Before we start – if you haven’t read the other Blogs in this series – here is where to find them – go have a read if you have time. The first blogs were all about the issues that cause positive thinking to be ineffective at times, the things that make Positive Thinking S.H.I.T.
And so now we are going to look at the “T” in S.H.I.T which is about Tools – practical ones you can use to make Positive Thinking work for you.
As we have discussed in the previous blogs – it is really important that you go through the process of understanding yourself and understand also, what blocks you might have that stop positive thinking from actually working for you. Assuming you have done that work then there are lots of techniques you can use to get your positive thinking doing a number of positive things for you.
Positive Thinking can do many things, including:-
Creating a “bubble” around you to help protect you against negative people
Creating the Environment where you are able to take positive action
Creating Optimism, Hope and Confidence in your ability to deal with life
Let’s take these one at a time.
I was asked recently by one of my clients, how she could deal with negative people. It was an interesting question, and perhaps not the actual question she should have been asking. As I explained to her – there is really nothing at all to be done about negative people. You cannot change them, no more than they can change you.
And here’s the thing, they don’t think they are being negative – that is just the way the see the world. Who is to say they are wrong? Life is a choice, how you feel is a choice. They may see you as unrealistic or having ‘rose coloured glasses’. Does that mean YOU are wrong? No of course not. You make the choices you want to make. If you choose to focus your attention on the positive, that is your right and your choice.
Maybe the question shouldn’t be “How do I deal with negative people”, maybe the question should be “How do I deal with my own reactions to what I perceive as a negative person”. You see that is all you can ever have any control over in life. Telling someone ‘not to be so negative’ is like telling a lifelong Man United supporter they should be supporting Man City. Never going to happen. Does that make sense?
Here are a trio of things you can start do, to control how you handle negative people ( I have lots from years of practice and they work):
Point 1: Avoid them
I know, that sounds harsh.
Jim Rohn, a successful inspirational speaker, said – you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Research has shown we are more affected by our environment than we like to think. That’s not to say you don’t need people with alternative viewpoints, the question is do you want these points to come from supporters or saboteurs? Successful people who challenge you – make you grow.
So your inner circle should ideally be people who support you, make you feel safe to be who you are, and build you up, not knock you down. So, avoid the ones who do not fit into the successful/supportive roles.
What if you can’t avoid them?
I mean what if they are your boss, or a close family member for example? Well there are a couple of techniques you can use here.
Firstly, you can distract yourself. I have a song that runs around in my head ‘Puppy Love’ by Donny Osmond (If you are not old enough to remember this one – he was my heartthrob when I was a kid, a bit like Harry from One Direction!)
I can’t help but smile and feel happy when that song is going round my head.
It could be another song – like Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’ – you know it – click here if you don’t or you just want a happiness boost. Go on see if you can listen to it without a positive effect!
Another technique you can use is to Distract THEM. So how do you do that?
Well, it is really simple. Ask a question and make sure it has a positive connotation. For example – while they’re in full fling complaining about this, that or the other in their life or about life in general, suddenly say to them – ‘I have been meaning to say, I really LOVE that colour on you. Where did you get that jumper?’ This has the effect of interrupting their pattern, which means they have to stop to think about the answer to the question and that stops the negative flow.
Let’s move on to point 2 – which is creating the environment where you can take positive action. So how do you do that? Well, a really good place to start is a gratitude list. There is a Tony Robbins quote, which reads, “Where focus goes, energy flows”
Think about it, whatever you focus on you get more of. How many times have you thought today is going to be a bad day & then guess what? Yep you are a fortune-teller!
So here is one of many tips:
Create a gratitude list (a list of things you are grateful for) add to it on a daily basis.
This makes it all the more likely that you will get more of the good stuff.
It is also really hard to feel negative when you are constantly referring to and reading your gratitude list on a daily basis. Think about it – you can’t be happy and sad at the same time!
Moving to point 3, which is creating optimism, hope and confidence in your ability to deal with life.
There are a couple of points I want to cover here, the first one being resilience. There is a saying “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, and that may sound extreme but it is also true. There are things in life that seem so hard that you may not survive them – serious illness, the death of a loved one or the failure of a business.
There are other things that are smaller challenges that feel big at the time. Maybe for you it could be not getting a promotion, the end of a relationship, having an operation. Each time we survive one of these smaller or larger challenges, we realise how strong we are and how much we can actually cope with, and that makes us feel stronger and more confident about the future.
But the big point about creating optimism, hope and confidence is that it is all about attitude. There is a great poem by Walter D. Wintle who lived in the late 19th and about who very little is known… (I’ve adapted it as you will see)
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost a cinch that you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost;
For out of the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you’re outclassed, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man (or woman);
But sooner or later the man (or woman) who wins
Is the one who thinks he (or she) can!
I would argue that it is not enough to ‘think’ you can – and it is not even enough to believe you can. There is a state of being where you KNOW something is going to happen.
Have you ever met someone and known you were going to be life long friends?
When I first took on the role to mentor others to become Professional Speakers, there were many people who questioned why I would do it, I was not paid a lot for what I did and I worked most days from 4am until 8pm at night but here’s the thing, I just knew it would be ok.
4 years on the results prove it. I have helped thousands of people across the globe to stand up and speak out. I’ve helped others to stand in front of thousands of people, to tell their stories and now, I am regarded as one of the most productive coaches in the world.
And it’s not only benefitted my clients. It’s helped me stand on stages around the world with the big names in personal development, such as Brain Tracy, Sharon Lecter, Marie Diamond, Marcia Schimoff, Andy Harrington, Ali Brown, Allan Pease and Janet Attwood to name a few. And that helped me to understand what was missing in my life, which was that I wanted to INSPIRE others to live the life they want to.
It all began by knowing it was going to be ok and it is.
So here’s my question to you, what is it that you want to do?
Maybe it starts with knowing what you don’t want? Then find yourself someone to help you to find what is right for you and stop letting the S.H.I.T that shows up, stop you from living a happy and fulfilled life.
You didn’t have to think it, or even believe it – that seems like too much effort. You just have to KNOW it.
Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will tell you more about the Live, Love, Laugh Lounge and the Man Cave, where we help our WHY’s men & women work out their S.H.I.T. so they can have the life they know they deserve. Or visit our FB Page #FindYourWhy
Remember to Live, Love and Laugh Everyday!