Post by Jane K. Stimmler, contributing Women on Business writer
Sometimes I’m certain there are two of me. There’s the self-assured woman who feels good about herself and her abilities. But there’s also that anxious gal who questions every decision she makes and becomes a quivering mass of uncertainty when she walks into a room full of people. The better me is strong and positive – the other me, not so much. Many women have disclosed that they find it’s sometimes a struggle to maintain their confidence as they navigate the business world. In fact, there are some very real physiological reasons why negative thoughts take over.
An article by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. talks about underlying physical brain structures and processes, and concludes this way:
“The innate neurological circuitry of your mind poses a very real challenge: positive stimuli tend to roll through it while negative stimuli get flagged and captured and deferred to. But you can consciously override those tendencies in simple and effective ways each day, by focusing on positive experiences, valuing them, and helping them sink in.”
So, based on simple biology, we actually have to do some work to stay positive and override our negative feelings. Here are some ways I suggest that can work to maintain positive energy.
- Review your skills, experience and accomplishments and write down a few of these to keep them firmly in your mind. Chances are you’ve forgotten some of those great things you’ve done and it’s beneficial to remind yourself of your knowledge and expertise.
- Think about compliments you have received instead of focusing on perceived slights and times you’ve felt overlooked. Consider who gave you the compliments and why they were meaningful. This is a way of seeing the “better you” through the eyes of others.
- Each day, give some time to examining the positive things that happened – perhaps things for which you are grateful. You just might find that there are many more positives than you thought, and it can’t help but make you feel good.
- Try to look your best each day to create a synergy between your external (appearance) and internal (mind). If you look good, it helps you feel even better and it all works together.
Projecting energy and confidence is key to business success. It helps you get heard, gets your ideas adopted and builds important relationships. It also aids in your productivity and effectiveness. My experience has been that by thinking more about the positives in your life, you can actually minimize the negative to be a more confident and successful person.
How do you stay positive? Please share!