Without getting too “Norman Vincent Peale” about the relative merits and power of a positive attitude, we would at least like to stress its role in your life. Whether you are thinking positively or negatively, it is the internal machinery whose sum is expressed in your external attitude. In short: We think it, therefore, we act it.
Now, positive, uplifting or eternally sunny thinking won’t solve all your problems, and it won’t make you an unqualified smash success at whatever you do. No one thing will. Negative or defeatist thinking, however, does have that kind of power; it alone can torpedo you and run your hopes into the ground. Negativity has this power chiefly because it disables your resolve and it disarms your mental acuity. In other words, negative thinking has more power to cause you greater destruction than its contrary has the strength and stamina to do right by you. In this instance, attitude has no place for a luxurious middle ground: You either think positively or you mope negatively. It is your choice.
To that end, the following four steps are geared toward shifting your perspective to positive thinking — turning the proverbial half-empty glass into one that’s half-full — in times of need.
Pull back from the situation at hand and grant yourself some perspective; you need to assess your mental reaction, which may act more like a reflex, and start kicking out negative thoughts before they transform into an irrational, emotional outburst. You can very quickly bury yourself under thoughts of inadequacy and failure before you are even aware of it, before you’ve even given yourself a chance to consider your situation.
When you get a phone call asking for you to come in for an interview, don’t let the panic of the past knock you down. Whatever your past interview failures might have been, they don’t have to contribute negatively to this situation — unless you let them in. Pull away from your negative reflexes and give this new opportunity a chance — that’s all that’s asked of you at this stage of positive thinking.
Recognize it as an isolated incident
It’s natural for us to weigh the balance of our experiences with everything we do, and more often than not it’s the right thing to do since it calls for some self-awareness. And it’s the right thing to do at this learning stage of positive thinking. However, to harbor negative past experiences as symptomatic of something larger — some horrible and unstoppable trend in your life — is to have surrendered to the experience in front of you before giving yourself another chance.
A negative mentality thrives on a brand of groupthink — a collective conclusion arrived at by adding the sum of incongruent parts without the benefit of nonconformist input. One moment you’re recalling past failures specific to the task at hand — such as the interview — and before long, you’re adding in other anxieties, such as family, girlfriend and terrorist attacks. This is not the way to go about positive thinking.
Positive thinking requires a look to the future and some trust…