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A Look at Positive Mindsets During Tumultuous Times
Mastering a positive mindset is a key characteristic of go-to life science consultants. However, a positive mindset comes from more than just “thinking positively,” and it means different things for different people. By changing the frame in which we view positive mindsets, we can adjust our own patterns of thinking and influence others to adopt a positive mindset as well.
COVID Has Changed Our Lives, Personally and Professionally
COVID and 2020, as a whole, have really changed the way most of us live, learn, adapt, and experience challenges. Human beings are pack animals by nature; we need others to survive and thrive. COVID completely changed the way we engage and connect with others. Suddenly, we were thrust into isolation, away from our friends, our families, our work, and other activities we hold dear.
This abrupt, prolonged shift disrupted our lives personally and professionally. Many of us had to adjust to containing most, if not all, aspects of our lives in one place. Some were fortunate enough to quarantine with their loved ones, while others may have self-quarantined far away from their families. In either case, we experienced a rare opportunity to spend time by ourselves and with our thoughts.
The Global Pandemic Has Challenged Us All in Unexpected Ways
On top of a global pandemic, individuals may have experienced food insecurity, job insecurity, family losses, or myriad other challenges. For some of us, the time away from the crowds was liberating. However, others may have found the last 12+ months of limited social time suffocating. We all experience the world and its challenges differently, so wouldn’t it make sense to approach positive mindsets differently as well?
A Positive Mindset Does Not Mean “Toxic Positivity”
Before we dive into the different ways of achieving a positive mindset, I think it is worth discussing “toxic positivity.” The meaning of “toxic positivity” is the belief that no matter how dire or difficult a situation is, people should maintain a positive mindset. We see this often when folks simply say “be more positive” or “don’t be so negative.” This approach of only and always assuming a positive mindset is particularly harmful, because it completely disregards our own emotions and mental capacity. Our emotions are a part of our story. If we are feeling down, there may be a reason behind that. Our minds are telling us that something is not working. By recognizing and addressing the negatives, we can experience the positives.
In a professional environment it may also be taxing to hear those words. Particularly now, as we are isolated in our homes — where the distinction of work and home are blurred — and never really having an opportunity to disconnect and simply be.
What Can Cause Negative Feelings?
There are plenty of external events that can cause negative mindsets such as political events, a global pandemic, and loss of family, to name a few. At times, it feels as though all of the news is negative and that the world is a troubling place. Additionally, we often talk to others who may be experiencing the same thing. So, from the news and the people with whom we talk the most, negative stories may seem to be the whole reality.
Tips to Adopt a Positive Mindset
When things are not going our way, we feel as though our lives are spiraling around us and that we have no control. When this happens, it is important to remember that we often find ourselves in the eye of the storm, and to realize that all storms pass.
Though this may seem bleak it is not, I promise! Let’s try a quick exercise.
Ask yourself, “To whom do I talk the most”?
- You may say your partner, parent, sibling, or friend.
I would like to challenge this by saying that you talk to yourself the most and you listen to yourself the most. Especially now, when we are isolated, our internal dialogue plays a huge role in our mindset. When things get tough and it feels as if we are not good enough, our mind may venture down that negative pathway causing us to spiral downward and become “negative.”
This is a good thing! Because we may have identified a problem. What can we do to stop ourselves from going down this route?
We can start by saying “STOP.” The active choice to say “STOP” to your mind as it compounds negative thoughts can help us open up space for positive thoughts to come in. In a professional setting, when we enter a new role, for example, we may experience “imposter syndrome,” in which we feel we do not know what we are doing or that we do not belong. But in reality, I assure you, nobody else in that environment says that you do not know what you are doing. Your mind is the only thing saying this about yourself. Though it may seem funny or simple, through experience it does seem to work. It may take time to build this habit, but hopefully it will become second nature and you can catch yourself before your mind takes you down a negative hole.
Other ways to achieve a positive mindset include:
Practicing gratitude allows the mind to move away from desires and allows you to take stock of what you have.
There is so much going on in this world and in our lives. Again, we are still in a Global Pandemic. We have our lives, works, passions, desires, fears, joys, etc. Life moves quickly. It is important to take time and simply be. Meditation does not necessarily mean sitting with your eyes closed. Meditation could mean working on a project you enjoy or going on a bike ride.
It’s okay to acknowledge the unhappy moments. As mentioned throughout this post, we experience negative and positive feelings. We must not forget to acknowledge and identify the negative moments because that gives us an opportunity to experience the positives.
How Do You Practice a Positive Mindset?
A positive mindset is a quality that Enterey Consulting prioritizes in our life science consultants and project managers. What are some strategies you practice to condition a positive mindset? Share your thoughts in the comments below. To learn more about Enterey’s approach to life science management solutions, contact our team today.