Surprising New Study: Positivity Could Save Your Brain
How do you feel about your financial future right now?
Are you making changes to obtain financial freedom?
Or are you stuck in a place of worry and fear?
Maybe you’ve just given up and are letting others control your financial destiny…
Or maybe you say things like, “I grew up poor and don’t have any cash to invest,” “I don’t have a college degree so I’m stuck where I’m at in life” or “My financial planner took all my retirement money.”
These are just a few of the negative comments I hear from people all over the world. It is so easy to make excuses, blame others, accept the status quo, and go through life complaining.
Well, it needs to stop. You’re not going to reach financial freedom with negativity!
Negativity Is Bad For Your Health
You may have so many negative ideas ingrained in your head from childhood, friends, family, and advisors, but a new study found that negative thinking later in life was linked to increased deposits of the two proteins responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.
“We propose that repetitive negative thinking may be a new risk factor for dementia,” said lead author Dr. Natalie Marchant, a psychologist and senior research fellow in the department of mental health at University College London, in a statement.
This means that you need to be more aware of your thoughts. When you feel negative about something, notice this thought and try to replace it with a positive idea… so instead of thinking of the obstacles in your way, think about how you would actually start to make your financial dreams a reality.
Negativity Leads to a Fixed Mindset
Some people think that their strengths and weaknesses are set in stone. “I have a certain amount of talent, a certain amount of intelligence, but that’s it.” Maybe they were given an IQ test in school, and they think, “This is my IQ for life.”
These folks are wary of challenges because they don’t want to find out they’re not as intelligent as they thought. They don’t want to do anything that will make them look dumb or incapable to others — or to themselves.
If they do ever try something new and hit a roadblock they think, “I guess that’s all the talent I have. Oh well.” They figure if they really had the talent, they wouldn’t have run into the problem or had to work hard at it.
When they fail, they see it as proof that they just aren’t capable of something. It’s the end of the story.
The problem is that for those with a fixed mindset, mistakes measure them. Mistakes show whether they’re smart or dumb, and because of that they’re to be avoided at all costs—even if that means being stuck in the same-old, same-old.
For the fixed mindset, the belief is that if you’re smart, things should come easily to you; you shouldn’t have to struggle with something. And if you find yourself struggling, then you’re just not good at it. And because those with a fixed mindset don’t think they can change, if a struggle reveals they’re not good at something, that means they’ll never be good at it.
At the other end of the spectrum are those who see their innate talent or abilities as simply the starting point. These are people who realize that they can grow and develop themselves through hard work, instruction from others or a well-thought-out strategy.
For those with a growth mindset, success means stretching themselves and acquiring new abilities. They’re always growing and always learning. They use difficulty to reach newer and higher levels of achievement. They learn from their mistakes.
Negativity Gives into Fear
Fear can be a healthy emotion as it signals us to proceed with caution. This is a normal and healthy response that our body uses as a protection mechanism to keep us safe. However, we have to remember that fear is an emotion and emotions often can’t be trusted to be factual or true.
While it can warn us of life threatening events, it can also be a killer—a killer of dreams, of opportunities, of our own personal growth and passion, of living our life to its absolute fullest.
The harmful face of fear is when it paralyzes us—when we’re immobilized and we do nothing. We say, “No,” to the opportunity automatically, without even thinking. All we can see are the things that will go wrong. When this happens, we spew out all the reasons why the investment is a bad, risky, and unwise venture to undertake. The fear of making mistakes, of losing money, and of personal disappointment wins.
If you’re not conquering some fear each day, you haven’t learned the secret of life.
It’s often through the process of dealing with fear that we grow the most. And when you come through to the other side, it’s exhilarating. You are not the same person you were before.
Think of it this way: Fear is how we grow. Instead of dreading fear, look it straight in the eye and know you’ve just uncovered your next level of growth.
Retrain Your Brain
Listen, there’s no magic pill to success. Even with the most positive of mindsets, it’s going to take work. But it is so much harder when you enter the game assuming, “I’m talented up to this level and no further.”
When babies are learning to walk, they never get it on the first try. They wobble, they fall, they might cry but then they try again. Imagine if we all gave up the first time we toppled over as toddlers. We’d have a world full of helpless adults who could never get anywhere!
That’s exactly what happens in so many people’s lives. They try something new, they wobble and they fall over and rather than see that failure as just one step in the process, they give up. And as a result, they don’t get anywhere. They don’t stretch themselves into a new path that could take them to great places.
The average life expectancy for Americans is about 81 for women, 76 for men. That’s a lot of years to not be growing and going anywhere if you assume your abilities are frozen when you get out of school.
You might say that you’re in your late 40s, your mid-50s, your 60s and it’s too late for a major mindset change, too late to start as a newbie in a new field. But you might still have a third or more of your life left!
If you know that you see your glass as half-emty, it may take some practice to start seeing your life through a new lens. But it is so worth the effort; wouldn’t you regret it more if you looked back in five or 10 years and saw the time you wasted on negativity?
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily