Changing perceptions and having a positive mindset.
I’ve always thought of myself as a glass half full kind of person, I generally take a positive view of things and even in negative situations tend to be the one who seeks out the positives.
I’ve always been the radiator and not the drain. We all know the drains, those people who sap your energy with their negativity and always moan about their circumstances or situations. There is always a problem and it’s usually someone else’s fault.
Except am I really the positive person I thought I was? The last few weeks I have found myself getting very frustrated with a particular work situation. I found myself moaning and grumbling to my partner, whinging about colleagues I’m working with. At the same time, with my coaching hat on, I am reading a lot about positive psychology, ironic, isn’t it? It suddenly dawned on me that I had unconsciously become a drain. I had developed a negative mindset within a particular aspect of my work and I had to turn this around, before it adversely affected others too.
Once we know what is happening, it is totally possible to shift our mindset, re-frame the situation and see things differently. We all have the power to do this. We can decide to look at things from a positive or a negative perspective, sometimes we just need to remind ourselves (or ask a trusted friend or colleague to point it out to us) and ask - Am I coming from a positive mindset or a negative one?
Drain – Negative Mindset Radiator – Positive Mindset
My boss does these things really badly What does she do well?
He didn’t respond to my email What can I be getting on with?
My team are so negative and demotivated What are they good at? How can I
build from here?
And what a shift! Rather than getting frustrated with lack of progress I was focusing on what had been achieved and praising those involved.
A great technique we use in NLP is Perceptual Positioning, you start by metaphorically sitting in your own seat and understanding your own position. Then you sit in the other person’s seat to see things from their world and understand their position. You can then move to the third position and look objectively as an observer to the interaction between the two. This doesn’t have to be a long-winded task, it’s a thinking and reflective exercise. You just need to remind yourself to do it! It works especially well if you are feeling stuck in negative interactions with others.
By firstly shifting my lens to a positive one, and going through the Perceptual Positioning, I had a much clearer idea of my areas of control and responsibility and how I could positively take these forward. The shift and change was almost immediate and I have noticed a positive effect on others too.
Isn’t it motivating to be thanked and appreciated? We don’t have to wait for others to do this to us, if we start things off, others will follow too. If you’re surrounded by drains, try turning on the heat and being the radiator that makes the difference.