Metaphysical theorist will tell you that whatever you focus on is the thing that expands. If we think about this and apply it to negative or difficult situations that come up at work, we then are expanding the negative.
If we choose to focus on what we do right and what great systems we have set up often this will help us to fix the current problems we are facing at work.
Negative breeds negative and in the workplace this creates toxic energy, which does no one any good and certainly does not help us to move forward with solving our problems or challenges.
If we take a few minutes to think about it, our minds are very powerful and we can make choices that will help us to become more positive even during these difficult times.
The trick is to remember to do them. These three actions below, as simple as they are, can be real game changers during tough times. How do I know? I practice them myself.
- Change your focus. When faced with troubled times, like sick children, financial issues, and personal life struggles people tend to keep their focus on their problem. The more you focus on your problems the worse they tend to seem and it becomes overwhelming. While at work look outward, think about what you do and how it affects those you work with. Ask yourself “what can I do to make their day or their experience a better one?” When you focus outward, it has a positive affect on you and you begin to lift yourself up from the issues that are weighing you down.
- Practice what psychologist call “reframing.”Are you an optimist or a pessimist? When a situation does not go as you planned how do you react? For example, you were planning to take your children to the park to play, but it started to rain, do you get upset and say, “The rain has ruined our play day?” Or you can look at the situation and say “How wonderful we have rain let’s see what fun we can have making a tent in the house, or baking cookies, etc.” Reframe the negative by finding something positive to replace it. Training yourself to do this is a challenge, but you will be much happier once you begin to master it.
- Make a Happy Thought List. This is a list of things that make you happy. Take the time to jot down big and little things that make you happy and bring a smile to your face. Maybe it is watching your children play, or a favorite childhood memory. I also like to have pictures of my family around me at work and at home that I can look at and warm my heart with. Write your happy thoughts on an index card or several and one with you and set the others out around your house, car and office.
Although these things do not change your situation, they will make your days easier to get through and will cause you and your team to be more positive in your thinking which can lead to positive outcomes and solutions.