Ladders to Success Don’t Stand on Negativity
Our experiences shape our perception of the world and of ourselves. Most often, we are shaped by traumatic events which usually leave a negative connotation of a group, situation, or environment around which many of us then form a lifetime of negativity that becomes ingrained in our psyche.
Resentment, anxiety, fear, and frustration are some of the strongest emotions we can experience. They are directly linked to our success on a private and professional level.
Some triggers in a workplace environment that contribute to forging a negative outlook may be the following:
- The perception that you are in a dead-end job: feeling hopeless about not following your passion in life, and that this job has no end in sight.
- Lack of financial security: making minimum wage or a salary that does not afford you the opportunity to live comfortably without the stress of making all your bills. More seriously, you may not be able to move on with other decisions in life, like starting a family, because you don’t have enough money to even survive on your own.
- Unhappy workplace environment: this could include the overall culture of the company you work for as well as specific issues with management, co-workers, or workload.
- Lack of recognition: if you constantly feel that your work goes without recognition even though you get the job done properly and on time.
Anybody who has a negative bias about life will manifest their negativity in a variety of ways:
- Everyone is wrong but you: Most often, a negative outlook regarding others breeds a complainer. When others sense we are not happy with what we are doing like a co-worker, manager, or even a customer, this lends itself to giving them the go-ahead to complain as well.
- The “poor, poor, me” mantra: This is your way of saying that you have absolutely no control over what happens to you. Saying this to a manager usually leads to you not being considered for a promotion since you are readily admitting with this type of negativity that you cannot handle the assigned tasks.
- The world is a mess: Do you regularly bring up world events and how awful everyone is in the government and that is why nothing ever works for you? This will show very quickly in a lack of productivity and motivation on your part because if you espouse to everyone and tell yourself that there is really no reason to try, then putting your best efforts into any assignment would seem rather pointless.
- Fear of failure or being ridiculed: Quite often, because of a deep-seated anxiety and even fear of looking like a fool, it is easier to find a negative reason not to follow through on something you really want to do that involves showing your creativity and unique self.
- Unfulfilling personal life: The stress and unhappiness you feel at work will bleed over into your life at home. You will snap at your children, yell at your significant other, and generally bring home negative stuff that should be left at the office when you should really deal with it constructively.
All of these are symptomatic of someone who is practicing a chronically negative outlook and needs to take a good look at how to stop it in order to be successful in life.
Here are a few things you can make a part of your daily routine to change negative behavior:
Stop being the one to immediately come up with a reason why something didn’t work well including blaming it on others to deflect responsibility from yourself. Admit that there were errors and announce to be the person to make it right next time. This way, you turn your attitude into a potential hero outcome when you find a better solution. Remember, it takes courage to try again.
Negative people internalize any issues that arise and blame them on someone else or say that they live “under a black cloud.” Try to look at a problem as just another part of life’s challenges. This means making an actual list of possible solutions to choose from that you can pursue to create a positive outcome. This may even mean involving others in your challenge and having to develop a trust in other people.
Take the time to see life through other people’s eyes and what they experience every day. Many of them have a multitude of reasons for being negative but they choose not to be. Everyone around you struggles just like you do. Make note of how they handle those struggles and try to emulate their most positive words and behavior. Your level of gratitude toward your own life will begin to grow.
Practice combating negative affinities by fully focusing on your words and actions. A healthy mind practice such as meditation requires nothing more than your mind and body, some quiet or relaxing music and perhaps a candle or a few to help set the atmosphere and activate all your senses. Join hiking or walking clubs where you can practice a healthy physical activity and socialize with people who have a positive outlook on life.
It is always very quick and easy to make an unkind or negative remark because they are less thoughtful communications. Instead, do the old-fashioned “counting to ten”, hit a mental pause and think about what you would say or do if you saw the same situation from a positive angle and let your words and actions flow out from there instead.
In small steps, try to be vulnerable to others in both your work and your personal environment. Approach people whether it is just to create small talk for a few minutes or to join in on a group project during a meeting. It may feel uncomfortable at first since the negative response is to find fault with everyone in order to rationalize your isolation from others. But, eventually, those same people will seek you out for socializing because you made the first move and found they were accepting of your workplace comradery and personal acknowledgment.
Drop the “could have”, “should have” and begin to see yourself and your circumstances from a realistic perspective. This is the only way you will be able to achieve success. The world is not the best place sometimes, and bad things do sometimes happen to good people, but the reality is that after rain usually comes sunshine. You must embrace that to see life realistically but with a more hopeful outlook that, with effort, life is inherently as good as you make it.
People with a positive attitude almost always achieve what they want in an almost natural way just by exuding positive energy. Begin by assessing your level of negativity and how you manifest it. Then choose to change it with the help of these suggestions, and you will quickly reap the benefits of positivity.
Sandra Moncada is a cycling enthusiast, who frequently escapes to hang out with her literary and movie heroes. She is vitamin D’s biggest fan, who is passionate about meditation, Pilates and beating stress. When she’s not floating in the ocean or her outdoor pool, she loves to write about lifestyle improvements, self-development and stress-relief methods. You can connect with her @SandramoncadaOh
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