Focusing on the Positives

I frequently ask my coaching clients - “What worked well for you during your ‘successful’ event?” We’ll discuss the event to determine what really worked, what was done differently and how can they consistently put those actions into play the next time. It’s a simple tactic of noticing the positives to reinforce behavior. 

I employ this tool as a parent as well. Each night, as I put my son to bed, we talk about the three good things that happened that day. I cherish these conversations, and believe this time of reflection helps him build strong skills for success.  

In fact, there is scientific evidence that daily reflection on the positives is beneficial. The Harvard Business Review recently cited a University of Florida study on this topic. A team of researchers led by Joyce E. Bono found that stress levels and physical complaints declined by roughly 15% after employees spent 10 minutes writing down three things that went well each day. Clearly, reflecting on the positives has an important effect stress and health.  

Do you focus on the positives? In my book Show Up! Step Up! Step Out!, my first chapter talks about the power of simply noticing. There is value in noticing how you show up, how others show and what it all means. I encourage you take that step a little further and notice the positives in your daily activities. Take a few minutes each night to write them down and reflect on what they mean. Then make a commitment to yourself to reinforce those positives the next day. Focusing on the positives can make a difference.