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R. Kay Green Headshot

Is Negative Thinking Ruining Your Opportunity for Success?

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Have you ever said to yourself: I can't, I am not qualified, I don't have the skill-set, I am not smart enough, I don't have enough experience, I didn't attend an Ivy-League school, I do not have advanced education, they will never hire me, it's too much responsibility... and the list goes on.

Often times, it is our own negative thinking that deters us from realizing our dreams, accomplishing our career goals, and ultimately progressing to the next stage in life. Why is this so? It is because we are our own greatest enemy and ultimately responsible for our own successes and failures. If we think about it, our perception dictates our actions and our actions dictate our results. We must understand that our mind frame, the way we think and view ourselves, has a tremendous impact on our successes or failures in business and in life.

Developing a positive mind-frame is about changing your way of thinking and allows you to succeed in spite of the most frequent obstacles on your path. It's about increasing your determination to be better, smarter, and more efficient with literally everything you do.

Embracing a positive mind frame drives you to work on your skills, think positively, and internalize what it is you want to do. It leads you to develop a blueprint for how to achieve that promotion while you're still in your twenties -- or whatever other lofty goal you might have in mind. It gets you away from the kind of thinking that generates doubt and launches you into the mindset of possibility. You go from worrying about your lack of skills to figuring out ways to develop those skills. You go from wondering how you will ever be able to make the connections you need, to going out and actually making the connections you need. Doubt becomes motivation. Motivation becomes action. Action leads to dreams realized. Every single time.

So how do we move toward a positive and productive mind frame? By absorbing and adhering to the following steps:

1. Don't listen to your negative thinking.

To think negatively is to believe negatively. If you believe negatively, you have very little hope of achieving your dreams. For this reason, the first and most important step toward creating a positive mind frame is to work on ways to ignore your negative thoughts. There are many proven methods; it's just a matter of trying them out to see which work for you. Whenever you notice that you are thinking negatively, you might consider doing something to distract your mind (like reading up on a subject or skill you will need in the pursuit of your dream). You might consider bombarding your mind with positive memories. You might try meditation or some other physical/mental trigger that can remove you from the negative train of thought and get you back on a more productive path. Some people prefer to write down all of their negative thoughts and then counteract them by writing down more positive alternatives.

2. Try new things.

When you develop a positive mind frame, it is obviously quite important to know where you're going. The best pursuits in life are those that adhere to and employ your greatest personal strengths. Everyone has a skill (sometimes two, and sometimes many). The truest path to success is to identify that skill and then build a career around it. But what if you don't know your skill? What if you aren't sure about your professional passions? The surest way to determine the answers to those questions is to try new things. Take a cooking class. Write a short story. Apply for jobs that don't seem to fit your background ideally.

Once you have determined where your strengths and passions lie, it's time to figure out the careers that will best utilize them. Identify your dream career, in other words. Talk to the people who hold that dream career. Figure out what got them to where they are today. With this information in mind, you can begin developing the detail for your blueprint to success.

3. Internalize the positive, use the negative.

When those doubts are rendered in a positive way, they can be exactly the motivation you need to overcome a particularly trying obstacle. Often, it helps to write down the negative thoughts and/or doubts you may be having. Seeing these doubts every day has a way of bolstering your drive and passion to succeed. It is a daily reminder of the things you have yet to accomplish and a way to maintain your focus.

Determining that you can do something -- against all odds and despite all doubters -- has a way of teaching you who you really are. You begin to trust yourself in ways you never could have imagined before. You become less afraid to fail. You learn to survive with a little, and then learn to survive with a lot. Externally, when you began to find some success, you gain the recognition and appreciation of the friends and coworkers.

This is exactly the kind of success to which a positive mind frame leads -- a kind of success that is remarkably repeatable if you learn to turn all negative energy into positive energy. It leads to the discovery of more creative ways to meet your challenges. It introduces an ability to overcome the most trying times. It helps you to turn setbacks into giant leaps forward.

Most importantly, thinking positive allows you to take what you're good at and maximize it -- and when you can maximize those things at which you excel, a whole world of doors begins to open. Through it all, remember to stay positive. Use the negative as fuel for your determination. Take your positive mind frame and use it to achieve your dreams.