Let’s face it, everyday work life is a jumble of emotional highs and lows. And despite my incessant prayers to the Broadway gods, my colleagues and I have yet to randomly burst into a perfectly synchronized rendition of Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop The Beat.”
Disappointment aside, contagiously jubilant protagonists like Tracy Turnblad are prime examples of the power of positivity. Injecting positivity into the workplace can have a direct impact on both your individual performance, as well as the success of your company as a whole. Below are 4 tips for summoning your inner optimist and improving your relationship with your career.
Don’t let small hurdles cloud the big picture
Olaf, the fearlessly optimistic snowman from Disney’s Frozen, can teach us all a valuable life lesson. In spite of his meltable body, this benevolent dreamer refused to let any drawbacks (or laws of nature) prevent him from feeling the warm sun on his wintry face. Like Olaf, you should never abandon your goals, even in the discouraging moments when they seem unattainable. Embrace the hiccups along the way, because these unforeseen roadblocks are the main ingredient in your professional growth and development. By altering your mindset to see the good in these situations, you’ll begin to interpret difficulties in a positive light.
Supporting coworkers is key in building an environment that is collaborative and productive. Applaud others for their work, even if it’s a small feat. This will not only help boost office morale, but it will also lead to feeling a sense of accomplishment in your own work. The Harvard Business Review reported that in an office that promotes a positive culture, “people get sick less often, recover twice as fast from surgery, experience less depression, learn faster and remember longer, tolerate pain and discomfort better, display more mental acuity, and perform better on the job.“
Connect with coworkers who provide value
We’ve all worked with a gossip-lover. You know, the one who approaches you at the Keurig machine to babble about the latest office scandal. All the while you’re internally screaming at an inanimate object to get a move on with your cup of joe. Although office drama can be alluring, you can politely decline Betty’s invitation to chat about your boss’s new girlfriend. Conversations with pessimists will only breed your own negativity. Instead, concentrate your energy on fostering social connections with colleagues who exude positivity. According to a recent survey conducted by Virgin Pulse, 66% of respondents attributed their increased focus or productivity to positive relationships formed with their coworkers. Furthermore, 55% of those surveyed noted that these positive relationships alleviated job-related stress. With that in mind, it’s time to say farewell to Betty.
Make your desk a positive oasis
A large chunk of your week is spent at your desk. It’s time to get those creative juices flowing and breathe some life into this space. You can decorate your area with anything you can draw inspiration from – quotes from career role models or pictures of friends and loved ones – you get the idea. These small reminders are perfect for sparking some mid-afternoon positivity or putting a smile on your face after a tough meeting with your manager. It’s also important to stay organized. Clutter is the epitome of stress. Tidy up those stacks of paperwork and rummage through the supply closet so you can organize your files. I’m a fan of writing things down, but if your desk looks like the poster child for Post-it Notes, it’s time to consolidate.
As the great Oprah Winfrey said, "The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.”
References: Virgin Pulse: Labor of Love: What Employees Love About Work & Ways To Keep The Spark Alive (2015); Havard Business Review: Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive https://hbr.org/2015/12/proof-that-positive-work-cultures-are-more-productive