Positivity v negativity and the impact on potential

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In your current state of mind how likely are you to achieve your full potential? What’s your state of mind right now? Is it a positive or a negative state of mind? 

Being in a negative state of mind closes the mind down. When the mind is focussed on the negative, there is no sign of possibility. The mind is not creative. We cannot function. Our mind is closed. Constrained. Bound. It’s like a dark shroud over our head. Blinkers over the eyes. Focus and perspective is diminished, limited. It can feel like the weight of the world on your shoulders. What’s the chances of achieving your potential in this state of mind?

Being in a positive state of mind has a way of opening the mind up. The mind is open to possibility, creativity, perspective. It feels light, in both senses of the word. We can see clearly and we feel light. Our perspective widens, we can move, we’re light on our feet, agile, responsive. We can dance, play, move, work. We’re much more likely to do something we’ve set our mind to from a positive state of mind. From this state of mind anyone can achieve their full potential.

We all spend time in both states of mind at different times. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you want to achieve your potential, you want to be in a positive state of mind more of the time. At those times when you inevitably find yourself in a negative state of mind, it’s easier to get out of it than you might imagine. Before I explain how, think about how it feels when you’re in each state of mind.  

When you’re in a negative state of mind, words like heavy, dark, procrastination, fear, anxiety, fogginess, lethargy, sluggishness are often used to describe the feeling. Everything is an effort. Let’s call this low quality. 

When you’re in a positive state of mind, you feel light, agile, active, fearless, clear, optimistic. You act, you move forward, everything feels easy. Let’s call this high quality.

There are many other words you could use, but you get the gist. You know the difference in how it feels to be in the two states of mind. This is really helpful, because this realization on its own can help you to be in a positive state of mind more of the time. 

A low quality feeling tells you when you are paying attention to negative thoughts. It acts like an alarm to tell you that you’ve had a negative thought, you’ve believed it and it’s affecting you and probably your performance. It doesn’t have to be this way. When you notice the alarm, it’s telling you that it’s time to look for a positive thought instead.

If it’s as simple as that, why do we pay so much attention to negative thinking?  Well, it’s a learned habit of thinking, our conditioning. We don’t realise it’s optional. It feels like we have no choice in the matter. We don’t realise we’re only one thought away from a whole different experience.  

When you’re not aware of this, a negative state of mind is an easy trap to fall into, and hard to get out of. When you realise it for yourself, then it is easier to step out of it. If nothing else a recognition that you’re in a negative state of mind gives you a sense of separation from the negativity.

You can look for a positive thought in any experience, and when you find a positive thought it will change your experience. When you notice that you’re caught in a ‘negative’ feeling, look for a positive feeling, a positive thought. 

Achieving your potential is a state of mind. Which state of mind will you choose? 

Don’t take my word for it. Reflect on this for yourself. What do you think? 

Note from the author:

This article is written as food for thought. The subject is so large it’s impossible to capture it in a short article. I hope it contains the essence of something that triggers your attention. That you will reflect on the subject and in doing so will realise something of value for yourself. 

Of course if you would like to explore the topic in more depth, then please do contact me.   

Maria Iliffe-Wood

This entry was posted on June 4, 2018

 
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