Positive or Negative…We Get to Choose

In Inspiration by Angie Stone

In the Life of an Entrepreneur,

networking events become a staple of how you connect with others to assist growing your business. I must admit that going to these kinds of meetings isn’t really in my DNA. I know, if you know me you would think that I am a huge extrovert. Well…newsflash…I am not. I test on the cusp between intro and extroverted. That means that I can swing either way, given the situation. I tend to need a mix of activities. I need somewhere there are people and somewhere there are not. If I have too much time with a lot of people, I can get overwhelmed and stressed. On the other hand, if I am alone for too long I can become unmotivated and not productive. It is imperative to understand where we are on the introvert/extrovert scale. It makes life more enjoyable.

While the thought of attending networking events can be daunting, and I would rather stay in my office, I always leave happy that I made the effort to go. In the process of making the decision to go, I need to shift my thinking. My normal thought process goes something like this, “I have so much work to do I should stay here and get things done.” “I really don’t feel like chatting with people I don’t know.” “The traffic is always bad at this time of the day.” “Those meetings rarely help me gain new clients.”

It is a challenge for me to change this dialogue in my brain. There are a lot of great reasons to go, but those are not the things that I focus on. Thoughts like, “It is helpful to my business for me to be present at these meetings.” “I get to talk to people who can teach me new things.” “I enjoy the speakers at these events” take an effort to think about it. In fact, the speaker I heard at today’s meeting was excellent and reinforced things I knew and taught me some new things! Her presentation inspired me to write this piece.

Her Topic Was Positivity

It turns out there is research that notes fifty percent of the way we think is hereditary. If someone is a negative Nancy, chances are they inherited that trait. Another ten percent of our thought process is due to our circumstances. The remaining forty percent is completely based on how we chose to think. It is proven we can choose to change how we think. We can work to alter our circumstances too. This is all fantastic news! We do not need to be negative and our lives are better if we chose to be positive. There is also research that determined if a person is positive there is a ripple effect. If we interact positively with a person, that person is likely to interact positively with the next person they meet, and that person will, in turn, do the same. It’s like 3 degrees of positivity!

The speaker confirmed being upbeat all the time isn’t easy, and she offered some tips on how to train ourselves to be positive more often. She mentioned training ourselves to recognize when we are being negative and then have a distraction that helps us be positive. Some ideas she offered were listening to music, phoning a friend, engaging in a hobby, exercise or deep breaths. Another tip she shared was to switch our thoughts when realize we are focusing on negative things. Do you get upset about people who drive crazy? Do you focus on the bad drivers? How about switching your thoughts to the good drivers on the road? We never recognize them! Do you get angry when something makes you late for an appointment? Don’t focus on being late. Focus on the fact that you arrived safely. Shift your focus to the fact that you have a car you get to drive to the appointment. Be thankful for the person who is there to provide the service for you when you arrive. Get the drift?

One Last Thing…

Instead of asking someone, “How was your day?”, consider asking them, “What good things happened to you today?” Maybe this is the discussion at the dinner table. Make the dinner table a negative free zone. We can ask our children what good things happened to them during their day when we tuck them into bed. It is always good to go to sleep with positive thoughts. It’s also great to wake up with positive thoughts. Have a chat while getting ready for the day about what good things are going to happen.

Tina Hallis, PHD

I am happy I went to that meeting today. I left there better than when I arrived, and with tools to assist me in being more positive. Who couldn’t benefit from that? I know I did!