Is the glass half full? Or half empty?
Having an (overly) negative outlook on life can hold you back in your career and general life.
The truth is; people don’t (generally) like to be around others who bring the atmosphere down and if you’re constantly waiting for ‘bad things’ to happen, you’ll live a restrained, stressful life.
So this week, we’ve been discussing some of the best techniques we use to boost positivity, in ourselves.
At the end of the day, it’s about what works for YOU as an individual, but hopefully these 10 simple ideas, should give you a little bit of inspiration!
1. Look forward, not back.
Are you one of those people who constantly look back; remembering all of the “terrible,” embarrassing and cringe-worthy things you’ve done and said with a shudder?
STOP! Is constantly reliving your most shameful moments going to change anything? Nope.
Forget the (bad bits of the) past, enjoy your present and look forward to the future and all the positive things that are still to come.
Nobody’s perfect and everyone goes through good and bad times – and just think about it; other people won’t be focussing on you – they’ve got their own memories to worry about!
2. Smile like you mean it.
Did you know that you could actually trick yourself into being more happy/ positive by simply smiling? Well, now you do.
So next time you’re feeling a little bit low, force a smile, crack a joke, watch a Family Guy, whatever works for you – that grin will immediately boost your mood.
(Seriously, it’s been proven– click here to read more.)
3. Think happy thoughts.
Push away those negative thoughts if and when you can using your very own bank of “happy thoughts!”
What are you grateful for? What makes you happy? What’s good about you?
You could go a step further and put these happy thoughts on paper… if someone (boss, client, colleague) compliments you at work, jot it down. If you achieve something fantastic, jot it down.
This might seem a little bit weird to you now, but when you’re having an ‘off day’ and you feel like the entire world is against you, that little list can really give you a boost.
4. Surround yourself with positive people.
This is an obvious one.
It’s pretty much impossible to completely rid yourself of negative people (nor would you want to) but if there is someone who is bringing you down all of the time, you should consider whether this is a relationship you need and/or want to maintain.
(Granted, with family/ close friends/ relationships this can be a really tough decision).
If the issue is at work, whether your colleagues or your boss, then you have 4 choices…
- Get dragged down with them.
- Ignore the problem, try to distance yourself and don’t let their negativity affect you.
- Speak to someone. Try and resolve the situation; your boss/colleagues may not realise that there is an issue in the first place.
- Think about seeking new employment things are bad enough.
If you feel victimised and bullied in the office, that is an entirely different kettle of fish – click here to find out more about how to handle this.
5. Act positive.
Don’t bring everyone else down with your own negativity.
Despite the fact that you’ll lose people and make a terrible impression (people will actively avoid you) – it’s also not fair on your colleagues, boss, family, friends etc.
Remember, put on a smile and people will (usually) in turn, react positively towards that.
It’s like one big circle of positivity!
6. Do something altruistic.
If you do something for someone less fortunate than yourself then:
- You’ll gain perspective. How lucky are you really, compared to others?
- You’ll feel more positive and like you’re making a real difference to the world.
- It’s (obviously) a great thing for the person you’re helping!
It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
7. Stop worrying about other people.
This is a biggie.
You need to stop relating your own success and happiness, to other people.
For example: ‘oh I just got a promotion – I should celebrate – but Jane’s still on a better salary than me so I don’t know why I’m getting so chuffed… I’ll just turn this positive into a negative instead.’
(For most of us) there will ALWAYS be someone better off, more successful and supposedly, more accomplished.
So you’re going to live a very hard and stressful life, filled with disappointment, if you constantly compare yourself to other people.
Instead, focus on what would genuinely make YOU happy – and when you reach those personal goals, celebrate them, regardless of what Jane, Jack and Jason are up to.
Live your life for you, not other people.
8. Make a Change.
If you’re not happy about something in your life, make a change.
Don’t stick around at a job you hate for years whilst moaning away your days – look for a new one.
If you want to learn some new skills and improve yourself and career options – just do it.
As mentioned earlier, if you find yourself hanging around with people who constantly bring you down – reassess whether you need/want those relationships.
Seize the day and make changes that will help to boost your positivity and general happiness.
9. Find a passion.
Not everyone can love and be ultra-passionate about their job – it’s just not the way things work.
For many people, it is enough to get to a position of being content and happy.
If this is you – what other passions do you pursue? Do you take part in any other meaningful activities that boost your happiness? What do you have in your life other than work?
Doing something that makes you happy and that you can look forward to will bring more meaning and excitement to your life and will make you happier and more positive in the long run.
Recruiter Pro Tip
There is a BIG difference between being “content” with your job and absolutely hating it.
If you’re genuinely very unhappy, stressed and disengaged with your current company then I highly recommend looking for a new job or attempting to improve things at your current one.
Life’s too short to hate your job!
10. Be realistic.
Look, I’m not saying that you have to walk around, with rose-tinted glasses, finding the positives in everything!
There are bad things in this world. Ignoring them is probably just as destructive as being ultra-negative the whole time.
It’s important to have a healthy level of realism, but without becoming the cynical, negative, pessimistic so-and-so that people avoid at all costs.
Are you feeling more positive?
When it comes to these (quite sensitive) topics – there’s no ‘be-all and end-all’ answer.
“Being positive” is a state of mind and there are many other factors, internal and external, that could impact on it – and we’re definitely not the experts on that.
However, if you think this blog has helped and you’d like to take a look at more, similar ideas, click on the links below and browse some other great articles on the topic…
- How to Improve Your Self-Esteem: 12 Powerful Tips
- The 15 Habits of Incredibly Happy People
- 10 Things That Are Scientifically Proven to Make You Unhappy.
On the other hand, if you’d like to receive weekly updates with our latest career-boosting articles on happiness, productivity and confidence, click here to sign up to our blog.
Good luck.- Mark Wilkinson