Developing Positivity to Drive Performance written by Maurice Cullen, of Leadership Management Ireland. Maurice has 25 years of experience working in Senior Marketing roles across multiple industries and is highly experienced in performance improvement, mentoring and leadership development.
Why Develop Positivity?
More than any other characteristic, quality, or trait of human personality, developing an attitude of positivity is the companion of success in every achievement.
“The one thing that will guarantee the successful conclusion of a doubtful undertaking is faith in the beginning that you can do it” – William James (founder of American Psychology).
Positive expectancy involves your whole being and enables you to see, hear, feel, smell and taste the reality of your expectation. You truly experience the future before it becomes reality. When you experience the future now – in the present – you know what to do to draw the future possibilities into present reality. This is the compelling power of positive expectancy.
How Positive Expectancy Works
Some may scoff at the idea of maintaining an attitude of positive expectancy. They consider it a façade – a superficial role people assume to deceive themselves or others. However, having a genuine attitude of positivity is an expression of maturity that emerges as the internal characteristics of personal leadership unfold.
1.) Positive expectancy gives you the power of concentration. By focusing all of your thoughts, plans and actions on the object of your belief, you clarify your priorities. Block out obstacles, maintain your enthusiasm and take responsibility for the actions necessary to reach your goal.
2.) Positive expectancy activates the law of attraction which is the concept that like attracts like. When you send out positive thoughts of belief, you attract positive influences and positive situations, you are drawn to positive results. It is also true that if you send out negative thoughts of doubt, you attract negative situations, and you suffer negative results.
3.) Positive expectancy works through visualisation: You can be only what you visualise yourself being. You can do only what you visualise yourself doing. You can have only what you visualise yourself having.
Positive Expectancy Starts with Affirmation.
Affirmation, the first of the skills reinforcing an attitude of positive expectancy, is the act of expressing your faith in the truth of a particular statement. An affirmation is a positive declaration of what you believe to be true – a truth you believe and desire to live by.
The most effective affirmations are those that you compose yourself; they are based on your goals and describe the person that you want to be, the things that you want to do, and what you want to have. When you repeat such affirmations you build within yourself the self-confidence, the assurance and the determination that you need to overcome obstacles.
In formulating your own affirmations consider these guidelines:
Effective affirmations are phrased in the first person (“I”).
Affirmations work best when written in the present tense.
Affirmations must be stated positively (i.e. focus on what you want, not what you want to avoid)
The sooner that you formulate and start to use your affirmations the sooner that you will begin to realise specific benefits from the use of this important skill.
Positive Expectancy is Magnified with Visualisation
People without belief and positive expectancy may show cynicism at the possibility that visualisation actually affects reality. But the power of visualisation can change your life functions through the natural laws that control the way you think. We all think in pictures. When we think, we do not see words or sentences, we see the images those words represent. Visualisation is simply the art of being the writer and director of the movie or stream of images flowing through your mind. You become the writer of your own story.
Your Conscious and Your Subconscious
Your mind operates on two levels, the conscious and the subconscious. Your conscious mind deals with awareness by using logic, facts and reasoning. Your subconscious mind records thoughts, emotions, experiences and sensory impressions.
Your conscious and subconscious minds work together to form conclusions and suggest ways to behave and feel in any given situation. But because your mind cannot differentiate between real and visualised events, you can, through visualisation, put into your subconscious mind new ideas and thoughts without waiting for the real experience to back them up. For you, they become real when you picture them.
It is a simple fact that you are what you think. Your thoughts either create or destroy.
When you learn to use the art of visualisation to reinforce your positive affirmation you are no longer restricted. We learn by the process of visualisation to move the future into the present – to greatly expand our own experience. You are prepared for it because you are already familiar with it.
You have “seen” it through visualisation.
The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Developing your positivity will drive your performance because people tend to do what they are expected to do – and that includes what you expect of yourself! If you harbour doubts and fears and expect to continue making the mistakes of the past, you will surely do what you expect. On the other hand, when you set challenging goals and devise a workable plan for reaching them, you expect success and your expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Be sure that you set your goals to reflect your true desires, for the goals that you set to predict what you will achieve.
“The greatest discovery in our generation is that human beings by changing their inner attitudes of their minds can change the outer aspects of their lives” – William James.
As part of the Leadership Management International group, Maurice Cullen specialises in people development, with a unique mentorship process that guarantees success. For more information on optimising personal performance and personal leadership, contact Maurice Cullen here Maurice@lmi.ie or visit his website here.