As a colleague of Nan’s I often post here about work and sometimes life. She is on vacation this week, so I offered to write about a recent experience I had. During the summer months I was invited to several large gatherings of friends and family. And, as conversations moved from topic to topic I began to notice a common thread when talk centered on work. There was an overall pall of negativity, a description of constant finger-pointing and general complaining of what’s happening in our workplaces. Perhaps, this sounds familiar? So, what can YOU do about it? Here are 5 ways to trump negativity:
- You know those days when everything is going well and you run across that irritable, grumpy person and somehow their mood gets to yours. Your mood is contagious. Your anger, frustration or poor example can rub off on others, too – causing a bit of a domino affect. Likewise, so can your passion, enthusiasm and creativity. Think of your words and actions like germs. They are highly infectious. Model contagious behaviors that ignite and bring the best of yourself to your work and life. And, then watch what happens.
- “Just for today I will be agreeable … I won’t find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.” – Al-Anon. Watch what you do and listen to what you say. [This is harder than you think.]
- Ideas are everywhere. We are bombarded with audio and visual information almost 24/7. Observe what hits your screen and sticks. Identify which are positive and which are negative. Like what you see? If not, consciously decide to add more positive. We also have an inner voice that speaks to us all the time. Is your voice a critic or a fan? Want more fan? Maybe add a little inspiration by reading a quote daily. “We are what we think about all day long.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Ask yourself this question, “Are you a fountain or a drain? You are either filling someone’s life with value or sucking the life right out of it with negativity.” – Carmelia Ray. Which one are you?
- You may have colleagues at work and friends in your life who are holding you back, who zap your enthusiasm and suck your energy daily [energy drainers]. And you know others who do the opposite. Choose to be around people who are fun to be around, whose enthusiasm lifts your spirits and enhance your creativity [energy boosters]. And, be one of those people yourself. How can you find energy boosters? Listen for their laughter.