Do circumstances have you feeling down? Stuck? Afraid? Uncertain?
One of the key success factors to feeling optimistic in spite of challenging circumstances is to take action. The reason? Positive actions always precede positive feelings.
For example, let’s say you are feeling sad. Normal thinking believes that in order to feel happy again you need a happy event to take place first. Yet in most cases the secret to success is to do the opposite of what is considered “normal.” Therefore, if you don’t want to feel sad anymore, you don’t need outward circumstances to change as much as you need to take action to change yourself on the inside. You need to act happy first and then the feeling of happiness will follow.
Before writing this idea off as pop-psychology nonsense, you might want to check out Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage (affiliate link). This “take positive action first” idea is backed up by seven key success factors that fuel happiness, success, and performance in life and work. What’s more, it’s been scientifically studied and verified.
Bottom line, if you change your actions, you’ll change your emotions. Here are a few examples of positive actions you can take to change your emotions:
- Feeling sad? Slap a big, toothy grin on your face and just try to stay sad. It’s impossible!
- Feeling stuck? Write out three things you can do to get unstuck. Then take action on at least one of the ideas. That stuck feeling will disappear faster than you can say, “I feel stuck!”
- Feeling sluggish? First, stop slouching and stand up straight. Next, practice walking talk with purpose and energy. I guarantee you’ll feel more vigorous and motivated.
Question: What positive actions are key success factors for you? What do you do to feel optimistic in the midst of challenging circumstances?