Fill in the blank:
“I would like to __________.”
What else? You don’t have to stop at one response.
“I would also like to __________.”
Picture My Amelia James by YOU. This is your business. Your path. Your future.
“I would like to __________.” And then, “I would like to __________.”
Welcome back to the Power Series for My Amelia James, where women are empowered to live a life by design! Today I’m discussing the power of positivity.
Meet Jennifer. Jennifer was a client of mine. She is a talented and creative marketing director. She is married with two teenage boys. On the surface, Jennifer looks like she has it all together. Under the surface, Jennifer has a crippling fear of being alone in a crowd.
This fear was at its worst at the grocery store. Time and time again, Jennifer would go to the grocery store only to leave after a few minutes without groceries. Like an army general, she strategized with me in my office. She had the grocery store mapped out and her list was ordered by section. She went in to conquer but often retreated in defeat.
Feeling overwhelmed by the crowded store resulted in fear. And when fear kicked in, Jennifer bolted. If you asked her to complete the statement above while feeling fear, she would have one response and one response only:
“I would like to get the hell out of here!”
Fear limits creativity. It results in tunnel vision. If you are swimming in the ocean and you see a shark fin in the distance creeping towards you, you better believe you will feel fear! A quick Google search teaches how to ward off a shark attack:
- Swim slowly, don’t thrash.
- Don’t turn your back to the shark.
- Punch the shark in the nose, eyes, or gills.
Punch a shark?! Are you kidding me? I’m not punching a freaking shark! You punch a shark, Google! My fear is taking over and I am swimming as fast as I can to shore.
“I would like to get to dry land ASAP!”
Yes, fear limits creativity. But positivity enhances it.
Barbara L. Fredrickson is a psychologist who came across this phenomenon. In a study, she had students watch film clips that elicited an emotion. The emotions were either positive, neutral, or negative (e.g., fear). Then she had the students complete the phrase we pondered at the beginning of this article, “I would like to __________.” The students in a positive state of mind had many more responses than the students in a neutral or negative state of mind.
Back to Jennifer. While usually a very creative person, when driven by fear, she could only come up with one solution: run. We worked to increase positive emotions before entering the grocery store. She would sit in her car in the parking lot, close her eyes, take a few deep breaths, and think about a time she felt loved and cared for. She focused on this experience for 30 seconds. By fostering a positive mindset before entering the grocery store, fear would not take over as quickly. She could entertain other options when she began to feel overwhelmed. She would move to less crowded sections of the store or put headphones in to listen to calming music. Running was still an option, but it was not the only one.
So how does this apply to My Amelia James by YOU? Limitless creativity will take you and your business to places you never dreamed were possible. This is why it is so important to approach your business with a positive state of mind.
Most people think the formula for positivity is: Success --> Positivity
Yes, the more success you experience, the more positive emotions you may feel. But consider this formula: Positivity --> Enhanced Creativity --> Success
Positivity can come BEFORE success.
How do you feel about your My Amelia James journey? Excited? Afraid? Will you only feel happy after you sell out your first kit or add your first team member? Undoubtedly, these successes will pump you up! But it is just as important to foster positivity to help open the door for these successes in the first place.
You have a world of possibilities at your fingertips and I would hate to see you limit yourself with fear. Stay positive and your path will become clear!
Call to Action:
“Yes, I want to be positive! But how?”
This one is easy. What healthy activities do you like to do? Do them! Increasing your positive activities will help increase positivity.
“Increase activities? I don’t have the time.”
Yes you do. You may not feel like you have time today, or this week. But when you start to value positive activities, you schedule them in just like you schedule an important conference call at work. I would bet $500 that you have the time, you just don’t value the activity.
“I’m already doing things I enjoy, but I don’t feel positive.”
Learn from Jennifer. Jennifer meditated and focused on the positive experiences and relationships that were already in her life. It’s easy to point out the negativity in our lives. It takes more focused attention to point out the positive. But through intentionality, you can learn to be grateful for what is already there and increase your overall positivity.
About Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan is a licensed psychologist, your biggest cheerleader, and the go-to positivity force behind My Amelia James. For more information, visit DrPallesen.com