If you believe, you can make it happen. Positive thinking is so powerful and at work it is an almost necessary tool to possess for success. But what is positive thinking and what makes it work? I would like to draw the line and connect positive thinking to positive action. Let’s start by looking at how the brain works. The brain is a learning center; everything you do is based on knowledge and experience. If you touch a hot plate once, chances are that you will not touch one ever again. If you have never experienced a hot plate, well all kids are doomed to sooner or later touching a hot plate. If you as a teenager find one pick up line that works, you will end up making a personal slogan. The brain learns from experience, so to make your life great, you’ll need to teach your brain the right way to act.
For instance, I am a chocoholic, I have tried for years to quit eating chocolate. But the only way for me to manage that is to experience a successful way to not be eating chocolate. I have been spending months thinking that I do not like chocolate, and why do I eat chocolate when fruit is so much more tasteful? I have been thinking and thinking for months and suddenly I could manage to go days and weeks without it. I am still training my brain to avoid the cravings each day. When I eat salad for lunch at work I am thinking about the great flavors and its magnificent tastes. I am looking at my pure glass of water and enjoying its cold refreshing taste that no other liquids can provide. I am not dieting, so losing weight is not the goal, I am trying to change one habit at the time.
That was personal, and not very work related, but the concept is the same. So if you fail at work, tasks that you just can’t get the hang of, or never makes it within timelines. Most likely you hate this task, and have never experienced success with this task. Remember when performing a task there is only two outcomes, either you make it or you won’t. But if you do not make it, you are not failing, you are just mind mapping ways that do not work, and you are getting an experience. Why is it failing? If you manage to learn, and stay positive you might find one way of not performing this task. Spend time thinking, reflect and ask why it went wrong. You are learning. Keep trying and correcting if you need to. You need to picture success in your head. Teach your brain to know what success looks like. Is it timing? Is it prioritizing? Is it knowledge? What does it take?
The mind trap.
As you do fail, your mind will try spare you. It will make up excuses and explanations to why you are failing and it will make barriers to prevent you from doing this again. Do not let your brain build barriers. “I do not get a date because I am so shy” – Your mind will persuade you to never try again to protect your feelings, and if you do not ask, you will not get any answers. If your boss yells at you and you are being called into the office a week later, your stomach will be in turmoil and you’ll be all sweaty and nervous. Are you a psychic? Do you know what the meeting is all about? No, this is your brain working with experience and trying to prepare you for what might come. Your mind has a few basic functions, learn, act and anticipate. Based on earlier experience your brain will try to tell you what is up ahead. When it comes to doing the boring tasks at work that you always fail at, remember your mind is already anticipation your failure. You need to set it straight. The good news you can.
I am being a bit personal again as I have a fresh example in my head. I have several times tried to quit my sugar addiction and my mind was always craving chocolate from I woke up until I fell asleep. I once managed 21 days without chocolate and I was in hell every single day. Today I have not eaten chocolate in 12 days, and I have only had a bad craving once. But I do not like chocolate anymore, I am telling my mind that I hate the bad feeling it provides. I am remembering and programming how bad this is for me. And at the same time I am praising my tasteful salad replacement. I am mind mapping the great taste, the great way it makes me feel. And sitting here close to bedtime, I am starting to crave some salad.
At work I have yet not found the winning formula for holding a group meeting without queuing up the phone lines. We need group meetings once in a while and holding it outside opening hours is not a solution. I need to divide my staff in half and hold two meetings during the day. I have failed at this before. I have learned that it is not wise to hold such a meeting at a day with high traffic. I have learned that I should ask for help from other departments taking some load of the remaining employees. I am still going to hold a great group meeting without anything failing. I am very result oriented so if the meeting is causing one customer waiting, I will consider it a failure. So I need to figure it out what it takes to achieve success.
But figuring out what you are doing wrong, might be hard, so do not be afraid of talking about your challenges as it might only provide helpful input. Ask about what others do to succeed instead of talking about what you are doing wrong. You are still putting your hand on a hot plate; you’ll need to figure out how to turn off the heat. Why is someone always getting greater sales results? What do they do? And keep a positive mind. Failures are a chance of learning, process the learning and store it in your brain. Think about what worked out great.
This is just some few practical pointers. You should also provide positive actions in your life. Smile, make other people smile, do some volunteer work, make other people happy. Your role in life should be to make it easy on everybody while making them smile and enjoy their day. As you teach this thinking to other people around you it will come back with interests. This is positive thinking, and positive actions. It is about learning, sharing, caring.