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Focus on the Positive

You’ve got to accentuate the positive

Eliminate the negative

Latch on to the affirmative

But don’t mess with mister inbetween

–          lyrics by Johnny Mercer

What we focus on grows. It’s an age old saying which means that the more you think about all the things that are going wrong, the bigger they become, and the more likely it is that they will happen again.

How many times do you reflect on your day, or your week, and recall the things that did not go quite right, or which went wrong.  Turn that around.  Start focusing on the good things that happen and watch how your whole attitude gradually changes.  Whatever you focus your attention on, grows.  SO focus on the positive aspects of your job – what you enjoy, the people you like, and the good work you do. Keep focussing on that and the negative things will fade away.  And after a while when something bad happens, it disappears because you are so used to focussing on the positive.

Our brains are fascinating – we can choose our thoughts just as much as we can choose our behaviour.  And how we behave is important in the workplace.

Dealing with disappointment

When you are looking for a new job it is inevitable that you will face disappointment along the way.  Even in your working life disappointments will challenge you – perhaps you didn’t get the pay rise or the promotion you were hoping for.

Facing and dealing with disappointments, both big and small, determine how quickly you recover from them.  And you can make a choice about how you respond to disappointments.

Many people choose to complain about their problems. While it is certainly important to acknowledge your disappointment and not just ignore it you can choose to respond positively.  The answer lies in learning constructive ways to acknowledge disappointments.

Recognise that your old coping strategies are perhaps not working and create a new one.

  • Choose to define what is happening to you as a temporary thing, not a permanent failure.
  • Practice acceptance for things you can’t control – sometimes what has happened has nothing to do with what you have done or have not done, and you have no control over it – it is probably not personal.
  • Don’t disparage other people to make yourself feel better – you can  honestly express the emotions that you are experiencing. This is about how you feel about the situation, not about other people.
  • What are the positives? – Find opportunity in adversity- there will always be one.
  • Put things into perspective – even the tiniest of disappointments can seem huge at the time.  Once you have felt or expressed the disappointment take a moment to step back and look at the larger picture – how much is this going to have an effect on you in the future?  Will it matter in 10 minutes?  In 10 weeks?  In 10 months? In 10 years?
  • What can you learn – did you have unrealistic expectations?  Is there something you can do differently or better next time?

Most importantly, reflect on what happened and set goals for the future so that you can capitalise on opportunities as they present themselves.