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Positivity for Success

Positive Thinking, Mindset,  Showing Optimism Or self-BeliefOne of the most important traits of successful people is that they have a positive mindset.

No matter the challenges that come their way, they are able to face them down, keep positive and when they are inevitably knocked down they can quickly bounce back.

Are people born positive?  If we watch babies learning to walk, they will fall down time and time again and get up. We are all born with natural resilience and the ability to be positive and yet as we get older many people seem to lose this ability.

And while upbringing and the people who surround us clearly play a part, the great news is that a positive mindset can be developed and strengthened in the same way as we can build ourselves physically – read on to find one exercise you can do with your students.

If you focus on the negative, you are more likely to experience a negative outcome. So when you believe that you can’t do something then this is likely to be the case.

Yet if you focus on a positive outcome, the chances of this being achieved are significantly enhanced.

And even where it isn’t if you adopt a win/learn attitude (see the previous blog), then you are more likely to maintain an optimistic and positive stance.

So “Who has a voice in their head?” One that says things like I can’t; I shouldn’t; I’m not good enough; I don’t have the energy; I’m hopeless; the situation is hopeless; they would never let us; I’m useless and no good at anything; or I will look foolish’?

It’s this kind of thinking and attitude that takes away your energy?”

What thinking and attitude will give you energy? I can; I will; it is possible; that interests me; I want to experience that; I want to learn a new skill; I want to have fun and enjoy myself; I like trying new things; anything is possible, let’s give it a try, are all great examples.

Barbara Fredrickson, an American psychologist (and author of a book called Positivity) carried out research around developing a positive mindset. This research suggested that successful people have a positive to negative self talk ratio of 3: 1.  She called this her positivity ratio.

What can you do to increase your ratio and ensure you say at least 3 positive things to yourself for every negative one?

  • Recognise when you are talking to yourself
  • Keeping a note or diary of all the good things you do
  • Saying to yourself at the end of each day 3 things you have done well
  • When you have negative self talk, discuss this with a friend, parent or teacher.

You could do this more formerly within classes by asking people to talk about what they have done well or focusing lessons around it…for example in English ask them to write some positive things about themselves.

You can also ask your students to write down three things they have done well at the end of each lesson or day.

Maintaining a positive mindset and thinking positive thoughts will build energy, self-belief, confidence and raise ambition and achievement.

You can see one of our lessons on positive mindset here. It comes from our section on building resilience.

If you would like to see more of our lessons then just get in touch – e-mail