Happy New Year, dear readers! With the New Year, what will you do more of, do less of, and continue doing, that will elevate your quality of life and that of others around you?
One of the things that make life happier and more meaningful is having a positive mindset. A positive mindset or outlook creates an upward spiral while a negative mindset or outlook creates a downward spiral. One may not always be self-aware about one’s habitual mindsets or patterns of thinking and how these are impacting one’s quality of life and success or lack of it.
There’s more to a positive mindset and one resource that has been quite a discovery (for me anyway) is the concept of Positive Intelligence (PQ) as developed and written about by Shirzad Chamine. It’s not just about having a mindset per se, but a realization that our patterns of thinking may be skewed one way or the other and thus shape who we are, our relationships, and our lives. Happily, with evidence supporting neuroplasticity, the possibility of making different choices exist. No more the blind acceptance of the old adage about old dogs can’t learn new tricks.
Diving into PQ, one realizes that we do all have our Saboteurs and our Sage. Our Saboteur is that voice in our heads or self-talk that is always looking at the bad side and keeps us stuck. Our Sage is that voice or self-talk that is open to the good side and allows us to get past being stuck. The Saboteur has many faces, namely, the Judge, the Controller, the Stickler, the Avoider, the Hyper-Achiever, the Pleaser, the Victim, the Restless, the Hyper-Vigilant, and the Hyper-Rational. Each one may have one or more dominant ones that drive our thinking, feeling, and actions. Developing awareness of which Saboteurs are your dominant ones is essential to overcoming them with one’s Sage.
The most common and familiar may be the Judge which beats you up for whatever shortcomings real or imagined. You may hear self-talk like this one and you’ll know it’s the Judge: “You missed your deadlines, you’re no good. You missed your targets, you’re incompetent. You don’t do anything right. Co-workers complimented you on your hard work, and you feel you don’t deserve it because they don’t know the real you.” The Judge activates your other Saboteurs, and the impact is that you get stressed, anxious, fearful, insomnia, and feel unhappy. Instead of focusing your energy on taking constructive action, you end up wallowing in self-pity, bitching, moaning, and whining (“BMW”), and being stuck where you are not knowing what to do.
The Judge can be very difficult to overcome especially if you have a mental knee-jerk reaction of judging yourself and everybody else. How come? It happens fast and without self-awareness. The Judge can make you feel bad about yourself, but sometimes it might also make you feel good about yourself as being superior to someone else. For example, when judging others as “incompetent and stupid,” that automatically puts you on “I’m better than this stupid guy or gal.”
By now, I hope that the concept of Positive Intelligence, our Saboteurs, and our Sage, has piqued your interest in learning more, and how you can develop your PQ. Can you really? Yes, you can. More on the other Saboteurs and how you can build your PQ to follow in the subsequent posts. In the meantime, if you’d like to go ahead and read up, visit and read the post “How We Self Sabotage” on Shirzad Chamine’s website. You can also check his book on Amazon: “Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential AND HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOURS.”
The New Year is a good time to start fresh. But really, every day is just as good to start fresh. So, what will you do more of, do less of, and continue doing, that will elevate your quality of life and that of others around you?