7 Tips For Thinking Positive To Achieve Success

Thinking positively is not a temporary way to make a specific achievement; it is a total change in the way you think and act. Here are a few practical ways to introduce positive thinking into your every day life and business.

1. Develop a positive attitude

If you expect success you have a good chance of achieving it.  You should never be blind to the things that could go wrong, but finding a positive way to manage your risks will help you to believe that your project is going to do well.

2. Think and talk in positive terms

The language you use will have an enormous impact on your own subconscious as well as the people around you.  Use positive terms to gain confidence and convince yourself and other people that you will achieve your goals.

Positive terms to use

Negative and uncertain terms to avoid

I will
I’ll try
I can
I can’t
It is possible
I’m not sure
It will be ready
It might be ready
I am able to do that
I don’t know

3. Surround yourself with positive people

Positive thoughts and expressions can be as contagious as negativity, although we are not usually so aware of it.  If other people around you are expecting success and happiness then this will improve your general outlook as well.

4. Substitute negative thoughts for positive ones.

When something has not gone as planned don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on it and worrying about it.  Do focus on the lessons you have learned and visualize how well it will go next time, using the experience you have gained.

As Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, once said;

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”

5. Balance negative images with positive ones

We are bombarded with negative images all day without being aware of it.  Reading the paper, or watching the news will inevitable bring the world’s problems to your attention, and watching sad or violent films can fill our minds with negative thoughts.

Balance this onslaught of negativity by listening to music that makes you happy, watching inspirational films or reading a positive book that you really enjoy.  Balancing the negative images in your mind with positive ones will improve your overall outlook dramatically.

6. Be physically positive

Your posture can contribute greatly to your disposition. Walking tall and taking long strides, keeping your head up and making eye contact can all dispel those negative thoughts.

Some people find it helps to sing an upbeat song in their head as they are going about every day tasks.  This is a great way to put a swing in your step and a smile on your face.

You can go as far as imagining yourself in a positive situation.  I once had to approach a group of managers sitting around a table in an open plan office.  I was the new office junior and scared stiff.

Instead of shuffling up to them with my eyes down, I though to myself “You might be my superiors now but I will be your boss one day.”  This gave me the confidence to approach the group positively with a knowing smile on my face, and get exactly what I wanted.

Physical exercise can be another great way to increase your positive mental state.  Regularly walking, swimming, cycling or playing sport can help to lift negative thoughts and worries by increasing endorphins that promote happiness and wellbeing.

7. Find your happy trigger. 

What makes you happy no matter what?  Maybe it is a song, a joke, a pet, or even simply being outside in the sunshine.  When the going gets tough, and it will, have a trigger to keep you thinking positively.


List 10 things that make you happy.  It can be a song, a smell, an activity, anything.  Write them down.  Print them out, put the list somewhere you can access it.  When you need it, when the going gets tough or negative thoughts start to slip into your mind, pull the list out and refer to it.


In life and business, there are two cardinal sins… The first is to act precipitously without thought and the second is to not act at all.
-Carl Icahn

Stomping the hurdle that’s holding you back.

Phillip Knight, the founder of Nike, has a history of “just doing it” and long the way he’ll confess to his share of mistakes.  His motto?  “The trouble in America is not that we are making too many mistakes, says Knight, but that we are making too few.”

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes.  Be afraid of not making them.  Or to quote a more popular Nike saying, “JUST DO IT”

The major factor that prevents people from starting their own business is fear.  This is not usually a general fear of failure, but a specific fear of something they feel they can’t do or don’t know.

Some of the business elements that people can be afraid of are:

* Figures
* Accounts
* Technology
* Customer contact
* Deadlines
* Tax issues
* Decision making

Avoiding your fears only serves to strengthen them.  The best way to overcome your fears, enabling you launch a successful business, is to face them head on.

When we confront a fear, the physical exertion can be exhausting.  Your body is not designed to stay afraid for long, and if you expose yourself to a fear for long enough, your body will naturally relax and you will cease to be afraid.  If this works with fears of heights or spiders, why can’t it work for business fears?

Conquering you business fears.

The most practical way of facing your business related fears is to take a training course that covers that particular area of business.  A short course in accounting might not give you the skills you need to do your own accounts, but if it gives you a general understanding and reduces your fear of accounts, it will enable you to start a business and work easily with an accountant.

One of the most common fears today is using new technologies, particularly computer programs.  People see computer programs as overly complicated, and are afraid to do anything in case they press a wrong button or change something they can’t undo.

There are a couple of ways to face your fear of technology:

1. Don’t be afraid to ‘play.  Thinking of it as playing rather than learning or experimenting suddenly makes it feel much less intimidating.
2. Remember that you are unlikely to do something really wrong. If you do you can always reload the software and start again.
3. Keep in mind that a real live person programmed the software, so it can’t be that complex, right?
4. Check online for a simple guide or cheat sheet.  The manual that comes with software can be very complex and confusing, whereas cheat sheets can help you to learn small sections of the software at a time.
5. Ask for help.  You wouldn’t go rock climbing for the first time without a guide would you?  If you’re struggling with something, hire a guide to walk you through it.  From software to accounting, many people are happy to help – often free of charge.

Overcoming Fear Exercise:  Write down what might stop you from starting a business.  What are your fears?  What can you do to overcome them?  What tools can you use to face your fears?

My first six years in the business were hopeless. There are a lot of times when you sit and you say “Why am I doing this? I’ll never make it. It’s just not going to happen. I should go out and get a real job, and try to survive.
-George Lucas

How to power on when the going gets tough.

Did you read the quote above?  If not, take a few seconds and read it.  Where would we be today if George had gotten a real job?

It would mean no Star Wars!

Star Wars aside, being an entrepreneur is never 100% easy.  Few things are perfect all of the time.  When your plans don’t go well, and your new business faces delays or obstacles, it can be tempting to throw in the towel and give up.  After all, you gave it a shot which is more than most people can say.  This is a common trap.


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