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Destructive and Constructive Thinking

The way you think often determines whether you will thrive or suffer in a given environment. Constructive thinkers tend to thrive, while destructive thinkers have difficulty.

Destructive thinking

If you are a destructive thinker you get caught up in and distracted by stress and deadlines. You think in a negative way, which prevents you from moving forward. Destructive thinking shows up in several behaviors:

Negative thinking – This means looking at your environment negatively, only seeing the downside. It means expecting the worst to happen. With that kind of attitude, things often go wrong. If you look at things in a positive, proactive way, you have fewer problems.

Inflexibility – If you don’t think flexibly, you expect the world to be predictable, which it isn’t. Changing deadlines is a reality of many businesses – it shouldn’t throw you into upheaval. If you are flexible, you feel less pressured.

Overly sensitive – This means taking things, such as criticism, personally even if everyone is subjected to it, and it is simply the nature of the business.

Not learning – Destructive thinkers do not learn from experience. Instead of doing work upfront, they run into the same problems again and again.

Constructive thinking

This is a process that will help you solve problems with a minimum amount of stress. A constructive thinker’s thoughts are positive and action-oriented. The characteristics of constructive thinking are

Acceptance – A constructive thinker knows what he can change and accepts what can’t be changed. Multiple priorities are and always will be a reality of many businesses. However, you may be able to make worthwhile changes despite inevitable constraints.

Self-confidence – An appropriate level of self-confidence means knowing what you’re good at and where you need to work. You value yourself and you  are not overly self-critical. This confidence helps you tackle challenging projects because you believe you have the ability to succeed.

Avoiding labeling – A constructive thinker does not fall into the trap of seeing one colleague as “bad” and another as “good.” He sees that people bring a variety of skills and approaches to the table, and he appreciates everyone.

Flexibility – Being flexible means being able to adapt to change without becoming unduly stressed. It also entails being able to see things from more than one point of view so that you can adapt to others.

Problem-solving focus – Being focused on solving problems and moving forward is better than complaining or trying to avoid challenging situations. It’s an action-focused approach that helps you be positive. Once you’ve made headway toward solving a problem, it becomes less of a stress factor.

Constructive thinking is an important aspect of emotional intelligence. Your thought process can strongly contribute to your success. Destructive thinkers experience a lot of stress and run into multiple problems.

By focusing on positive, problem-solving thoughts instead of negative approaches, you’ll be more productive and less tense.