Elite Executive column: the importance of being positive
In the face of uncertain times for us all, Eva Grabner from Elite Executive highlights the power of positivity.
A person’s ability to deal with uncertainty is influenced by many factors.
Those who are more mature or older may be able to deal with uncertainly better because they have experienced uncertainty in the past and have made it through and trust that things will turn out okay or perhaps the way they’re supposed to.
Those who practice a faith or religion may also be comfortable in uncertain times because they have a higher power to look to.
Putting all that aside, a person’s ability to deal with uncertainly depends not so much on external circumstances but on what they allow themselves to think about.
Our thoughts create our experience of life - worried thoughts create worried feelings whilst hopeful or optimistic thoughts create hopeful feelings.
Of course, there are circumstances out of our control that can cause worry and distress: natural disasters, unexpected death, financial security and at the moment; a pandemic.
Yes, even though these events are out of our control, we DO have control over our reaction. Our reality equals our thoughts.
I am a firm believer that attitude is everything. Maintaining a positive outlook is essential during times of crisis.
For example, rather than focusing on things that ‘may happen’ have a look at the good things already in your life. Today. Be grateful for it.
The benefits of staying positive through uncertainty are not just about feeling better - they will impact the outcome. You will be better able to seek support from others when you remain positive, as people tend to gravitate towards positive people.
So, what can we do to stay strong and keep positive? Here are some ideas which may help:
TAKE A MOMENT
Reflect on things that you are grateful for. This is a powerful tonic for your mood. Take the time to write down three things that you are grateful for at the end of each day. We all have at least three things to be grateful for – health, roof over our head, food on the table, good friends, etc.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE
Moods are contagious. Turn off that TV, stop reading negative news stories and instead talk with people who know and love you and are ultimately positive people. Be with people who will make you feel good.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF PHYSICALLY
No matter whether you enjoy walking, cycling, are a gym junkie or just hate any form of exercise, it is essential to do something. It is well documented that if you feed your body you will feed your mind. When we are tired and run down we are more vulnerable to lower-quality thinking. Eat well, sleep and exercise, trust me, it helps!
Don’t get me wrong, we all have good days and we all have bad days, but it’s how you respond to the bad days that matter.
Do you just give up, or just keep on pushing through? There are numerous examples out there of people who have fallen time and time again but kept trying to eventually become a success.
Two that immediately come to mind are Walt Disney and Bill Gates. Gates was a Harvard dropout and Disney was fired from a newspaper because ‘he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.’ What??? Imagine the world without either of them?
Remember you are the one who chooses how to respond to events outside your control.
Recognise that in life and business, a fair amount of surprises will cross your path, and some may come with immense challenges. When that happens, remember: Stop. Think. Decide.
Only you can make a conscious decision to take a more effective course of action.