When I see the countless images with positive affirmations pop up on my Facebook feed, the sarcastic, sassy side of my personality (which my husband would likely say is the only side of my personality) easily gets obnoxious and snarky.
The inner dialogue goes something like this:
Sarcastic Kate: “Awwww, isn’t that cute? It’s another everything-is-unicorns-puppies-and-rainbows post.”
The other Kate: “Stop being a brat.”
I’d like to say this is a rare conversation, and that I don’t often talk to myself…but both of these would be false statements.
Oftentimes, when it comes to positive thinking, I’m my own worst enemy. I let the negative get in the way.
This week was a great example of the power of positive thinking and how it pays itself forward, even when I least expect it.
I started this week with two big meetings. The first one was a high-pressure extravaganza we were prepared for and went into with the mindset to just have fun, regardless of the outcome. That approach paid dividends. And not necessarily in the most obvious ways.
I’ve learned over years and years of hours and hours of client, new business and media presentations that while I typically perform well under pressure…in the cases where I’ve let it get in the way, it’s easy for me to get derailed.
In those instances where I go in with a positive mindset, prepared, ignoring the pressure and just remembering this is just one moment in a long life, things always go better.
I went from the first meeting to a second where the pressure level wasn’t as prominent, but its importance was just as high. But it reaffirmed that positive thinking begets positive thinking.
There is science proving out the benefits of positive thinking. In this Huffington Post article, “The Science of Positive Thinking: How Positive Thoughts Build Your Skills, Boost Your Health and Improve Your Work,” the author highlights findings from a University of North Carolina psychology researcher whose work showcases the positive results positive thinking provides.
The article discusses exactly what negative thinking does to your brain: “The problem is that your brain is still programmed to respond to negative emotions the same way – by shutting off the outside world and limiting the options you see around you.”
For those of us in the agency business, we don’t have the luxury of working alone in a silo (thank goodness, by the way!!). Our business model demands we work collaboratively, in teams with our coworkers, with our clients, with the media, with partners, for mutually beneficial activities and behavior.
We’ve all seen it…the negative thinking of one person can easily poison a team. On the flip side, a positive outlook from one person can positively infect a team.
I’m certainly not saying you have to be happy-go-lucky every moment of every day. Heaven knows outside of a few rare people I know (and envy a bit), it’s not realistic to be happy and positive every moment of every day.
But if you can track towards positive and optimistic thinking more often than not, then you’re more likely to be successful (even if in just small ways) and to positively impact both yourself and those around you.
Here’s your homework, start sharing more of these. If you are having trouble finding one of your own, please borrow one of these!
Kate Eidam is portfolio lead at AKHIA. And while she can’t promise positive thinking 100% of the time, she thinks she’s tracking towards 75% of the time (well, maybe this percentage depends on the day). For the other 25%, she’s considering adding a beautifully tied string around her finger as a daily reminder.