Thought Awareness, Rational Thinking and Positive Thinking Video

Video Transcript

Stop negative thinking with James Manktelow & Amy Carlson.

JM: Hello. I'm James Manktelow, CEO of, home to hundreds of free career-building tools and resources.

AC: And I'm Amy Carlson from Mind Tools. Negative thinking can be crippling, at work and at home. It is a key source of stress, and it leads you to feel overwhelmed and out of control. This can lead to paralysis and a failure to achieve what you should.

Positive thinking is the opposite of this. It helps you put a difficult situation into perspective, dispels unnecessary worries, and sets you up to perform well – and enjoy what you're doing.

JM: So how can you set your thinking on a more positive path? Well, think of it as a three-stage process. The first stage is "thought awareness" – when you become aware of what's going on inside your head. For a day, monitor your own thinking, and write down negative thoughts as they occur. There's a free worksheet for this at . You can also keep a stress diary , where you log stressful events through the day.

AC: The next stage of the journey is "rational thinking." This is when you challenge the negative thoughts you've identified. Ask yourself if each thought is reasonable. Is there any basis for it? Would your colleagues or mentors agree with it? Or would they think you were being unduly harsh with yourself?

Write down your rational response to each negative thought. You should be able to see whether or not your negative thoughts have any substance to them. Where there is substance, take appropriate action to change the situation.

JM: The final stage of the journey is to prepare rational, positive thoughts and affirmations to counter any remaining negativity. Your affirmations should be specific, with strong emotional content, and they should be expressed in the present tense for maximum effect. Remind yourself of these affirmations whenever you need to.

An important part of this final stage is to look at the opportunities the situation might offer you. By approaching difficult situations rationally and positively, you may learn some new skills, and become known as someone who can handle a challenge. New doors will open.

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Comments (8)
  • Over a month ago bigk wrote
    Hi bigboss

    What is your motivation to do programming?

    Is this because you have good math and you could use this skill with programming?
    There other ways to use math like accountancy or audit and engineering.

    However if you mean the math element is a strength and you want to quickly add extra items to your skill set then math and programming do fit together.

    Programing does need team interaction skills but if you want to fit in the team and have a manager or leader to develop your team skills or improve your own personal or team skills this will need you to use your strengths to develop these skills while doing something that interests you.

    You can develop not only your math skills but use these strengths to develop your other skills although you see these at present as a skill to be developed and not a skill that is immediately available or useable by you in a team setting.
    If this is not one of your motivations or is useable in the work setting, you might want to find a way to become confident and position your skills to improve what you feel about team work.

    A team lead might want to use your math or programming skills but will still want to find ways to use your team interaction skills and use of your valuable team member skills but will want to understand what or why you feel you feel you have no team or self interaction skills to use with the other team members.

    A team needs it's members to interact together, software development is no different although the specialist skills required to develop software might need social and interaction skills rather than just technical skills, to be useful to each other you will need to become more confident about positioning your team member skills to be able to interact with other team members.

    Remember you need to find ways to develop these skills although your main efforts might be towards developing the programming skills to do the job.

    Is there a particular issue you feel you need more development with interacting or is this a question about confidence or the positioning of your technical or social skills?
    If this is the people or team skills you want to develop further while being able to focus mostly on the technical skills needed to develop software, you will need to consider how you position these skills to the work area?

    Happy to offer more help if I can do so...

  • Over a month ago bigboss wrote

    I have done my own SWOT analysis.

    One of my strengths is math, and my weakness is social interaction and copywriting.

    So I think could software building or programming be the "right brand" and "righ career" for me?

    I have (of course) used computer, but I have no experience or education in software building or programming. (And of course this is the reason why I ask this question).
  • Over a month ago Helena wrote
    Hi Zaheer

    You've obviously got a good grasp already of how the results of a SWOT analysis can provide their own solution - as you say:

    How do we use the strengths with the opportunities, strengths to beat the threats etc..?

    A good way to start figuring this out is to use TOWS analysis which will show you how to figure this out. Our article on TOWS analysis is here: ... STR_89.php

    Best wishes

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