Negativity is a contagious disease that can infect you, your work and career, and leave you with a bitter, dissatisfied outlook on life. It can spread like flu in the workplace.
You may typically be a very positive person, when you are exposed too long to negative people you may become negative yourself. By doing so you are then directing you energy and effort elsewhere and compromising your satisfaction, enjoyment and career opportunities.
So, have you been infected? If so, how can you be cured?
Through my career I have come into contact with coworkers, managers and even teams who were negative. At times I’ve had to distance myself from people who were negative, concerned that their negativity had started to rub off on me. Feeling my drive, motivation and optimism were impacted.
Have you started dreading going to work, felt annoyed with your boss or the company and started complaining, maligning or whinging about the work and your workplace?
It’s not always obvious and most of the time it is more subtle and you don’t notice that you’ve changed your outlook. It just happens. The funny thing is, you actually start believing you should leave your job, the company is not good for you and your work makes you unhappy.
How to see it for what it is:
So first step is to become aware. Count how many times a day you say: I hate… I hate my job, I hate the weather, I hate the coffee here, I’m bored, I hate this process, computer, meeting, client… I hate this place!
Secondly, do you have a (negative) comment on everything? Like: “that is pathetic!” or do you have something to say about everything in a cynical or negative way? “I don’t like this or that?” or “this is rubbish” They wouldn’t/ couldn’t do …”
Thirdly, do you find yourself complaining a lot to your friends, coworkers and partner? “ You wouldn’t believe what happened today..” “You wouldn’t understanding how bad it is”
And finally, the last question to ask yourself: who do you hang out with most of the time? Are they positive people, do they love their life and their job?
These questions will expose the disease. Becoming aware of it just helped you start to cure yourself.
So here is some ideas to try to get on the road to recovery and a new mindset:
- Before you blurt out the negative comment or thought – Stop, catch yourself and reframe.
- Assess the frustration/situation and apply the 10X10X10 ..will I be worried about this issue in 10 days, 10 months or 10 years. Strink the problem with some positive thinking!
- Practice gratitude; for 7 days I write down whatever I am grateful for that day. Be bolder and do it for 30 days
- Surround myself with positive people. Choose who you have lunch with avoid the whingers and naysayers and find the optimists. Or just take some time for positive solo thinking.
- Have a post-it on my saying “smile” or some other optimistic quote. Use it an a prompt to shift you thinking and dialogue.
- Reassess your values and make sure you are being true to what is important to you. Worktime and energy wasted on negativity will never, ever be regained.
- Breathing technique take a moment to breath in and out as deep as I can – is relaxing and calming and then you can refocus on a more positive
- Find a positivity peer, just like misery is company for pessimists, optimists bounce of each other and can support and encourage positive thinking and solutions.
- Not surprisingly that as much as negativity is contagious, so is positivity. I believe it’s even more powerful. Positive people are happier, have more energy, drive and passion. If you only do one thing, make a conscious effort to adopt a positive mindset and surround yourself with positive people.