I know you’ve seen posts, including my own, about Positive Mindset and how it will power all of the great things you want to do in life. And it’s true that it’s easier said than done.
But it is easier than you think and in this post, I'll explain why!
So what is 'mindset'?
Put simply, it’s a way of thinking. It’s your generalised view of the world around you and your experiences. And it affects most of your life, your interactions and your outcomes.
Here’s a visual example...
Imagine this as the ‘real world’. Without a filter. Without your mindset over the top of it.:
Now this is the affect of a negative mindset. Notice the dullness and lack of colour?
And this image is impacted by a positive mindset. You see how the colours are richer, more bright?
A positive mindset gives you a brighter outlook on things. And as you’ve probably heard before – positivity breeds positivity.
Another way to think about mindset is as a spiral. With positivity at the top and negativity at the bottom. In the same way a positive mindset helps to create more positive outcomes, increases overall fulfilment and wellness, a negative mindset makes all of those things less likely.
All mindsets are habits. Whichever mindset you have. It’s a behavior that’s learned, often at a young age and it’s completely in your own control. Because right now your mindset is an unconscious filter you’re applying to the world and you will take conscious control over it to make it positive. And the more you do it the more you create your new, positive habit.
So what does a Positive Mindset look like?
Well, honestly it mostly doesn’t look any different to a negative one. But there a few signs of people who tend to take a more positive outlook in life as a result of a positive mindset.
You know that person you regularly see on the way to work who always seems to have a happy face? That friend of yours who’s always motivating you to smash it? These are common traits of people who tend to be more positive.
And here’s why you can tell these people tend to have a more positive mindset.
Positive people smile more. Not all the time, or in all situations but being positive on the inside affects your external behaviours. And people who have a positive mindset are more likely to look for the beauty, the joy, the opportunity in any situation. And they’ll often be more willing to celebrate even the simplest of life’s joys.
The opposite is generally true for negative people too. That person at work who tends to think the worst of every situation? That “friend” who criticises almost everything? That person who always tells you ‘it’ll never work’ when you have a great new idea? These tend to be actions of negative people.
When you are able to consciously create and control your own mindset so that it’s more positive, more of the time, you’ll find your challenges easier to handle, your successes become more enjoyable and more frequent. And you’ll see the world with new eyes.
How do I create a Positive Mindset?
Creating and maintaining a positive mindset is easy once you’re in the habit.
Smiling is the simplest way of creating a feeling of positivity in your own mind, and of others. The magic of a genuine smile is that it even changes the way you sound.
If you can do it in front of a mirror, or in front of the Selfie Camera on your Smartphone, even better.
Say out loud – in your usual voice:
“Today has been an amazing day”
How did it sound? How did it look? Not really that amazing, right?
Okay. Now try it again and this time. Before you speak. Smile for a couple of seconds. That’s right. Look at yourself in the mirror and smile. Then say, while smiling:
“Today has been an amazing day”.
How did that sound? Brighter? More genuine? That’s the magic of a simple smile. And if you managed to do all of that without even a chuckle at yourself, well done. You’ve just proven to yourself how easy it is.
Another thing to do to create a positive mindset is the words you use. Notice that in the Smiling demonstration you used the word amazing. Not good. Not great. AMAZING! It’s so much more powerful. And impactful. And positive.
When you’re developing the habit of a positive mindset focus on the words you use and swap out boring, neutral and negative words for those that are more positive. And when you start talking about things in a positive way people respond positively. You create positivity by your words. The special thing about using positive language is this...
It changes your own internal language. You know. That voice in your head? The more positive language you use, the more positive your thoughts become. And it happens before you even realise it’s happened.
The next trick to creating a positive mindset is seeking out the positive in all situations.
Lost your job? Most people would agree that this is a challenging time. And if you had a negative mindset you would naturally start to worry about how you pay your bills, buy food and provide for your loved ones. And it’s right that these things should be a concern.
The difference is a negative mindset in this situation would be focusing on the bad things whereas a positive mindset allows you to find the opportunities. And in doing that, finds solutions to the concerns.
So maybe losing your job means you can focus your job search on your perfect job. One you’ll love more than your last one. It also means, while you’re conducting your job search that you have more free time to get those little things done at home – like tidying the garden, putting those boxes in the loft and so on.
And because you have a positive mindset, you know that you’ll be able to go straight to the JobCentre to get advice on any financial support you’re entitled to, to see you through to your new job.It also means that you’ll plan, as soon as you get home, how you’ll make your money go further by cutting out waste.
And because you have a positive mindset, you know that this is temporary. And there’s nothing you can’t do.
There’s always a positive angle to a life experience.
Next... (And it’s important!)
Let the past live in the past.
It’s gone. You can’t change it. It’s fixed. Forever!
So dwelling on it, letting upset, guilt, shame and other negative emotions swim in your mind, about something that will always be as it was is not going to do anything but make you feel worse.
Focus on the now and the future.
If something happened yesterday that upset you. It’s okay that you were upset. But that was yesterday. Today is a new day. And so is tomorrow. So move forward.
That doesn’t mean you disregard the upset. And if it’s a major life experience like a relationship breakdown or bereavement, it doesn’t mean you switch if off (because you can’t).
What it does mean is that those things have happened. And focusing on things that have already happened, that you can’t change is pointless. Switch your mind to what you can and will do about it to make it even better.
Want to re-build your relationship? Then what positive actions will you take. Want to deal with bereavement? How do you accept the grief and celebrate the life of the person you’ve lost? How do you focus on, connect with and cherish each day you have with the loved ones around you?
This is the positive in these situations - the bright future. This the power of a positive mindset.
Beware the Mood-Hoovers!
These are people that suck the fun, the joy, the happiness and positivity out of everything. These are the ones who always complain, always criticise and always shoot down new ideas. And seem to thrive off misery.
There are two simple ways to deal with Mood-Hoovers around you who drag you down.
The first, is to remove them from your circle and instead surround yourself with like-minded positive people. You’ll feel the difference immediately because you’ll be surrounded by those who celebrate with you and for you. Support you with positive messages, positive ideas and contribute to your positive outcomes.
The other, more challenging - and rewarding - way of dealing with Mood-Hoovers is to be the beacon of positivity. Be the person who helps those around you to become more positive. This takes more time and effort but the result is the same. You’re surrounded by positive people.
So how does this all contribute to a positive mindset?
When you talk, think and act with positivity then you develop a habit of applying the positive filter over everything. The first few days this is a conscious effort. You’ll check yourself regularly to make sure you’re doing positive things. And before you realise it, everything has a much more positive angle than it did a few weeks ago. You find more joy, discover amazing opportunities and realise that life really is amazing!
And when you’re facing the challenges of life you’ll know you can deal with them. You’ll smash through them. Because you have a positive mindset. And that’s the point!