Randygram – The Ongoing Fight Against Negative Thinking
I believe that I am a generally positive person. I do not experience depression or extended funks. But all of us from time to time manifest a negative attitude and it is healthy to recognize that and work on not letting negative thoughts weigh us down.
There is no specific strategy or set of tasks that can overcome this, and whatever works for you might not work for me or someone else. So in this Randygram, I cannot give you a recipe that I am sure works, but I can make suggestions and perhaps you will find something here that is effective in your professional and personal life.
Focus on Accomplishments – When negative thinking peeks around the corner, list in your head or on a piece of paper, things you have done, been rewarded for, or which have lead to new responsibilities and promotions. Pat yourself on the back for your creativity, ability to do more with less, problem solving, or outstanding customer service. This will help keep you appreciate that you are an effective and capable person.
Avoid Negative People – This is easier said than done, but when possible spend as little time as you can with those who can only see the downside of every endeavor. Surround yourself with upbeat, can-do types and their enthusiasm will rub off on you. If the negative thinker is a direct report or someone you can speak directly to, perhaps you can do a bit of coaching. It will surely help both of you.
Don’t Overthink – There are pros and cons to every task or project. Don’t dwell on the chances that something won’t work. A better strategy here is to maintain a bias for action. Do something. If it doesn’t work perfectly, at least you have a baseline from which you can improve. Keep striving and don’t over analyze every step.
Inventory Your Weaknesses – This may sound counterintuitive, but if you list those things that are not your strong suit, you can pick each one apart and come up with specific tasks or goals on which to improve. Revisit this list from time to time and scratch off every weakness when you have judged that you have converted it to a strength. Hey, look at you!
Imagine Winning – I won’t say a great deal here except to say that you will rarely accomplish big things until you have the confidence from the start that you can. For more, see my previous Randygram on Visualizing Success.