We all know a negative mindset can hold us back. The evidence is irrefutable and we see and feel it in our day to day lives.

On the other side, a positive mindset can have a greater impact than skills, ability and knowledge. Research was carried out into 112 entry level accountants and the deciding factor in their performance ratings 10 months on was not their skills and training, but their belief in their own ability.

Positive sales people can also out perform others by over 50%!

More joyful nuns have been found to live longer (nearly 10 years!)

I don’t know about you, but I see a clear difference in my own results when I am in a positive head space. It is all about supporting and maintaining this.

For this we first turn to the “Tetris effect”. Our minds continually scan for what they are trained to focus on. The problem is that, especially in the UK culture, our minds tend to focus and look for negative events and experiences.

The Tetris game is an electronic game where you look to organise small boxes. Research has shown that students who play this game for long periods will subsequently go out and start adjusting the sky line to put buildings in better order or re-arrange cereal boxes mentally in the supermarket! We train our minds to look for patterns.

So how can we use this to develop and support a positive mindset? Journal 5 positive things about your day everyday. I have done this the past 18 months and it has had a noticeable impact on my mindset. It is simple but effective.

We are looking to support and develop a positive success cycle. What we “believe” impacts on the “potential” we see in ourselves and our situations. This will impact on the “actions” we take and the actions we take dictate our “results”. And guess what? The results will feed back into our beliefs. So if we can impact on our beliefs, especially about ourselves, it becomes a supportive cycle.

When Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile in 1956, no one believed this could be done. 46 days later another broke it and then many more in the subsequent year. What had changed? Simply a belief.

In further research, based on subjects being asked to make a time-pressured presentation, the subjects who were given a positive video to view beforehand felt better and experienced a faster recovery from stress and its physical effects.

Bursts of positive emotions not only broaden our cognitive capacity, they can provide an antidote to stress and anxiety, which in turn improves our ability to function at our best.

So just start with one thing. Take note of the positive events of each day and see the impact on your state of mind and your results.