I am lucky. I have a naturally positive mindset. It’s in my nature to feel happy and to look at the bright side of any situation. But I realize that it’s not that way for everyone. Just as we humans come in all physical shapes and sizes, we come in all mental shapes and sizes too.
Maintaining a positive attitude is easier said than done, even for me sometimes. We are bombarded today with a gobs of negative news: divisive politics, missing girls, drugs, crime, the dangers of global warming, lack of access for all Americans to quality health care … and don’t get me started on all of the depressing “fake news” that comes our way daily. I could go on, but I don’t have to. You know all too well what I’m talking about.
But regardless of your natural proclivities (or not) toward positivity, if you want to manage a successful business, you must figure out how to maintain a positive mindset. If you don’t, you are greatly handicapped when it comes to handling the roller coaster ride that is entrepreneurship.
Here’s the good news: some studies suggest that positivity is a learned skill, which means that you can actually train your brain to embrace a more positive outlook. Here are 5 tips, based on my personal and family experience, to help you maintain a positive attitude.
5 tips to help you maintain a positive mindset
- Curtail news watching
I watch the news just enough to pass the red-face test at dinner parties. Not only does this help me remain positive, but it also saves me a ton of time. For example, shortly before the election, I reviewed news stories and Facebook posts enough to take in the information I needed to confidently cast a vote. By refusing to watch the news as it unfolded, drip by nauseating drip, I was able to perform my civic duty and vote my conscience without spending precious time watching the drama play out every day.
- Dial back social media feeds
… especially Facebook. There is nothing more time wasting than the Facebook home feed, where a week of updates contains enough much negativity and fake news to last until the next generation. I check the home feed now and then, but I mainly just check in on my friends and family members in an intentional way by visiting their profile pages and saying hello or just checking out what they are up to. I also participate in personal and professional groups, which allows me to
- Listen to something positive first thing in the morning and last thing at night
I make it a habit to fill my mind with positive messages first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Sometimes I read them. Sometimes, I listen to them. Thankfully, we don’t have to look too far to find these types of resources. One of my favorite things to watch and listen to are uplifting Ted Talks (like this one, or this one), and I also enjoy listening to Success Magazine interviews. If I’m not in the mood for audio or video, I’ll read a spiritual text or a fun magazine … O, the Oprah Magazine is one of my favorites.
- Crank up the tunes
Music is so uplifting. When I feel my positive mindset dissipating for some reason, I head over to Spotify and find an uplifting playlist. Some of my favorites are Have a Great Day!, Feelin’ Good. I love a good tune to make me feel better.
- Surround yourself with positive people
If you find yourself feeling inexplicably down, think back to see if there were any negative people involved in your day, or people that influenced you to think about yourself in a negative way.
These are clues, and if you pay attention daily to what brings you down and to what lift you up, you will begin to see patterns. Follow those patterns. Avoid social media that makes you feel like you are not good enough. Stay away from people who make remarks that bring you down — even if they don’t mean to. Their intention is not important, but the effect on you is.
Of course, you can always register for Indie Cruise, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by love and positivity. Being in the presence of other people who are doing proactive things to push their lives forward is one of the best things you can do to uplift your mindset — and your life, in the process.
You have more control than you think over what messages you allow to enter your mind, and it often starts with people you are with and the things you allow to be said and done in your presence.
What a mindful approach that includes proactively engaging in these activities regularly, you’ll find that your positivity becomes a part of your personal skill set. This will serve you well in your life and in your business.
One more note before I go. Some people may need professional help to remain positive. If that’s you, there is nothing wrong with that. Strong people ask for help … and then they become stronger. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you feel you might need it. Look for a depression, anxiety or suicide hotline in your local area. If your mood does not lift no matter what you try, you may need professional help. Here is a list of resources from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
What are your tips for maintaining a positive mindset?