Having a positive outlook and winning attitude is what drives people to achieve success. Having trouble adopting this mindset? That’s not unusual. You will need to reprogram the way your mind works and take control of your reactions towards external factors. Once you’ve conquered your negativity and learned to calm your natural instincts, you’ll be able to find success much more easily in your personal and business life.
Many successful people claim that having a positive mindset helped them reach many goals, like moving up to the next income bracket or moving their business into the six or seven-figure range. Stephen Richards, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, puts it simply: “Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes.”
Fake It ‘Til You Make It
If you can’t help but see the negative in life and constantly doubt yourself, it can seem like there’s no way to move forward and out from under that cloud. So? Pretend. Follow the lead of someone successful, and do what they do. Every day. That’s what Jack Canfield, entrepreneur and author of The Success Principles, says: “To change bad habits, we must study the habits of successful role models.”
Humans Learn by Modeling Others
Albert Bandera came up with the Social Learning Theory, which states that people learn from each other through observation and modeling.
“Most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.”
In other words, if you want to change your behavior, observe and mimic someone who you want to be like.
Choose Your Imaginary Mentor
When Homer Simpson decided to become a great inventor, he stuck a poster of Leonardo da Vinci on the basement wall and committed himself to following in the footsteps of one of history’s most creative inventors. Admittedly, all he got out of it was an electric hammer and absolutely no credit, but Homer doesn’t exactly have “success” written into his character.
He had a great process, though, and it’s worth emulating. Are you trying to transition into a healthier lifestyle? Move up in your career? Make a lot of money? Whatever your goals, it’s helpful to have a good example to follow. You might consider Oprah Winfrey, Lucille Ball, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. If the person you’ve chosen has already achieved your biggest goals, then he or she is the right person for your “wall.”
Get into that successful mindset by reading about your mentor and learning about the methods he or she used to achieve goals that are similar to your own.
Tips for Creating a Positive Attitude
Shawn Achor, author of “Before Happiness,” recommends the following ways to fight negativity and cultivate a positive attitude:
- Don’t skip meals. Negativity and anger are common side effects of missing meals. Your brain can’t function at its best when you routinely forego mealtime for work.
- Change the scenery. When you’re frustrated, seek out a new environment. The smaller issues you are struggling with will fade and be put into perspective when you leave your office, house or wherever it is you became upset.
- Get a different point of view. It’s good to talk to people who have the same views as you, but sometimes it’s better to get a different opinion. Talk to someone out of your age group or outside of your industry, and try to understand their point of view on certain issues. You might come away with some valuable insight.
Other Important Factors That Influence Your Mindset
It’s not just how you react to life that influences your way of thinking; it’s the way you treat yourself. Make sure you are taking care of your physical and mental health by following these tips:
- Spend time with positive people. If the people around you are intelligent and well-adjusted, you are likely to imitate them and feel similarly.
- Nourish your body. If your body is struggling to make do with junk food, your brain is also going to have a hard time. Think about your food choices and give yourself what you need to be healthy.
- Watch your language. Cut down on the complaints and make more effort to be positive when speaking.
- Be grateful. Never forget about all the wonderful things you have. A soft bed, a television, a computer—not to mention food, water and shelter.
Positivity Is Worth the Effort
Sometimes, you are the only barrier to your own success. To fight your own negativity, you have to change your perspective and be accountable for anything that you do. Always find ways to shift your mindset to something positive to build your confidence, knowledge and skills so you can open up more opportunities and reach your goals.