Positivity is more than “feel good” jargon. There is actual research backing up the beneficial effects of positive thinking on business. A 2001 study found that people experiencing joy think more creatively. A 2004 study found that teams with a more positive attitude earned higher profits and had happier customers. And a study from 2005 found that people with a positive outlook miss less work. For female executives, positive thinking is an important part of a multi-level strategy that can propel them to unlimited success. This article is about how “she” or you, can have a positive advantage.
Here are some reasons positive thinking is important for female executives and makes them more effective than their counterparts. Having an advantage over others who are aspiring to similar roles as you are, is important. Along with having coaches, mentors and sponsors who will support you to achieve more than you think possible.
Fear Makes You Perceive Fewer Options Than You Actually Have
Humans sense danger and have coping mechanisms when danger is perceived, whether it is a storm in front of us as we are driving, a person walking too close behind us, or your child not wearing a helmet when biking on a busy road. When situations like these happen, your brain shuts off everything else and focuses on saving yourself and your loved ones. That’s great for real danger, but many people have this reaction to situations that aren’t nearly as serious. I can support you as an executive coach to develop your executive presence, manage these emotions and create a winning mindset.
Have you ever felt a slight panic in the morning when reaching the office and you see before you a jam-packed schedule? It can trigger a fight-or-flight response and can cause you to tune out to where you don’t see the options you actually have. The converse is true as well. When you experience positive emotions, you see more possibilities.
Other Ways Negative Thinking Adversely Affects You
In addition to giving you a limited view of your options, negative thinking affects you adversely in several other ways:
• It reduces third alternative thinking and squashes your creativity and dampens the creativity of those you interact with,
• It drives up stress levels and over the long term can cause health problems,
• Persistent negativity can reduce productivity and cause you to miss opportunities,
• Negative thoughts take longer than positive thoughts to “wear off”,
• Chronic negativity attracts like-minded individuals and drives positive people away, and
• Negativity damages relationships.
How do you perceive the situations around you?
Do you “have to” go to the gym or do you have time to do so? You don’t “have to” attend every conference, but you have the privilege of doing so because you cherish professional development. You don’t “have to” stop by the supermarket on the way home. You probably won’t starve. You get to do so to have a warm home-cooked dinner, unlike others who do not have this opportunity.
Here are a few ways for women to Increase Positive Thinking in Everyday Life
Increasing positive thinking involves practising things that generate feelings of contentment, joy, and love. These things obviously differ for different people, but you have to make time for them rather than thinking of them as “extras.” Meditation and writing are two popular methods people use to increase positive thinking. Check out Positive Psychology Practice Tip #3 to support your efforts in adopting a positive approach.
Savouring is also important, but when was the last time you scheduled something to savour? Does it feel like you are being pulled in too many directions to take time to savour something? “Savouring” may be structured, like carving out time in the morning to enjoy your tea. Or it may be completely unstructured, where you figure it out as you go along. But giving yourself “permission” to savour some of your favourite things, it helps you experience joy, and entertain new ideas.
Research suggests positivity and culture are important to measurable long-term growth and will be part of the comprehensive program that will soon be offered to change the lives of female executives forever.
Here’s to partnering in possibility!
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Jennifer Jimbere is the President of Jimbere Coaching and Consulting, Co-Founder at Radical Joy Seeking Women’s Club and Partner at Thrive Experts. She is an entrepreneur, International best-selling co-author in the Dream Boldly I Dare You Series. World Class Coach and Business Consultant. A recognized authority on the psychology of performance, negotiations and organizational turnaround. She has served as an advisor to thousands of individuals and organizations around the world for more than 20 years. Jennifer has also recently been named Influence Magazine 100 Authority.
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