There’s a major problem facing many leaders today. It’s negativity. Like a form of cancer, it can lurk below the surface destroying the health and vitality of a mission, organization or team. Negativity is something we all face. We can’t control what happens to us or the negative circumstances that we often face, but we can control how we respond.
This is exactly why I enjoy the work of Jon Gordon. Jon is a speaker, consultant and best-selling author of a number of books including The No Complaining Rule and his last, Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture. He also works with a lot of educators with his Positive School initiative.
Here are a few of Jon’s tips from his blog on “9 Ways to Beat Negativity”:
1. Tell yourself a positive story. Life is a story. The story we tell ourselves and the role we play in that story determines the quality and direction of our life. Successful people are able to overcome adversity by telling themselves a more positive story than the rest. Instead of a drama or a horror movie, they define their life as an inspirational tale. Instead of being the victim, they see themselves as a fighter and overcomer. You may not be able to control the economy, but you can influence the outcome of your story.
2. Model yourself after success. Are there people in your industry succeeding today? Of course there are. Seek out those people in your industry and ask to meet with them. Learn from their advice, and model their attitudes and actions. If they can succeed, so can you.
3. Focus on the important stuff. Tune out the negative voices and start making positive choices. What are you doing on a daily basis to grow yourself, your team and your business? Don’t focus on the negative things other people and the media are saying. Instead, focus on marketing your business, taking care of clients and building loyal relationships. Every morning ask yourself this question: “What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?” Then take action on those items.
4. Replace “have to” with “get to.” This simple word swap can change your mind-set and your approach to work and life. It turns a complaining voice to an appreciative voice, and acknowledges that life is a gift — not an obligation. So often we grudgingly say things like: “I have to go to this meeting,” “I have to meet with this client,” or “I have to make a bunch of phone calls.” In reality, it’s not about what we have to do. It’s about what we get to do. Research shows that when we practice gratitude, we get a measurable boost in happiness that energizes us and enhances our health. It’s also physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time.
You can read the rest of Jon’s tips by clicking here to direct you to his blog.
Here’s to staying positive and optimistic in 2011!