This Alternative to Staying Positive Works Better | Threewins

This Alternative to Staying Positive Works Better

staying positive -- positive thinking

Staying positive lately? You don’t need to.

In this post:

• How positive thinking backfires on some.
• The alternative to staying positive 24/7.
• Three-step thought experiment you can try.

Some people believe staying positive 24/7 is healthy, but they’re wrong.

Since Normal Vincent Peal’s Power of Positive Thinking, we’ve been inundated with well-intended propaganda about staying positive, positive mindsets and, more recently, the law of attraction. All this pompous positivity isn’t necessarily good for you in the end. Positivity obsession is out of balance with real life.

Let it go.

Positivity Backfires on Some According to Research

If you’ve been forcing yourself in vain to stay positive, you should check out some very interesting research which will spare you the impossible expectation of relentless positivity. Thinking positively backfires on people who have a harder time thinking positively naturally.

For example, people with low self-esteem feel worse when they think positively. And get this  – they feel better about themselves when allowed to think negatively. The point is, you can’t contrive bliss (it’s an insult to intelligence, anyway).

Here’s the research summary on Science Daily.

If you’re already happy with yourself, intentionally staying positive can help (a little). However, if you’re naturally more pessimistic, forcing positive thoughts can make you feel worse.

The Alternative to Positive Thinking

This healthier and easier-to-implement alternative is a more mature mindset (in my opinion).

Let’s just call it balanced thinking. It’s not purely positive or negative. It’s both and more.  Ideas like balanced thinking date to ancient Rome. The Stoics believed in a grounded approach to life that included both positive and negative thoughts.

Oliver Burkeman, a columnist for the Guardian, wrote an amazing book related to this more Stoic (in the ancient Roman sense, not the modern/popular) approach to living. The Antidote is a must-read for anyone who wants to be free of the expectation to stay positive 24/7.

Burkeman tells strangely liberating stories of famous positive thinkers who lived and/or failed miserably behind the scenes. Not to poke fun at them, but to make the point that must be made about staying positive. It’s impossible to be positive all the time, damn it! And staying positive doesn’t stop negativity from happening.

I digress. So here you are, the alternative to staying positive all the time. You can be so much more than that…

3-Step Alternative to Positive Thinking

Play around with this little thought experiment and see where it goes:

1. Start by stating something positive about yourself, then say the word and…

2. Follow with a negative thought, then say the word and…

3. Following with a thought that acknowledges both the positive and the negative side of life, then say the word and…

Keep cycling through steps 1-3 until you’re tired:)

Example:

I’m a very determined person.
…and

I’ve failed too many times in life…ugh!
….and

That’s life. Win some. Lose some.
…and

I’ve succeeded, too, and learned a lot from my failures.
….and

I’ll probably just keep failing.
…and

Life sure is a mixed bag.
…and

I’ll keep learning and progressing, bit by bit.
…and

Then I’ll die. All over!
…and

Everybody has their time on earth, short or long.
…and

As long as I’m alive, I have opportunities!
…and

…and so on. Got it?

You don’t need to hold an exclusively positive attitude. It’s better to be capable of every attitude.

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This Alternative to Staying Positive Works Better | Threewins

How to Say No to your Boss and be Appreciated for It

Here’s how to say no to your boss when you’re asked to take on too much. With these out-of-box ideas, you (probably) don’t need to worry about getting fired.

In fact, if your boss has any kind of clue (some bosses don’t sure) she will end up appreciating you for being such a great employee. But first, a business comedy break from our favorite cartoonist!

how to say no to your boss

Three Smart Ways to Say No to your Boss

Oh – and here’s an implementation tip: Saying no to your boss isn’t a big event, like a senate filibuster. If you want to learn how to say to your boss well, you’ll realize the process is a conversation. Have an open-mind dialogue with your boss in a spirit of helpfulness.

1. Say no to your boss by allowing her to make room on your plate.

Maybe your priorities (given by your boss) would be compromised if you don’t say no. Make her aware. Oh, ok. What would you like me to re-prioritize at this point? I’ve got these three projects, so if I add another, which project do you want me to put on the back burner for now?

This puts the responsibility where it belongs. If you can’t take on another project, then allow your boss to make the necessary adjustments. Maybe you’ll get this new project. Maybe you won’t.

2. How to say no to your boss – provide an alternative solution that works.

If you actually have a better solution, then offer the alternative. You can say: Yep, this needs to get done so that (mention the end result you know your boss is looking for). I actually can get you there by (offer a simpler solution). How about that?

Don’t make up solutions that suck just to take yourself out of the loop. You know that (please know that).

3. Say no to your boss by finding a better person to do the job.

Your plate might be full. Or there might be a better-qualified person to do the job your boss is asking you to do. Offer to make arrangements. Don’t complain or act like a victim. Say something like Hey, you know what, so-and-so would be a better choice to get this done right now and he’s been looking for an additional project. Can I make arrangements to have him do it and confirm with you?

Tip: Don’t lie and throw your colleague under the bus. Don’t take advantage of anyone. That’s NOT how to say no to your boss. Don’t be a cop out. Use this one if it’s true. Right?

Biggest takeaway: You CAN say no to your boss. And there’s usually a good way to do it beyond, “No. Just no!” Hopefully.

Learn how to say no to your boss and restore your sanity at work! Don’t remain helpless. It just might be easier than you think.

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