t have the skills or tools to achieve what they want now, they are always good enough and worthy of what they want.

The truth is that we all face fear of failure at some point, it’s natural. But we have to understand that there is no learning if there’s no failing. Failing is part of success and growth. We just have to face the fear, take a step forward and be open to see the lessons from the experience or situation.

How the power of positive thinking improve your career

A study conducted by Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, indicated that people should cultivate positive emotions and thoughts in their own lives and in the lives of those around them; not just because doing so makes them feel good in the moment, but also because doing so transforms people for the better and sets them on paths toward flourishing and healthy longevity.

When positive emotions are in short supply, people get stuck.

You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind. ~ Joyce Meyer

Many experts agree that those who cultivate a positive attitude greatly enhance their chances of professional advancement. Here are some of the most common benefits of positive thinking on your career:

  • It will help you engage with others more effectively and get along better with your colleagues.
  • You will get support more easily for your initiatives.
  • It will highlight you as a role model (positive attitude is a magnet).
  • It will inspire others around you to shift toward the positive.
  • It will help you be more productive.
  • It will help you see possibility where others only see problems.
  • It will help you see your achievements and accomplishments rather than focusing on your failures.
  • It will help you manage stress at work more efficiently.
  • It will help you become more resilient and bounce back faster.

How to start applying positive thinking in your life

When we start to have negative thoughts, it can be hard to stop them. We have all been there at some point. Shifting our focus to positive thoughts is the only way to avoid going down a spiral that will not bring positive results.

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Here are some of the things I have done to shift my negative thoughts that you can also try:

1. Meditate

Meditation helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels and will help you stay in the present moment and find peace within. Meditation is a great practice to have in the morning, so you can start your day grounded and present.

If you have never meditated and would like to give it a try, here’s The Guided Morning Meditation for Beginners.

2. Start the day on a positive note

Besides meditation, reading or listening to something inspirational helps set the tone to the rest of your day. You can also do some affirmations like “Today is going to be an amazing day”.

3. Create a list of at least 3 things you’re grateful for

Gratitude helps you realize all the good and positive things you already have in your life (it doesn’t matter how small they are). Feeling grateful helps you stay grounded in the present moment. There is no way you can be grateful and negative at the same time.

Try these 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude if you need some ideas to feel grateful for.

4. Surround yourself with positive people

If you ever feel stuck in a negative loop, call someone you trust — someone who can help you put things into perspective and will not feed the negativity.

You can spot out the differences between positive people and negative people easily. Stick with the positive people and get rid of the negative ones.

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5. Shift negative self-talk into positive self-talk

Our negative self-talk can be so engrained in us that it can be hard to become aware of it. It’s easy to dwell in our mistakes and beat ourselves up.

When you catch yourself doing this, just pause for a couple of minutes, take a couple of deep breaths and start replacing those negative stories with more positive ones.

For example: replace “I’m so bad at doing _____ with “I’m getting better and better everyday”, or “I know that the more I practice, the better I’ll get at it”, or “It didn’t work out as planned but if I try again, I will see improvement”.

Practice positivity consistently

Here’s the thing: No one is perfect, we are all peers in this human experience, and we’re always learning. The only thing we can do is learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward.

If you tend to have a negative outlook, don’t expect to become an optimist overnight. I can assure you that with practice and consistency, your self-talk will start shifting to more self-acceptance and acceptance of others.

Additionally, when you’re optimistic, it will be easier to handle stress in a more constructive and productive way.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

More by this author

Patricia Young

Certified Professional & Holistic Coach, bestselling author, host of the Awakening to Life podcast

How the Power of Positive Thinking Can Pay Off in Your Career How to Forgive and Live a Happy Life Again (A Step-By-Step Guide) Why Some People Have a Lack of Empathy (And How to Deal with Them) The Guided Morning Meditation for Beginners (That Will Change Your Day)

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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