We have all met people who are negative skeptics, always second-guessing and criticizing everything and everyone around them. Their negative mindset is like a wet blanket, smothering anything productive, creative, or beneficial before you even start.
Taking the time to focus on your mindset is not a big-time commitment or a degree in psychology. It takes a little knowledge and the ability to be consistent.
Leaders are generally confident when walking into the office or a meeting. They reasonably know what to expect. And, they understand that a bad day or meeting is not the end of the world.
The issue is that some leaders and team members feel as if they are always being watched. This becomes more important when the people who feel they are under constant observation care about the people who may or may not be watching. They fear being embarrassed if they do not perform well. While everyone is concerned about a negative evaluation, everyone needs to learn to compartmentalize what is going on around them. This will help everyone stay focused.
People get anxious. They feel like they are losing control. Anxiety, like anger, is immediately labeled a negative emotion. However, the way anxiety affects us is based upon how we decide to frame the anxiety. If we view anxiety as bad, our performance suffers. On the other hand, if we frame it as, “I’m excited,” the results tend to be better. If you try to suppress the feeling of anxiety, the outcomes of your work will suffer.
A positive mindset is critical to achieving your goals. This kind of mindset can be built if you are willing to look at things in a new way. There are several different things we can do to overcome anxiety or a negative attitude.
First, it is important to embrace a growth mindset. This mindset allows you to grow to new levels, beyond what you or anyone else thought was possible. The growth mindset is more about the journey. Instead of judging experiences in terms of success and failure, consider them fully in a positive way. There will be obstacles and challenges along the way. These experiences are all part of the growth process. It is not the idea of, “I can’t do this,” but rather, “I can’t do this, yet. But I will be able to in the future.”
Carol Dweck, an expert in growth mindset, points out that if you do not have a growth mindset, you have a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset is one that believes a person can not learn and grow. This will reduce the chances of large professional or personal successes beyond what you are comfortable with. “A fixed mindset is when people believe their basic qualities, intelligence, talents, and abilities are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that,” Dweck said.
With a growth mindset, people believe that their talents and abilities can be developed over time through experience and mentorship, so they push themselves and find success. “They’re not always worried about how smart they are, how they’ll look, or what a mistake will mean,” Dweck explained. “They challenge themselves and grow.”
A negative mindset will keep you from working outside of your comfort zone. This also creates a rigid mindset or the attitude of “We’ve always done it this way.” This stifles innovation and will leave your business behind. The unwillingness to take risks kills progress, and new initiatives will likely fail.
Just like the high achiever from high school, the person voted “most likely to succeed,” but who does not accomplish anything beyond that, you must push yourself or you will fail to launch. “They become afraid of making mistakes. They become afraid of tarnishing their image,” Dweck said.
Part of taking risks is being able to learn from your mistakes. These amazing blessings are great learning opportunities. They can be used as a jumping-off point toward something new. Instead of trying to hide or make excuses, consider what you can take away from these experiences as you go forward.
No matter what your level of education, you should never stop learning. You should always remain curious; this will help you see what is ahead of you and keep you growing.
Another important factor in a positive mindset is to celebrate and be truly pleased with other people’s success. This helps to reduce a sense of bitterness or resentment. The result is it allows you to focus on your positive accomplishments.
Jim Rohn has said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” Surround yourself with positive people. This will help fuel you with positivity every day. The importance of this is that your mindset will reflect whatever information you feed it.
Help yourself to develop a positive mindset. Continue to grow. Stay optimistic. And thrive.