Recently I attended a conference where I had the privilege of hearing from Mark Tewksbury, Olympic Gold Medalist and Debbie Muir, one of Canada’s greatest coaches. During their keynote session, they spoke to the power of positive thoughts and it hit home for me. So many times, I find myself in the downward spiral of negative thoughts in both my personal or professional life. I am all too familiar with doubting my ability and thinking thoughts like; “I can’t do this”, “I am not strong enough”, “I’ll never get that promotion”, and many more. I am sure those of you reading this can relate to these same thoughts. So why is it that we do this?
While driving home, I started thinking about all the chores I needed to get done around the house and all the tasks at work and I started thinking to myself; “I will never have enough time to get all this done”. Suddenly, I remembered that I had just sat through Mark and Debbie’s presentation and they just told me to think positively and to stop myself when I think negatively. If I think that I can’t, my mind-body connection will affect my performance. In doing research I found an article from the Huffington Post that stated “negative emotions narrow your mind and focus your thoughts.” We spend so much time fixating on and being consumed by the negative things that we forget to see the big picture of everything else around us. I realized that I was focusing more on the negative than I was all the great things that had happened to me during that week.
After realizing that I had been thinking about my tasks negatively I decided to shift my mind set to a more positive one. So, for the rest of the drive, I thought to myself; “when I get home I am going to do this”, “I am going to accomplish this”, and it started making me feel a lot calmer about everything that seemed to be piling up on my to do list. I started to focus on how I was going to be able to accomplish all my tasks. By thinking positively about my actions, I could make the mind body-connection and it affected my performance for the better and I was able to accomplish everything I set out that week plus I even had some spare time to get ahead for the next week!
I wanted to dig deeper into the concept of the power of positive thoughts, so I started tracking the number of times I thought negatively about something whether it be in my personal and professional life. Let’s just say, I had A LOT of ticks on my good ole tally list! After seeing how many times I had negative thoughts I decided to challenge myself to think positively this entire month. It has been very neat to see how “beneficial positive thinking” can affect a person. Instead of thinking “I can’t” or “It will never happen”, change your thoughts to “You can do this”, “You’ve got this”, “Keep going” and see just how much you can accomplish. Positivity in your personal and professional life can go a long way. I challenge everyone reading this to stop themselves when they notice that they are thinking negative about a work task or something presented to them. Take a deep breath and rephrase your “I can’t” or “I won’t” to “I can do this” or “I’ve got this” and see how much your perspective changes. By changing your mindset I truly hope you are able to see the big picture versus just narrowed in on one negative thought. The mind-body connection will really help you be able to perform!
Innovation Credit Union