According to Hara Estroff Marano from Psychology Today, the average person has around 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts in a day. Now, imagine if the majority of these thoughts were negative, they would take a toll on your mental health and affect the quality of your life as well. Not only will it adversely affect you and taint the way you see yourself, but it will also damage the relationships you have with your environment and the people around you.
Having a negative thought process also stops you from living your life to the fullest. If you’re flooded with thoughts about how negative your life has been so far and how things don’t go the way you want, you won’t have any motivation to start fresh and have a potentially better day.
You won’t think about how the next day could turn out differently. This is because having more negative thoughts than positive ones trains your mind to only focus on what went wrong. You also end up seeing the negatives in places where there were positive aspects to consider, as well.
A negative mentality is not just overwhelming for your mind, but it also creates obstacles for your productivity. You will have difficulty completing your tasks at work and your chores at home, which will only add to your incompetency feelings.
Wouldn’t life be so much better if the majority of your thoughts were positive instead? With the power of positive thinking, you can completely change your life around. You’ll be filled with confidence and anticipation of what each new day will bring.
The concept of our thoughts being interlinked with the way we live our lives became public interest with the arrival of Norman Vincent Peale’s book, “The Power of Positive Thinking.” It was about how our happiness or unhappiness with life is swayed by the thoughts we have.
Back then, people believed that thinking negatively could adversely affect their health and cause several physiological and psychological disorders, which wasn’t entirely wrong. Negative thinking can lead to a lack of self-care, and you can spiral into an unhealthy lifestyle, which can result in physiological and psychological problems.
There are ways that you can take control of your thoughts and steer them in a positive direction. You can even eliminate them and make space for a positive mindset to set in instead. Read on to learn more about using positive thinking to be more successful by using your thoughts to be more productive in all aspects of your life.
The Link Between Success and Positive Thinking
“Positive thinking is expecting, talking, believing, and visualizing what you want to achieve. It sees what you want, as an accomplished fact.” ~ Remez Sasson
One major way to learn how to be successful is by observing people that are already successful. Look at the way they have gained success. What did they do to get to the place in life that they are at? Chances are, they had a “can-do” attitude.
A positive attitude towards success can completely alter the possibility you have of becoming successful. This is because your outlook changes the approach you take towards a goal you wish to achieve. If you can imagine yourself accomplishing a goal that you have been aspiring towards, it will change your perception of it.
Rather than seeing that goal as unattainable or “out of your league,” it is better to genuinely tell yourself that there are chances of you achieving it. This will make a difference to your perspective. You will no longer look at the goal through a glass wall; instead, you’ll see it as a potential part of your life that you can find tangible ways of achieving.
The more confident you are in your potential to achieve what you want, the more likely you are to visualize ways that maximize your success. Here are some ways that positive thinking can boost your probability of being successful.
1. Positive thinking helps you with your problem-solving capabilities.
Having a positive mindset makes your mind more open to learning about and retaining new information. You have a clearer pattern of thinking, which makes problems easier to resolve. When you’re faced with difficult situations, your problem-solving skills will come into play much quicker and find strategies and solutions that take the entire problem into account.
Rather than face a mental block when life isn’t progressing the way you want, a positive mindset will help you find a way around any obstacle that comes your way. You’ll also think of solutions much quicker and not be stuck on the same problem for long stretches of time.
2. You’re more productive with a positive mindset.
The happier you are about your life, the more you’ll laugh. The more you laugh and are in a generally good mood, the more endorphins your body releases. Endorphins play a part in making you more productive because they boost the energy levels to perform certain tasks.
Being upset and thinking negatively about events currently happening in your life can make you lethargic and demotivated. However, having a positive outlook makes you feel more energetic and work faster and with more dedication to the task at hand.
3. You feel more in control of your journey towards success.
As we’ve mentioned before, positive thinking changes the level of confidence you have in yourself. With the right amount of positive thoughts, you’ll feel secure in your potential to succeed in what you want. When you feel like you have a role in how your life is panning out, you’ll feel more in-charge when it comes to changing what you don’t like as well.
For example, if you’re confident in your ability to be a good speaker, you won’t let one bad public speaking event bring you down. You’ll know that you have the potential to do better, so you’ll look for more opportunities to speak until you become successful.
On the other hand, people with a negative mindset let bad experiences discourage them from pursuing their passion again.
4. You’ll have more positive people around you.
Having a positive mindset brings more positive people towards you. When people feel like they can match your positive thinking frequency, they’ll remain a part of your circle. The negative people in your life will automatically filter out because they won’t match your way of thinking or agree with your perspectives on situations.
The more positive people you have around you, the more opportunities you have to be successful. When you’re surrounded by like-minded people that are looking for ways to progress and grow, you’ll find yourself moving towards more progressive opportunities as well.
This could be through getting your successful friends' help in setting up meetings with your dream employer or simply learning from a successful person’s way of living and trying to apply that to yourself.
5. You’re more inclined to take action.
Once you become a more positive thinker, you’re more likely to take action towards what you want, rather than staying in your head all the time. People who have primarily negative thoughts tend to let those thoughts overpower them. This means that you could have an entire game plan set out, but once you move towards acting on it, your negative thoughts stop you from feeling confident enough to move forward.
Setting goals is a challenging task in itself. It’s hard to picture yourself achieving a goal, even when it’s something that you really want. However, many times, even after we’ve gone through the hassle of setting out our goals, we can’t find the motivation within ourselves to work towards them.
With the power of a positive mindset, you will find the commitment to act on the strategies you have come up with. Following through on your goals is one of the main keys to success.
6. A positive mindset makes it easier to make decisions.
With a positive mindset, your ability to make decisions greatly improves. Not only is it easier to make decisions, but the decisions you do end up making are also more productive and work towards your success. When you have a negative mindset, your thinking is narrowed and doesn’t consider all the possibilities.
Negative people don’t consider the best decisions that will work in their favor because oftentimes, they don’t think that they deserve good outcomes to happen to them. They might settle for less than they truly deserve and will not have the creative capacity to come up with a decision that resonates with them.
7. You learn to handle failure.
Everyone fails at some point. No one gets what they want in the first attempt, and even if they do, they can find it challenging to maintain what they have. If someone seems successful in one area of life, they could be failing in another. No one has lived a life that has faced no obstacles.
What differentiates people who are resilient despite failure and those who give up after failing is their mindset. People who have a positive outlook towards life don’t see failure as an indication of giving up. They believe in themselves to be more capable, so they put in extra effort and find a way around the failures they face.
Having a positive outlook is about more than just thinking positive thoughts. It’s about behaving positively as well. Someone with a positive outlook won’t let a negative experience bring them down, but rather, they’ll use it as an opportunity to learn what they did wrong and make sure they make a stronger reappearance the next time. They won’t let failure make them feel unworthy or incompetent because they don’t consider failure a personal flaw.
Getting Rid of Negative Thoughts
It’s important to remember that everyone has negative thoughts every once in a while. The key to dealing with them is to counteract them before they can affect your outlook. If you feel like your mind is filled with negative thoughts, you’re probably not living up to your full potential and are constantly experiencing stress and anxiety that you don’t need.
Here are some ways that you can filter out negative thoughts to make way for positive ones:
1. Notice the thoughts you have. Whenever you feel yourself getting overwhelmed by your thoughts, notice what kind of thoughts you’re having. Ask yourself what you’re currently thinking about. Determine if the thought pattern you have is negative and make a concerted effort to stop these thoughts from filling up your head.
2. Don’t give the negative thoughts a space to manifest. You can do this to notice that your mind is filled with negative thoughts and counter them with positive ones. For example, if you’re upset because a person cut in front of you in the line, think about how they’re in a hurry and you’re not. Tell yourself that they may have something going on, which is causing the rude behavior, but you are considerate enough not to judge them.
3. Read positive content. The more positive content you read, like inspiration stories and quotes, the more motivated you will feel to live a happier life yourself. Reading about successful people's lives will make it easier for you to truly realize that success is within your reach as well — as long as you put in some hard work.
4. Stay busy doing things you love. It’s important to devote your time and energy to activities that give you happiness. Make a list of activities you’re passionate about, giving you a sense of peace and doing at least one activity every day.
5. Imagine yourself living a happy life. Visualization is a major motivator in being positive. Once you can create a visual map of where you want to be, you won’t let any other thoughts enter your mind that aren’t part of the map. Whenever you encounter a negative thought, you can remind yourself that it isn’t part of the route to your goal.
Everyone has negative thoughts occasionally. They are bound to be a hindrance to your dreams. However, as long as you can see where you want to be and see that you’re happy there, you have to stop other thoughts from holding you back. You have to remind yourself that they aren’t contributing to the life you dream of in any way but rather making you more reluctant to follow your dreams.
Ways to Cultivate a Positive Attitude
Sometimes, having negative thoughts is necessary. If someone has been manipulating you for months, you need to let your negative thoughts about them guide you towards ending the friendship. Negative thoughts can help us in certain situations, but when they start affecting our life and taking a toll on our health, we have to learn to manage them.
Here are some practices you can consider to build a healthier and more positive attitude towards life:
1. Stop yourself when you feel like complaining. Complaining might feel like an impulsive response when you’re faced with a negative situation. Still, it will actually drain you of energy and leave you feeling too demotivated to make any changes towards a better outcome in the future.
2. Be grateful. This might sound like a clichéd statement, but practicing gratitude every day can change how you see the world around you. Even if it’s a minor aspect of your life, if it gives you joy, then it is worth expressing gratitude for. The more you work on noticing what you’re grateful for, the more you’ll start noticing other positive elements of your life.
3. Make a list of your successes. This isn’t self-obsessed or arrogant behavior. It actually works towards reminding you that you’re worthy of appreciation. You need to give yourself validation for what you have achieved so that you’re less dependent on external validation.
4. Filter out the people in your environment. Being surrounded by negative people, always critical, never happy for your happiness, and abusive is a surefire way never to have positive thoughts. If you want to cultivate growth and progression, you have to remove those that leave you feeling drained, not good enough, or demotivated from your life.
5. Try social work. Helping other people is a great way to feel good about yourself.
6. Meditate. Even meditating for around 10 minutes every day will help you let go of negative thoughts.
7. Don’t be envious. When you’re envious, you start seeing yourself as flawed. You become your own worst enemy by constantly wishing you were someone that you aren’t.
8. Smile. Displaying kindness and compassion to others always puts people in a great mood.
9. Choose happiness. Again, this might seem clichéd, but you have to choose to be happy actively. Negative thoughts can take anyone down, but you have to choose to overcome them. Keep replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
10. Have faith. It’s important to believe in yourself. It will help if you remind yourself that you deserve the good that comes your way and that the universe will help you when things get rough.
11. Get inspired. Fill your mind with inspirational content, so you never forget your potential to be successful.
12. Affirmations. Positive affirmations subtly change the way you feel about yourself by cultivating self-love and compassion.
13. Try to control your thoughts. As you become more and more aware of your negative thought pattern, you’ll be able to pick up on when you’re negative. Try to understand why you’re having these thoughts and work towards resolving them.
14. Visualize. Think about what you would like to happen in your life. Imagine you being where you want to be one day. Don’t let any other thoughts enter your mind that aren’t building towards this goal.
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ C.G. Jung
Anyone who cultivates a positive outlook on life will tell you it took an immense amount of motivation. There will be times when you want to let these negative thoughts consume you, but you have to remember that you can have a perpetually positive outlook on life with consistent efforts. You have to keep noticing the negative thoughts and dismissing them before they manifest.
Go Into Your Subconscious Mind
Your subconscious mind learns through repetition. That’s why repetitive negative thoughts can become your entire outlook. However, you can alter the thought patterns of your subconscious mind in the following ways:
1. Repeat affirmations of self-love and compassion. Say phrases like “I am worthy of love, and I love myself” or “I will attract positive people in my life who genuinely care about me.”
2. Meditate. Meditation slows down your thought process and makes it easier for you to come up with an informed decision instead of a rashly taken one. With regular meditation, it can become easier for you to understand your own thought pattern.
3. Get creative. Being creative helps you be more in tune with your subconscious mind. Activities like sculpting, painting, and drawing help you be more authentic and express any underlying emotions that you have not addressed.
4. Trust your gut. Whenever you feel like a situation or person is wrong, trust your gut. Positive people can easily pick out what situations or people aren’t in their best interest.
5. Hypnosis. Hypnosis is a great way to relax and slow down your subconscious mind. It makes it easier for you to take on new patterns of thinking and even suggestions by the therapist that hypnotizes you. When you have many negative thoughts in your mind, hypnosis does a great job of releasing them to make space for a positive mindset.
Some Other Ways to Cultivate Positivity
· Keep visual reminders of what you want to achieve. Seeing these around your house every day will serve as subconscious motivation even when you aren’t actively thinking about it.
· Listen to good music that boosts your spirits and puts you in the mood to be productive.
· Make exercise a regular part of your day. Exercising helps combat stress and gives you an excuse to go outside and get some fresh air as well.
· Don’t watch television passively. If possible, stop watching television altogether. When you do, make sure it’s quality content that increases your knowledge or puts you in a good mood.
· Be enthusiastic about everything you do as a part of your day-to-day activities. The more engaged you are in what you’re doing, the more in control of your life you’ll feel.
· Spend quality time alone. It’s important to disconnect for a while and reconnect with your inner self. You’ll learn much more about what you need to keep yourself happy and who you are when no one is watching.
· Let go of things that don’t make you happy. It may be easier said than done, but when you choose to ignore external factors that bring you down, you’ll be saving your energy for something worth your time.
· Make lists of what you want to do the next day. Even if you don’t manage to do everything on your list, getting a few tasks done will make you feel accomplished and motivated to get more work done the following day.
· Acknowledge the parts of your life that have been going in your favor. At the end of each day, you should sit down and think of anything that puts a smile on your face or gave you hope. The more you work on recalling these aspects of your day, the more you’ll notice positive incidences when they’re happening.
Being positive makes you more productive, and there is a greater possibility that your work at home and in the office will seem easier to accomplish.
One of the best aspects of having a positive mindset is that you start to see yourself better. You aren’t as critical of yourself because you begin to realize that you’re only human and that everyone makes mistakes.
Once you start being more compassionate towards yourself, it automatically stems from how you behave around other people. You’ll be more tolerant and understanding of people even when you disagree with them.
While everyone has bad days where there is no way to stop the negative thoughts, what matters is that you don’t make negativity a part of your lifestyle. Constantly flooding your mind with negativity will hinder your ability to be productive and make you demotivated and lethargic.
However, with consistent hard work and constantly monitoring your thoughts, you can harness the power of positive thinking to become successful and happy.