Be Uplifting! (no not upstanding, although if you want to, that's okay). 'Be uplifting' is our theme for the week. Having spoken about fear, anxiety, stress over the last few weeks it's time for positive mental attitude.
The truth is being positive generally comes easy to me. It's part of my personality. For others - 'the realists' - of this world positivity may be more of a challenge. I am a glass full type much to the annoyance of my glass half empty husband. And, as he argues, what's wrong with his perspective?
Well, being positive has considerable impact for performance in individuals, teams and organisations. And it has considerable implications for our society and country. My old boss Andy Lothian speaks frequently about this. Staying focused on growth plans saw his company Insights survive and thrive the recession of 2008, and continue to grow in spite of the fears over Brexit. In their book 'Uplifting Leadership -How Organizations, Teams, and Communities Raise Performance' Hargreaves, Boyle and Harris talk about the differentiators which make successful organisations, following research from a 7 year global survey. They identified 5 attributes of 'uplifting leadership' as being:
- an inspiring dream
- pursue that dream without squandering resources
- forge innovation and improvement
- monitor progress in a mindful way
- pull people into change rather than push
These are useful to reflect upon whether thinking about the country or ourselves.
Articulating an inspiring dream that our country will be successful after Brexit, regardless of how we individually voted, seems absolutely key. I look forward to seeing and hearing this. In the meantime, as I am not a politician, I will focus instead on how individuals can be uplifting.
We all dream, whatever our particular circumstances. Ensuring you have an inspiring dream for your self is the key to yourlife journey.
Be ambitious in setting your goals. "The great danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark." - Michelangelo.
Living life in balance means using our resources and investing wisely. The market for 'self-improvement' products and services is billions of dollars. Many of them provide for the quick fixes, whether diet plans, fitness equipment, or body treatments. We all know the saying - if it looks too good to be true it probably is. Instead, take a longer term view. Consider yourself as your business. Look for a solution which will ensure that you learn and grow and achieve sustainable change. When money is tight we all need to tighten our belts, yet wise individuals and organisations invest in value for the long term.
It's amazing how often we repeat behaviours that fail to deliver what we want time and time again. A perfect example is how many diets we undertake in our life time - the average for women is that we are on a diet nine years of our lives, losing and gaining weight in an ever defeating cycle. If our personal plans have failed to deliver then its time to innovate, look for a new approach, learn why you have failed in the past and seek help. Self-improvement takes time. So plan the steps to take you to your dream and pace yourself. Change requires hard and smart work but it's worth it.
Monitor your progress and celebrate success. Women in particular are not always good at this. We tend to focus on the negative. Pursuing an inspirational dream takes time so set realistic goals and when you achieve each milestone, make sure you reward yourself.
Surround yourself with like-minded people not naysayers. You want your team to be positive and pulling for you not waiting for you to trip up. We all know the type. Your team should be your cheerleaders, there to celebrate with you and pick you up when you slip. Think of the Brownlee brothers and you get the idea.
Practising positivity can become a habit even for my husband. We are able to rewire our neural pathways to think and behave differently. So practice, practice, practice. Being uplifting is positively catching I promise you.
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land among the stars".
How will YOU be uplifting today?