“Just think positive!”
It sounds crazy, right? If you could see the silver lining, you wouldn’t be in such a sour mood in the first place, would you?
Well, here are four things you can do to get off in the right direction:
Don’t Give Voice To Doubt And Pessimism
Constructive self-criticism is how we improve, and even outright negativity has its place, because how else would we know that some foods are bad for us and that we shouldn’t put our hands on a hot stove? Self-doubt and pessimism have never done anyone any favors.
There’s that joke that an optimist is always disappointed, but a pessimist can be pleasantly surprised. The truth is that pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you go on a date thinking “I bet they’re gonna hate me,” they’ll pick up on that negativity and they won’t call you back. When you see failure as inevitable, you stop trying your best, and failure becomes inevitable.
In short, pessimists are never pleasantly surprised, because if you keep telling yourself “Aw, this will never work” you’re always right, just about every single time.
Just refusing to voice these worries can go a long way towards erasing them from your mind entirely, or at the least, robbing them of their power over you. It’s not always easy to silence your critics, but you can get your biggest critic to knock it off right now if you like.
Be Ambitious, But Be Realistic
If you envision unrealistic goals, then of course you’re going to have a lot of failures to fuel your pessimism. If you set realistic goals, you can envision them succeeding, and you can trace them backwards to see how they would succeed.
Okay, it’s going to take you more than a year to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Rhonda Rousey in their prime. But is it foolish to think you could lose twenty, thirty pounds by the end of the year? Maybe you won’t be a millionaire this time next year, but could you build some modest supplemental income through a blog, an Etsy shop or an eBay store, just enough money to give you some breathing room when the bills come?
This is not to say that you shouldn’t challenge yourself, but when you set your sights on those all-or-nothing goals, when you decide you’re going to be rich and famous by next July, you’re effectively guaranteeing failure. When you set a series of smaller goals, realistic goals, goals with a clear, step-by-step path to success, it’s easy to maintain your enthusiasm and more likely that you will succeed.
Best of all, you don’t wind up thinking “This was a stupid idea, why did I think I could pull it off?” before every obstacle.
Fail Cheap And Chalk It Up To Free Education
Failing cheap is important. You only get one shot at testing out that hang-glider you built. With almost any other goal you might set, you can dust yourself off and try it again, utilizing everything you learned the last time through. You don’t need to quit your day job, you don’t need to burn your boats on the shore. You don’t need to replace every single thing in your fridge and cross your fingers that you’ll enjoy your new diet food.
Suppose you want to start a Youtube channel. You can cash in your 401k and buy a greenscreen and an expensive video camera and banner ads and a professional lighting rig, or you can use the webcam on your laptop, cut in some royalty-free stock music, and have a video completed by the end of the day. Worst case scenario, it only took you a few hours to produce your first video, and you probably had fun doing it.
An expensive failure teaches you to never try again. A cheap failure teaches you to keep experimenting until you get it right.
And a small success tells you that this might just work.
There’s a difference between an entrepreneur and someone who’s just trying to make a living doing what they love.
A musician, for instance, records music and then builds a business with which to find people who will buy that music. An entrepreneur approaches that project from the other end. If they see that there are people looking to buy music, they will build a business to sell it.
You don’t need to be a through-and-through entrepreneur, you can decide that you want to be an interior decorator, and then start an interior decoration business. But the most successful people are at least willing to approach their goals with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Going back to music, the industry is crowded with artists. Many of them are incredibly talented, but so are many others. But great recording studios and qualified sound engineers are in short supply.
Even from a health and wellness standpoint making positive changes in your diet can really help your positive mindset. Checkout this review of Nutrisystem Lean 13. They have some great Nutrisystem success stories from our readers that highlight how when a person feels good about there body those feelings surface in their general mindset and positivity.
In other words, an entrepreneur sets a goal based on the data available to them, and as they gather more data, they adjust that goal accordingly. For an entrepreneur, even abject failure is not failure, it’s valuable information: That didn’t work, but it let me know what will work.
It Sounds Crazy But…
That’s really all there is to it.
Positive thinking is cyclical. When you start to acknowledge failures as little lessons, when you just hit backspace over that negative Facebook post, when you get up and go for a walk even though you don’t feel like it, it all starts to build momentum in your favor. Corny as it may sound, obstacles become opportunities, every new day is a chance to try again, and win or lose, you’ll have fun giving it your best shot.