On Saturday I had the great privilege of attending the ceremony to receive my Masters in Psychology at the Barbican in London. I was sat next to Abid (Masters in Mathematics) and Reanna (Masters in Software Project Management). As we got chatting, I told them what I genuinely believe to be true. I have learned more about how our mind works from the books I have read and research I have undertaken outside of my Psychology Masters than the academic study undertaken. One of those key areas is that of Positive Intelligence.

In basic terms this is how much of our time we spend with our mind serving us or helping us VERSUS how much of the time it sabotages us.

I know that everyone reading this will have times when your thoughts and self-talk will slide into negativity and become unhelpful.

The more you can bolster and increase your positive thinking and diminish the impact of the negative thinking, the higher your PI. This in turn will increase your happiness and improve your motivation, productivity and success.

So how can you reduce the negative thinking and increase your PI?

  • Firstly you must weaken the sabotaging thoughts. There are a range of sabotaging thoughts that we can encounter. In Shirzad Chamine’s excellent book  “Positive Intelligence”, he describes 10 saboteur categories which I now call – the critic, the perfectionist, the pleaser, the over-achiever, the victim, the cold logic, the anxious, the restless, the controller and the avoider. These should be relatively self-explanatory and you are probably already starting to think about the ones that dominate your thinking more so. The key to weakening them is “awareness”. If you can observe thoughts going on that can be related to one of the saboteurs, you can start to disassociate from them. The problem is that most of the time these saboteurs can take over unconsciously and we slide into patterns of behaviour and self-talk that are habitual. So recognise them and even have some fun labelling or naming them to lessen their influence. 
  • Secondly you need to develop your positive thinking. There are 4 strategies you can use here. The first is to increase your empathy for yourself and others. This is all about having feeling, compassion, understanding and appreciation. Second is to develop your creative mind and give yourself the chance to explore and innovate. This is about having curiosity to find a new way forward for a challenging situation. The 3rd is to make decisions based on your core values and then act. Be constant in what matters to you most and let these guiding principles help you find direction. The final one is to train your brain to look for the positive, by recording 5 positive things that happened each day (however small). I have done this for 2 years now and it has had a big impact on what my mind scans for and recognises.
  • Finally you need to look to strengthen your PI brain neurology. Much of modern life is spent in distress and anxiety. We are still very much driven by survival instincts (it is why we have an irrational fear of public speaking, as I mentioned in a previous blog!!). There are however key parts of the brain that develop our positive intelligence (the middle prefrontal cortex, areas associated with empathetic thinking and the right brain). To strengthen these parts of our neurology, we simply need to focus on being more present more of the time. This means we must stop being lost in thought and become aware of the physical sensations of what we are doing. By just being present more often we can rewire the brain with new neural pathways. It is like a Positive Intelligence Gym! I work on being present when I eat, have a shower, brush my teeth and various other routine activities. Try to build this into your daily regime to increase your PI neurology. 

So in summary, work on weakening the negative thinking that can take hold and bolstering your positive thinking to enable you to live your life more freely and on purpose.

To find out more about how you can develop your PI, please join us at our upcoming free events “Achieving Success and Happiness in Your Business”. Click HERE to book your place