Project Managers: Change the way you think for success

Positive thinking can make a huge difference in your life. You may find yourself in a leadership position, such as project manager, where you are constantly surrounded with negativity. Maybe your team looks up to you as a role model. Or you need to maintain a high team morale. It won’t be enough to take a deep breath, count from 1 to 10, or create a positive image. You may have tried to take a walk outside for a break but your mind isn’t feeling the same rush after you’ve incorporated this break into your daily routine.
You are not looking for a quick fix. Instead, you want to rewire your brain into positive thinking. While the coping mechanisms discussed above can be helpful for short-term relief, they don’t change how you think.
Happy Project Managers Do Better
Numerous studies have confirmed our intuition that happier people are happier, more satisfied with their jobs, and get better support from their coworkers. University of California, Riverside conducted a 2008 study that found a positive correlation between happier people and higher earnings, better performance, and better workplace outcomes. It found that their inherent happiness was the key to their success, as opposed to the common assumption that happy people are successful because they are happy.
How is it possible that no matter how many times you say affirmations like “I can do this” or “I have this”, you don’t seem able to really internalize these thoughts when you face a challenge at work? Perhaps you are aware of your abilities to perform at the next level and constantly dream up new scenarios or processes that you would improve. You don’t seem to have been promoted or given the opportunity to lead the next major project. You were so positive. Why didn’t success come to you then?
Positive Thinking Improves Project Management Success
You can only think positively so far. It’s more effective when you’re trying something new, such as a project with a tight deadline, than it is when you have mastered processes like managing a project timeline or trying to get ahead.
If we can think positively and visualize our future, it’s nothing but fantasizing. We are already so confident that we have everything we need, we only need to visualize the success. We put in the effort to achieve success.
How can we change our mindset to make our careers more successful? Instead of focusing on the desired outcome, pay attention to how you plan to achieve it.
This is part of a technique that Gabrielle Oettingen, a professor of psychology, recommends called “mental contrast.” By visualizing the desired outcome and then contrasting it against the reality of the situation you are linking them together and making them both equally accessible. Once you can clearly see what is in your way, you’ll be able to make it a reality. You will also be mentally more prepared to face any obstacles that may arise on your way to success.
Find Success in Project Management by Exploring Your Challenges
If you want to be promoted by the next annual review, think about the obstacles you might face and what you can do. One example of a challenge is competition among your peers for the same promotion. How can you fulfill your responsibilities in a way which demonstrates your ability to succeed at the next level. What skills and experience do you still require before you can be considered to be promoted? How will you fit these into your daily life?
Maybe your idea of success would be to win the next big pitch. You might be imagining how great it would be to win the next big pitch.

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