Many of my readers know that I often write about experiences from my daily interaction with clients, friends, neighbors, family members and co-workers. This article on positive thinking is no different. I have two young single friends who have been home from college this past summer and I’ve had some time to visit with them. Both of them expressed their worry about the economy and securing future employment after college. My one friend said, “It’s hard to stay focused on working hard on my degree when I most likely will not be hired in my field after I graduate.“ My response to him was, “Hold it right there—with that type of attitude and thought process, you are not likely to reach your goals.”
Just changing the way you think and the language you say can make a big difference in how you approach daily challenges. A few weeks ago I was feeling particularly sorry for myself because of a crazy busy schedule and didn’t have much time for anything fun. However, one thought would constantly run through my mind, “Be more positive.” I do consider myself a pretty positive person, so it surprised me that “myself” would be reminding me to be more positive. From my own personal experience, just focusing more on the positive really did help me get through some tough times.
Professional Life Strategy Coach Dieter Pauwels shares a few ways that you can incorporate more positive thinking in your life, starting with your choices. Being positive really is a learned, practiced skill and you can choose it. So my friend who is worried about getting a job after college really can choose to see the good in his life. He will come away with a great education, put himself in the best possible position to get a job and he has had enriching experiences that may help him with employment in the future. However, it’s his choice to see it this way.
Pauwels’s also talks about building positive language, exchanging “can’t” with, “I’m still working on this,” or “I won’t” with, “I’m not interested in this at this time.” When you change your language, you change your intention. You go from seeing the negative to the possibilities.
While there are many good points to creating a positive outlook and positive attitude, I really appreciate this statement by Pauwels’s,
“You’re the steward of your own life and are solely responsible for the results and experiences you create. Taking ownership and responsibility for your own life is a freedom and tremendous privilege.”
So many times we take the approach that we are victims in our own life. Like my friend, he was feeling sorry for himself for being in college and might not be able to get a job. Are you kidding me! That is a gift and choosing to focus on the possible negative outcomes limits your ability to see the good around you.