When you think back on an experience, do your thoughts turn to what went well or do you more easily focus on what went wrong? When you get feedback, do you hear the comments on where you were particularly effective or does your attention go immediately to your mistakes and shortcomings? It may be that negativity bias has won out in these moments, and by that I mean the human tendency to notice and remember the negative over the positive. It’s a given that every day will have its challenges, but if you let your negativity bias win out and shield you from registering the positive in an experience, you can miss out on sources of joy, indicators of personal growth, and opportunities to increase confidence in yourself and your ability to achieve. Counteract this tendency by making sure to give the positive the weight it’s due. Look for the best in each day and count your blessings.
How can you do this? Start by assuming positive intent in every interaction. Not only will it affect your outlook on the situation, but it’s a great starting point to engender positive interaction. Make a conscious effort to pay attention to positive events, and take a moment to celebrate and mark them to increase their weight in your thinking and your memory. Negative experiences are a part of life, but rather than dwelling on them, figure out what you can learn from them and then hold on tight to the learning as a positive outcome. Start and end each day with positivity. As you’re waking up or brushing your teeth in the morning, make a quick mental list of 3 things you’re grateful for, and then before you fall asleep, think of 3 good things that happened that day. Make time to stop and count your blessings as you create the career you want.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE: One year ago, I made a bold and scary statement: “After the successful launch of Lead Your Way: Practical Coaching Advice for Creating the Career You Want and, in the spirit of continuing to pay it forward, I am excited to announce a new feature that will be unveiled this Wednesday on the Welcome Change Blog. Every week, I will be posting Tips for Creating the Career You Want – bite-sized pieces that you can read quickly and act upon. This will be a year-long project and will give you a way to sustain your focus on your career with weekly reminders and inspiration.”
My goal was to write and publish 52 career tips – one per week for a year – and this is Tip 52. Thank you for your support and positive feedback over the last year. Your stories of how you appreciated and used the tips meant the world to me.
I will be continuing to post blogs in the areas of leadership and career development, as well as diversity and inclusion, and I look forward to continuing the dialogue with you.
More information on this tip, and others, can be found in Lead Your Way: Practical Coaching Advice for Creating the Career You Want