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How Positive Thinking Builds Resilience

If you are resilient, it doesn’t mean that you’re immune to adversity and life’s challenges, but you will bounce back and learn from them. There are a number of things that help us build resilience, and positive thinking is one of them.

Positive thinking is not about denying reality, but when you work on developing an authentic positive mental attitude, it can be a great tool in your arsenal for when adversity does come along.

There are a number of things that help us build resilience in the workplace, and positive thinking is one of them

Why is Resilience Important in the Workplace?

Resilience improves motivation and makes you more capable of dealing with change. It also makes it less likely that you’ll experience burnout. Resilience is also linked to well-being, and better mental and physical health will improve your performance and job satisfaction.  

The Very Real Benefits of Being More Resilient

You probably see throwaway quotes every day about being more resilient. Whatever you think of them, developing your resilience can bring you real benefits at work.

You’ll Handle Challenges Better

Resilience stops those negative emotions from clouding your judgement of a situation and helps you deal with issues calmly and rationally.

You’ll Communicate Better

Resilient people understand themselves and others better, so they can express themselves more clearly and constructively.

You’ll Be Less Likely to Burnout

Burnout is often linked to poor resilience. Resilience helps you pause, stand back, remember why you’re doing what you’re doing, and recognise what you need at that moment.

You’ll Be More Comfortable with Change

Change is the only constant and being resilient means you’re more likely to be able to weather the changes and storms that come along. You’ll also recognise that some changes are necessary if you want your business to grow and you’re okay with that.

You’ll Build Better Relationships

Resilience helps you understand your own needs as well as other people’s which makes for better relationships and stronger teams.

You’ll Be More Inclined to Grow and Develop

Being resilient helps you develop a growth mindset. For the business to grow, you know that you and your team have to grow along with it, and you’re not afraid of the challenge.

You’ll Be More Likely to Seek Support

No business owner is an island. Being resilient means being willing to reach out for support, and give it in equal measure, so you can overcome challenges.

So What Part Does Positive Thinking Play?

Positive thinking is linked to better resilience. But why are positive people more resilient?

  • They have more faith in themselves and their ability to overcome challenges.
  • They expect things to turn out well and see setbacks as temporary and changeable.
  • They treat setbacks as a learning opportunity.
Negative Emotions Exist for a Reason; Just Don’t Let Them Take Over

Thinking positively is not about never having a negative thought. Negative thoughts and emotions do serve a purpose. We feel emotions like fear for a good reason; it protects us from harm. This is an evolutionary instinct that has ensured our survival for millennia.

But often fear and negativity can hold us back and close our minds to creative problem solving and good decision making. We end up having such a narrow view of what’s going on that we only focus on the problem, which causes us to spiral into negativity and helplessness, and this seriously affects our resilience.

Learning the art of positive thinking can help us see things differently and deal with adversity much better when it comes along.

A Positive Brain Equals a Smarter Brain

Feeling happy and positive doesn’t just make us feel good. It can also help us come up with creative solutions to problems. When we’re under stress, our age-old responses kick in and we either;

Fight- get into conflict with others, lose our temper, or make snap, ill-judged decisions, OR

Flight- we decide we can’t handle the issues anymore and bury our heads in the sand, hoping that they’ll resolve.

An Easy Way to a Happy Team

If you want to improve resilience in your team, create a working environment that’s more likely to foster positive thinking. How can you do this?

Well, start with something that many managers forget to do; give your team members more recognition and praise.

Your team members don’t expect a pat on the back for everything they do, but they want to know that their contribution matters.

Each day, make it your aim to give appropriate praise or recognition to someone, either via email or verbally in person. It will make people feel valued and it will have a positive impact on your workplace. Just try it and see.

What If I’m Surrounded by Negativity?

In an ideal world, we’d all work in a harmonious environment, surrounded by positive people. However, in reality, not everyone works in a positive environment. It is possible to maintain your positivity and resilience in the face of negativity because as the saying goes, the primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it.

You can choose to focus on problems, mistakes, or what terrible things could happen, or you can think about things you’re grateful for and focus on ways to make things better.

The Benefits of Seeing the Glass Half Full
Positive Thinking Stops You Feeling Helpless

Because you believe that even the direst situation can improve, you’re more likely to feel able to take positive action to solve the problem.

Positive Thinking Helps You Develop Stronger Relationships

If you’re an optimist, people will look to you in tough situations to guide them and help them feel hopeful. If you have the support of others, this will help you feel even more positive and resilient in turn.

Positive Thinking is Great for Wellbeing

Studies have shown that optimistic people have better mental and physical health than pessimistic people. Better emotional and physical health equals better resilience.

How to Think Positively and Build Resilience

Just like building resilience, positive thinking is something that can be learned and intentionally developed. Here are some good strategies to help you to start thinking more positively;

Challenge Negative Thinking

Realising that you are in a negative spiral is the first step to challenging negative thinking. When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, try to find evidence to the contrary.

If you’re telling yourself ‘I can’t handle this!’ is this true, and is it useful to think in this way?

Instead, you might say ‘Well I’ve handled something much worse before and it was hard but I got through it.’ This is a more positive and useful way to think, especially if you’re in the middle of a crisis. You’re reminding yourself that you are resilient and that you’re able to deal with the challenges that this situation may bring.

Focus on Your Strengths

Real resilience is not about working out how to overcome your weaknesses, it’s about focusing on your strengths. How can you better use your strengths each day? Once you start realising what your strengths are and building on them, your confidence and resilience will skyrocket.

Surround Yourself with Positive and Supportive People

This can make a world of difference when you’re trying to think more positively. Misery loves company, as they say, so instead, surround yourself with positive people who see the solution not the problem.

Be Grateful

When times are tough, it can be difficult to forget or even outright ignore what’s going well, or those little moments of joy in your day that you don’t always allow yourself to experience. At the end of each day, write down three things you are grateful for and I guarantee, this will shift your perspective to a more positive and resilient one.

Do you want to learn how to think more positively and build resilience?

Then book a discovery call to see how I can help.

Read more about building resilience

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