As a small business owner, I am often asked how I am able to stay positive. I am an entrepreneur who has a particularly high amount of optimism. Sometimes my naïve optimism can be my best and worst trait. I try to see the glass as half full no matter what. This can be tricky at times, especially during a year as challenging as 2020.
Staying positive is a practice. It’s essential to practice positivity daily and to make optimism part of your core happiness values. When we approach each day with positive thoughts and actions, good things come out of it. We are then able to create an attitude of gratitude. This kind of attitude plays a major role in allowing our personal and professional lives to thrive.
Creating and maintaining a positive mindset is often easier said than done. However, it absolutely can be done. Focus on the following aspects to ensure positivity in all that you do.
Act with purpose.
One of my greatest beliefs is that purpose powers productivity. When you feel that you are acting with purpose, you believe that what you do and how you do it creates an impact. As such, you are far more willing to give it your all and bring your “A game” to any situation.
Leaders that act with purpose have the ability to instill this purpose throughout their company. They may share their goals and successes as well as opportunities. This allows team members to feel inspired and understand what they are doing is contributing to the greater good.
In order to implement purpose, in yourself and with others, you must be able to communicate. The mission and vision you have must be shared and lived. Acting with purpose has to be genuine. Then, it is able to create a positive overall sentiment that yields productive work among team members for a common good.
We are often quick to do a number of things, especially when it comes to making decisions. However, this is not always a practice that results in a positive outcome. Making quick decisions without thinking it through may sometimes backfire on leaders.
The best thing to do is to think. Take your time making decisions and even responding to emails that require a little extra thought. If you need to, sleep on it overnight to gain additional perspective. Time is on your side and will allow your response to be much effective, and positive, if you take an extra moment to consider all the options.
Share your ups and downs with others.
For a long time, it was quite common to focus on sharing successes. Mistakes, challenges, and stressful times were often not disclosed publicly. Some situations, like losing a job or running a business that goes under, are often considered failures and should not be openly shared.
However, this mentality is starting to shift. Now, leaders are leaning into sharing moments where they faced challenges.
I am no stranger to difficult times. In 2018, my office almost burned down during the Woolsey wildfire in Southern California. During this time, my team and I learned how to become resilient. We focused on back-up plans, working together as well as learning how to work remote, and kept our minds on what we were grateful for. We also shared our distress with one another and our customers and were overwhelmed by their patience and support during a difficult time. At the end, we came out on top and saw optimism shine through.
Leaders need not be afraid of sharing both their ups and downs. We go down unusual roads in our professional careers. The path to success is often full of twists and turns, mistakes and lessons that allow us to learn and grow. The difficult moments will eventually pass and we will end up with great narratives of how we were able to transform a rough time into a positive one.