In a previous article, I mentioned that many self-help and motivational advice point to controlling your focus. There’s often the directive to be happy, think positively and feel good. What many don’t clarify or emphasize is that you have to be totally aligned in this positive, good vibe. That means your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, your entire mentality should be geared toward a perceived positive outcome for that outcome to materialise.
In other words, you can’t pretend to be positive. Most people do, however. They try to sweep the not-nice feelings under a metaphorical rug and force a smile as they deal with their day. Having an outward appearance of docile happiness while mentally cursing the events and situations presented to you is not the way to success.
As therapists, when we talk of a positive mindset, we mean a mindset geared toward your personal success, whatever that may mean to you.
If you want to be the best tennis player, for example, it would make sense that you believe that it is possible for you to be one. You would hire a coach, practise regularly, play against other good tennis players, get the appropriate equipment and do what you can to succeed. If you truly want to succeed as a tennis player, you would do what was necessary to build your believe in yourself and your skill, while effectively improving your skill.
Your mindset, your thoughts, your actions are all aligned to make that desire a reality. This is what we mean by positivity. It is more about moving yourself in the direction of your goal than in smiling at everybody everyday.
If somebody said to you that they want to be an amazing tennis player but they hated tennis, you would question their intention. If they said they didn’t feel it was necessary to have somebody teach them or that they were too good to practise regular and continued to complain that they weren’t winning any games, you may even openly laugh at them.
Yet, I see many people do this in terms of their life, financial and, oft times, career goals. They may read a book, claim to be positive, and yet they fail to continually learn from people who can teach them, they fail to practise regularly or even use the right tools to get the goal accomplished.
Being positive isn’t about everything being hunky-dory. It doesn’t mean you are never angry or sad or frustrated. It just means that you have the right attitude to attain or achieve your particular goal.
And while openly saying anything negative in terms of their goals is not going to jeopardise your success, it does help to seek solutions instead of wallow in your complaints. This is why a trained coach (whether it’s in sport, finances, relationships, career, or life in general) is so important. They can provide you with potential solutions or guide you to finding your own.
Of course, on top of all you’re doing, smiling does help, too. 🙂