4 Ways to Build a More Positive Mindset

Don't let negative factors impact you, your leadership, or your business.

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There is so much bleak news right now here in Europe and abroad. Inflation is pushing prices up. Fraud is impacting business owners. There is war, sadness, and fear across the world. These indisputably terrible facts can get you down — especially when they impact your business, as the inflated price of petrol may be — but it's important that, as an entrepreneur and leader, you maintain a positive mindset.

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When outside factors are threatening your business, you can't afford for your own mental state to also affect it. If your company suffers, you will be burdened by that, too, which will create an infinite loop of anxiety and poor results for you.

Here's how to maintain a positive mindset, even when things are grim.

1. Write down the good things.

Just as vision boards are elemental to goal-setting, having a tangible list of positive forces in your life will be helpful when it comes time to focus on the good, too. Make two lists: One will be personal and the other will be professional. On the personal list, write down all the great parts of your life, from your family's accomplishments to your favorite hobbies. On the professional list, write down the best things about your company, from its growth in the past year to what your employees do exceptionally well.

Keep the lists somewhere handy so you can see them any time you start to focus too much on negativity.

2. Enlist your employees.

If you're feeling down about the state of the world or other issues in your life, it's fair to assume your employees may be facing a similar type of pressure or anxiety. Set aside time for team building and communication at least once per month. This can include a company-wide lunch break, an after-hours event, or something as simple as a meeting — but don't focus only on work. Get to know one another, become closer, and talk candidly about how you're feeling and how it's impacting your work.

Setting a positive tone for the workplace can help you feel better, but will also help everyone be more productive and engaged. In turn, their output will ease your stress about the company's performance, also boosting your mindset.

3. Make time for yourself.

You may want to throw yourself into your work when you feel stressed, but be warned: That approach may help distract you in the short-term, but in the long-term, it can lead you to burn out. If you feel yourself becoming preoccupied with external issues or bad news, don't try to compartmentalize your feelings and double down on work. Instead, remember that you need time to feel and embrace all the things going on in your life — which might mean dedicating time to hobbies, family, or even therapy.

Make time for enjoyment so you have happier pursuits with which you can replace some of those negative thoughts.

4. Reframe your outlook.

There are benefits to what is known as "positive self-talk." The Mayo Clinic, a renowned medical institution in the U.S., recommends using positive self-talk to counteract negative thoughts that arise. Recognize whether you're magnifying negative elements of a situation, blaming yourself (or those around you) for bad events and outcomes that are not necessarily your fault, anticipating the worst without any proof the worst will actually happen, getting down on yourself for not doing more, being a perfectionist, or magnifying minor issues. When you do one of those, reframe your perspective. You can't fully prevent yourself from having an initial negative thought, but you can dictate your second thought, or your response to it. Logically, reasonably, and positively remind yourself why your negative thought was faulty.

Over time, this will get easier. Soon enough, you may find that the positive thoughts enter your brain before the negative ones get a chance.