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Jan 01

So, I put out the question to my Facebook friends: “What does progress mean to you and what hinders it?”  I had already pre-empted the responses based on how I would have answered the questions – progress is all about moving up to the next level and it’s a lack of vision and poor organisation that hinders it – right? Well, it would appear not!

Yes, a few people referred to attainment of goals and moving up the ladder, but what surprised me was that there were many more mentions of progress meaning learning, whether it be learning new skills or learning from experience. One friend mentioned that learning can be from both positive and negative experiences and I have to say, when I come to think of it I totally agree (maybe this obvious to most of you?!)  I can honestly say, that many of the skills I have learnt over my years in the corporate world that have allowed me to develop and progress, have been by experiencing first hand or witnessing how not to do things, hindsight is a great thing!

What I was even more surprised about was people’s views on what hinders progress, I was amazed that 100% of my respondents mentioned negative thinking and over 70% mentioned feeling insecure or fearing change. Again, this may not be a surprise to many of you reading this, but it wasn’t even something I had thought of – I am putting this down to the fact I am innately positive and assume things will work out whatever is thrown at me.   I don’t want to come across as some annoying know it all that has been blessed with the happy gene, but by doing this survey it has dawned on me that I do need to spread some of the positive energy I have got stored up. Here are my top 5 tips to combat negative thinking and promote progress:

  1. Plan for the best outcome but be prepared to take and deal with plan B if that becomes the only option.
  2. Set yourself a goal that challenges you but that is realistic and achievable, and importantly put a plan in place to how you will achieve it and commit to it – no excuses – commit to it and make it happen.
  3. Manage your expectations – it is far more rewarding to have them exceeded that not met!
  4. Don’t beat yourself up about things that are out of your control and don’t try and control the uncontrollable.
  5. Remind yourself daily – you get one shot at life, don’t waste it, whilst exiting your comfort zone might sound scary, it can actually be very liberating!

Let 2015 be the year of positive progress and don’t let negative thinking hinder it….