In today’s marketplace, you’re probably wary of all the pop-psychology talk. And that’s understandable. These days, it can seem like everywhere you look, someone is peddling a get rich quick scheme. “Just think positively and all your problems will disappear.”
Yeah, you think. Riiiiiight.
And it’s true. Positive thinking alone probably won’t make all your problems disappear, but it can certainly put them in perspective. A ton of business research proves that a growth mindset can not only buffer us against setbacks, but set us up for success.
Bottom line: A positive mindset might not get you rich quick, but it can positively impact your success. Here’s why:
- A positive mindset trains your brain to identify ideas, opportunities, and solutions. Our brains have the amazing capacity to adapt through a concept called neuroplasticity. When we prime our brains through self-talk, they become amazingly adept at filtering out the messages that contradict our beliefs. And amazingly adept at honing in on information that serves our purposes.
All of this is thanks to the Reticular Activating System (RAS), a bundle of nerves at our brainstem. The RAS is the reason you decide you want a Pomeranian puppy and then see Poms everywhere. It’s why you can hear your name in a noisy room above all of the other conversations.
And it’s why you can decide that something is true…like a belief…and then see that belief played out in your life. Choose wisely.
- A positive mindset benefits your earning potential. According to a study from the Journal of Economic Psychology, our attitudes can directly affect our earning potential. Intuitively, it’s not hard to see why. A positive mindset facilitates the kind of problem-solving ability that leads to profitability and success. Not only that, but a positive mindset indirectly impacts our earning potential by way of social ties. People are more likely to do business with those they perceive as happy and positive. They’re more likely to send opportunities your way and more likely to refer others to your business.
According to Robert Cialdini, author of Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, we tend to think that our stellar service or product is what motivates people to act. “But,” writes Cialdini, “it’s what we do first to create a particular state of mind in our audience that makes them receptive.”
- A positive mindset cultivates the grit entrepreneurs need to succeed. Angela Duckworth, psychologist and author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, defines grit as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” Her research suggests that grit is just as important as intelligence to long-term success. Although some people seem to possess more natural grit than others, grit is a skill that can be developed. Grit enables us to keep going when it’s tough, because we have a deep down belief that our work is worth our time, energy, and resources.
Grit is the difference between the entrepreneurs who fail in the first five years of business and the ones who succeed…and keep succeeding.
- A positive mindset makes it more likely that positive people gravitate toward you. As social beings, we humans tend to seek out those who mirror our attitudes and beliefs. When we see that a person has something in common with us, like positivity and optimism, that makes us feel more positively about that person. Why? Because we then assume that the other person has other positive qualities…just like us.
Contrary to the old adage “opposites attract,” like actually attracts like when it comes to interpersonal relationships. And don’t you want to attract positive coworkers, employees, and customers?
- A positive mindset serves as a buffer against physical health ailments and depression. It may sound too simple to believe, but a large body of research shows the effect of our mental state on our physical and emotional wellbeing. “[A positive mindset] is one of the most important factors in predicting the physical health and well-being in people of all ages,” explains Shilagh Mirgain, health psychologist at UW Health. “It can help us cope effectively with stress and even help strengthen our immune system and lower our risk of disease.”
If you’re like most people you don’t have time to get sick. Cultivating a positive mindset can directly benefit your immune system and stave off depression, which is known to zap energy and resilience.
So maybe now you’re convinced that optimism and a growth mindset both matter. But what does positivity look like? How can positivity be nurtured? How can a sense of optimism grow? Here are three proven tips that you can use right now:
- Keep a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal doesn’t have to be fancy or sophisticated. Any notebook will do. There are also a plethora of apps now available. The simple act of noticing and appreciating our days primes our reticular activation system to notice more of the good and filter out more of the bad. Try keeping a list of three things for thirty days, and notice the difference.
- Notice your thoughts. Contrary to popular belief, our thoughts aren’t true just because we happen to think them. The next time you feel frustrated or negative, take the time to just notice it. Many spiritual leaders liken the practice to water flowing…we can notice the stream without being the stream. Just this awareness can often be enough to jolt us out of an unproductive thought cycle.
- Blare your favorite music. Again, so simple, right? But music has actually been recognized by the medical establishment as a valid treatment for depression and anxiety. It’s also been shown to improve mood, self-esteem, and quality of life. It’s amazing how many people work, drive, and shower in silence. Next time you’re feeling down, try playing your favorite tunes, and notice the lift.
And finally, here’s our ultimate tip for improving your mindset…get comfortable asking for help. Here at Elevate Branding and Media, we are obsessed with the success of your business. If you’ve been staring at the ceiling wondering how to increase traffic or customers, let us help. There’s nothing we love more than helping businesses grow, unlock their potential, and experience wild success.