Do you have a little voice in your head that chatters away nonstop whether we like it or not? The narrator in your head, on average (for an average person whatever that may be) says roughly 50,000 words per day. That’s a lot of words and for those that like to overthink (ruminators – look it up if you like) the number can be double this!
Now let’s consider what percentage of those thoughts are positive, neutral or negative.
Personally, when I was asked what percentage of my thoughts I would have categorised into positive/neutral/negative at various point in time, I would have gone with 20%/40%/40%.
The concerning part is the percentage of negative thoughts – at this 40% level we are talking about 20,000 negative thoughts flowing through your head each and every day and pretty much all of them are derived from you guessed it – WORK.
Did I really hate my job so much that I would let it consume my brain with so much negativity? Probably not, but we do need to be very careful and pay attention to how much we let work get to us, and impacting on our emotions and our state of mind.
In hindsight, if I had of been more positive in my thinking, the issues I faced in my working career may have felt more like challenges rather than problems. I could have been more proactive about taking on these challenges and possibly excelled more than I did.
So try taking an issue you have at the moment and looking at it through a negative view point, then looking at the same issue with a positive view point. This activity is beneficial in two ways:
- When we look at the worst case scenario, in most cases the worst possible outcome isn’t all that bad.
- When we try to look at things positively, we start looking for solutions and ways to resolve the issue. This builds our confidence and helps turn the problem into a challenge that we know we can overcome.
In another light, being positive in the face of adversity exudes a confidence that you are in control. At work, knowing what you are doing gives your manager or supervisor confidence in your work and may lead to further responsibilities, promotions and the like.
The latest research by psychologist Angela Duckworth shows that it isn’t genius that contributes to people being successful, it is passion and perseverance. This tells us if we remain in a positive space where we persevere with setbacks and remain passionate about what we do, it will assist us to be successful in the long run.
Thinking positively can have a profound impact on how effective you are in your everyday life, give it a try!