Maintaining Positivity

Watch for Negativity

Like hazards on the road ahead, or the approach of heavy weather, negative thoughts and feelings are not only real, they can seriously damage your self-esteem and your ability to produce high-level results in specific situations.

  • You can start and finish every day by noting in your journal an overall rating of your thoughts and your mood. For example: On a scale of one to ten, ten being best, how positive do you feel?
  • You can log your thoughts and feelings about particular issues. For example: Before you begin any major effort, you can record your expectations of its opportunities, difficulties, and likely outcomes. Later, you can compare actual events with your prior expectations.
  • You can keep an ongoing log of your thoughts and feelings. For example: Every hour or so, or whenever you naturally take a break, you can quickly log your stream of recent thoughts and feelings. To speed this process, detail a thought or feeling only the first time you log it. Afterwards, you can simply put a checkmark next to the description for each time it comes up again. Note that many negative thoughts or feelings come and go very quickly. But log these anyway, as the resulting damage often lingers far longer than the thought or feeling itself.

Be Kind to Yourself

During periods of negativity, we may inadvertently treat ourselves much more harshly than we normally treat our friends and family. Once you recognize you’re beating yourself up, you can try to discount the power of these negative judgments and beliefs.

Ride the Positivity Express

Having recorded and considered your negative thoughts and feelings, you may become more open than you typically have been to sensible positivity.

  • Identify some positive attitudes and feelings that reflect your history and/or your current situation accurately enough to stand up to criticism.
  • Hone them into specific affirmations, such as: “I have made my numbers the past four quarters in a row,” or “Other people I respect frequently ask me for advice and usually take it.”
  • Post these affirmations prominently, and consciously review them frequently.

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Robert Moskowitz

Robert Moskowitz

Robert Moskowitz is a successful, award-winning writer and consultant, and the author of “How to Organize Your Work and Your Life.”