Direct Connect Forum: Rethinking Positive Thinking

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

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Post By Anna Thiele, Deliberate Directions Leadership Strategist

Anna focuses on writing website content and hosting a “Leadership, No Homework” book club. Anna received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication, with a certificate in Leadership and Human Resources, from Boise State University. In her spare time, Anna enjoys rock climbing, traveling, music, and the Enneagram.

Thinking about the future can be overwhelming for the seasoned or green professional. I often discourage myself by naming all the things that can change from one season to the next. I ask myself why even make a goal if it’ll change. I’m here to share that’s not how it has to be. Working toward future thinking is something that everyone can achieve and should work on frequently. Here’s a method from, Rethinking Positive Thinking, that I think will really help!

Gabrielle Oettingen has been researching positive thinking for 20 years, alongside her partner , Peter Gollwitzer, researching something very similar. Through her research and combined efforts with Peter, she created a method of positive thinking called WOOP that combines mental contrasting and implentation intentions. Although WOOP isn’t a real word, it is fun to say! WOOP stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan. Try WOOP for yourself by downloading the attached pdf file.

In addition to WOOP, try a tool utilized by the Deliberate Directions team; SMARTer goals. After you use the WOOP method, apply it to our smarter goals sheet. To learn how we use this sheet, click here.

During the Deliberate Directions Whetstone group, I was able to present WOOP as a deep dive (a chosen member gets to share a topic of their choice in depth). One member, who has been a client for years, is familiar with our SMARTer goals sheet and struggles with setting achievable goals. After completing the WOOP method she was able to fill the entire SMARTer goal sheet. Normally, only able to complete about half. She raved that knowing her obstacles and overcoming them in that instant made the goal much more tangible and realistic, making her SMARTer goals sheet more useful. This was my experience too!

While positive dreaming can be helpful in certain situations, overall, it’s better to be realistic and motivated instead. The best way to get there? WOOP


Rethinking Positive Thinking Script

Download to learn more about rethinking positive thinking  what you want out of life, and how to achieve it.

Rethinking Positive Thinking in Action

Fill out this worksheet to explore how you’re applying your learnings from Rethinking Positive Thinking.

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