Research has found that for business leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals in midlife, executive coaching grounded in the tenets of positive psychology yields powerful results.
Positive psychology is the study of the strengths, traits, emotions and values that foster optimal functioning and wellbeing. The field has generated many research-based tools that individuals can apply to their work and personal lives to experience greater fulfillment and success.
Here are five tips from positive psychology that you can put to use today.
- Reboot your attitude. Make it a habit to look for the good in life. At bedtime write down 3-5 things that went well in your work or personal life that day. This helps interrupt negativity and fear-based thinking. At work, rather than being a critic, reinforce the positive, both in yourself and others, and be compassionate when you or someone else falls short. The message here is “choose optimism.” Actively choosing optimism builds resilience and promotes a sense of well-being.
- Reframe your perspective. Imagine yourself at 90 years old. What would your older self tell your younger self about what matters most in life? Which of your present-day worries would your 90-year-old self tell you to disregard, because they simply are not worth your time and effort? Use this information and clarity to refocus your priorities at work and in other parts of your life.
- Play to your strengths. Rather than habitually focusing on your weaknesses and areas that need fixing, take time to identify what you do well. Perhaps in your profession your strong analytic capabilities are a plus. Maybe you’re good at finding solutions or providing calm leadership when things get turbulent. Notice the times when your unique talents and skills make a positive impact, then begin leveraging these strengths more intentionally. This will empower you to be more confident and productive.
- Savor experiences that give you joy. Become aware of the types of experiences that make you happy. This might be your work, spending time with your children, being in nature, walking on the beach with a friend – anything that brings a smile to your face just thinking about it. Call on these activities or the memory of them to boost positive emotions when you need them. Similarly, at work focus on past successes to help you connect to the rewards of current projects and tasks.
- Combine pleasure and meaning. Pay attention to your choices and how they make you feel. Notice how some choices provide instant gratification but leave you feeling unsatisfied afterwards (much like eating a candy bar), while other choices are both immediately satisfying and give sustained pleasure (like eating a tasty snack that is also nutritious). What gives you both pleasure and a sense of purpose or meaning? At work, what types of projects leave you feeling fulfilled? Look for opportunities to do more of those things that are both pleasurable and meaningful.
Resource tip: Want to learn more about positive psychology? Here’s a great list of books on the topic: https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/11-best-books-that-will-improve-your-life.html
Are you ready to apply positive psychology tools to the challenges you’re facing in your work life? Contact The Workplace Coach today.