Yesterday, we talked a little about why and how it is important what you think about. We looked at the impact both positive and negative thinking can have on us and those around us. Today, I want to focus a little on the power and importance of positive thinking.
Let’s start with a little secret. You can do and accomplish anything that you think you can. Let that sink in for a minute. Read it again. I call it a little secret, but once you start to recognize the truth in this statement and start to live your life by it, it can have a huge impact.
You have actually seen it in action lots of times. You see it in the preschooler who’s told by his dad that he can ride a bike without training wheels. You see it in athletes who run faster, jump higher, and accomplish more now than ever because they can see themselves doing it before they approach the start line. You see it in your friend or neighbor who sets out to build an internet side business and creates something valuable out of nothing.
When you train yourself to think positively, you increase the opportunities that open up to you. It makes you more confident and causes you to say “Yes” more often when those opportunities knock on your door. In short, positive thinking can make you more successful.
Let me illustrate with a simple example. Two middle school girls audition for a part in the school play. The first – let’s call her Jane - thinks there’s no way she’s getting the part she’s auditioning for. The second one – let’s call her Jill - practices positive thinking and visualizes that she already has the part.
When Jane auditions, she’s timid and shy. She doesn’t put a lot of energy into her performance since she’s convinced she won't get the part. It shows in her audition, and unsurprisingly, the play director passes on her and assigns her a minor background role instead. Jill, on the other hand, walks in with confidence, and while her performance may not be flawless, the director sees an attitude and talent that he can work with. Jill gets the part. That’s positive thinking in action.
It’s not all mumbo-jumbo and attracting positive energy from the universe. It’s about creating a positive attitude, promoting self-esteem, and believing enough in yourself to push further and try harder. Positive thinking isn’t going to heal your broken leg, fix the leak in your bathroom, or make an extra $500 per month fall into your lap. Instead, it helps you get through recovery and physical therapy with a better attitude. It makes you call the plumber or get out the tools to fix the bathroom leak. And, it encourages you to ask your boss for a raise or promotion and actually get one!