Positive thinking isn’t just a personality trait or an ideal way to think, Barbara Frederickson of the University of North Carolina recently published a paper on her findings that it increases skills and performance in almost everything and they’ve put this to the test over several years to show that positive thinkers really attain more. Her study showed that negative thoughts narrow your mind and focus your thoughts, this was actually a survival mode for our ancestors who then had to focus on one action in the present. This of course was a very useful instinct when you were faced with escaping a predator thousands of years ago and must save life and limb, where today, that is quite limiting in a professional setting.
Frederickson tested and proved this with a group of people who she divided up, showed half of them negative images of fear and anger and the other half positive images full of joy and contentment and then had a 3rd control group watch neutral images. Following these images, the groups had to answer the question, ” I would like to..” with 20 blank lines. Those that experienced the negative images wrote down significantly less items than the positive group. The positive group had about double the answers of the neutral group…this was just the beginning of Frederickson’s findings. Her theories have been proven again and again that the positivity of a person’s thinking has undoubtedly lead to better outcomes and more gains across multiple scenarios.
Now here I am, seeing this positivity helping others as they gain their success and dreams and I was asked today by my wellness coach- “Where do you want to see yourself December 31st, 2016?”. My ultimate goals weren’t really on my horizon because I was in the midst of thinking “If I just attain…then I’ll be happy”. That hasn’t quite lead to happiness, I’ve gotten most of those things I’ve said that about. I want to be a more positive person the rest of this year to start. I do have big dreams and big goals and I know these are the key things I want by year’s end:
I want to remove debt from my life and get the financial freedom I’ve been dreaming of. I see the extra income my coach and other friends have made and like them I too want to make that happen.
I want to be comfortable in my own skin and not look at the scale but look at the strength I’ve gained. All those types of clothes I never thought looked good on me, I want to wear those and embrace myself as I am- after all, I have a daughter and they learn from their mothers first and foremost how to be confident and how to be comfortable with their bodies.
Lastly, I want to be grateful. I want to remember that God has given me opportunities and blessings that are abundant and more than enough and I need to be thanking him everyday for those.
What’s your goal(s)? What helps you get positive?
James Clear, “How Positive Thinking Builds Your Skills, Boosts Your Health, and Improves Your Work” http://jamesclear.com/positive-thinking