5 Tips for a Bigger Better Career

how to be more positive

Being positive can help at work and not just because you might feel better about yourself because you have a positive attitude.

There’s actual science that shows positivity can change our whole life and even increase our success at work.

Professor Barbara Fredrickson, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of several books, including Positivity, has developed a theory.

She believes, after more than 20 years of research, that positivity can broaden your mind and build a better life and a bigger and better career.

So how can you harness the power of positivity in your career? According to Professor Frederickson, there are 10 positive emotions that have been proven to bolster well-being:

Her advice is to find the ones that you can best relate to, and then build and broaden your life toward positivity.

To do that you will need a strategy or two, so here are some suggestions:

Make a Commitment to Positivity

If you want a strong and healthy body, you have to commit to certain practices like daily exercise and a better diet. If you want to have more positivity in your life, then you will have to work at that as well.

This might mean finding some positive books to read, like Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking. Other people like affirmations or even positive meditations.

You need to commit to bringing positivity into your world and then making that a habit through daily practice.

Slow Down to Enjoy the Ride

It’s hard to be positive if you are going so fast that you can’t enjoy the simple pleasures and positive moments that are already happening in our lives. To build up the credits in your positivity bank you might want to try writing them down.

Just dot down these flashes of good energy in a notebook and at the end of the day take another look at them. Share them with others, especially those closest to you. Both of you will benefit from re-living these positive occasions.

Share the Load and the Journey

Positivity does not exist in a vacuum, and there is a synergy created when you share positive moments — maybe a minor success or breakthrough at work — with another colleague or friend.

Professor Fredrickson calls the sharing of positive emotions the creation of “positivity resonance.” It can happen when someone shares a funny story, a heartwarming tale or even just a smile. The best thing about sharing positivity is that it lightens the load for everyone.

Repeat as Required

Just like going to the gym three or four times a week will help you lose weight or build muscles, so too does regular positivity practice, Many of us are not hard-wired to be positive, and the weight of negativity in the world and at work is sometimes overwhelming.

That’s why we need to take positive action, and try to think positive thoughts over and over in order to build up our resistance to the negative flow.

The good news is that every positive action we take will create more positive energy. Just do your part to keep the good stuff moving.

Positivity is an Inside Job

Even if we feel that everyone and everything around us is a sea of negativity, we don’t have to take it inside of us. We can still focus on the good things when all around us is sinking in the mud and the mire.

Peace of mind or serenity is all about being calm in the storm. Positivity can help us navigate these dangerous waters and allow us to reach safely to shore, as long as maintain a solid core of positivity inside of us.

If all else fails we can reach inside for a positive thought or saying and just sail on.

And if it gets tough to stay positive, you can remember the words of Lee Iacocca, the former head of Chrysler who said that is exactly the time to double down on your positivity investment.

“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.”


Photo by le temple du chemisier / CC BY

Mike Martin is a freelance writer and consultant specializing in workplace wellness and conflict resolution. He is the author of Change the Things You Can (Dealing with Difficult People). For more information about Mike please visit: Change the Things You Can


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