It’s Day 2 of our Here to the New Year in Good Cheer challenge. Leading the charge for today is the letter B.
Today’s tip comes from Dan Pink’s book To Sell Is Human. It was also inspired by my trip to the pool for a swim on Wednesday.
Buoyancy is the quality that allows you to stay afloat amidst a sea of negativity, rejection, discouragement, heavy traffic, crowds, or whatever brings you down.
Reciting the work of a leading researcher on positivity, Pink describes buoyancy as the “calibration between two competing pulls: levity and gravity.”
“Levity is that unseen force that lifts you skyward, whereas gravity is the opposing force that pulls you earthward. Unchecked levity leaves you flighty, ungrounded, and unreal. Unchecked gravity leaves you collapsed in a heap of misery. Yet when properly combined, these two opposing forces leave you buoyant,” says Barbara Frederickson of the University of North Carolina.
I don’t know about you, but I span the emotional spectrum from levity to gravity every day. Sometimes every hour. Calibrating these pulls can take some practice. Pink suggests three things to help cultivate buoyancy.
The first is to practice interrogating self-talk such as “Can I figure this out?” as opposed to emphatically affirming self-talk like “I’ve got this!” Questioning if something is possible or doable opens you up to more creative options as to how to get it done.
The second is to allow yourself a proper ratio of positive to negative thoughts or comments (3 positive to 1 negative is where people seem to flourish) as you attempt to figure it out. Reality checks keep your dreams grounded. Humor does wonders as well.
And finally, an optimistic explanation of your results – no matter what they are – prevents you from playing the victim or taking rejection personally. That will help you get up and do it again. Amen.
Today as your emotions bubble up, remember Casey Kasem’s tagline, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”
I’d love to hear your comments below.