If emotional intelligence informs how we approach other people, a related (and trademarked) term, Positive Intelligence, defines how we manage ourselves to produce better business results. The phrase is also the title of a book by the same name, authored by Shirzad Chamine of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
In his neuroscience-based book, Chamine argues everyone wrestles with Saboteurs—internal voices that seed doubt about our skills and abilities, interfering with the brain’s productivity. He advises combating self-doubt with these steps.
Label And Let Go. Identify negative voices immediately and give them a name—for example, Judge or Controller—before dismissing them entirely.
Embody The Sage. The alternative to the Saboteur is the Sage, a frame of mind that focuses on identifying opportunities in situations that otherwise seem hopeless. Focus on identifying solutions.
Think Smarter. Research shows short bursts of total attention to our five senses can quickly course-correct the brain as it spirals toward negativity. Chamine recommends spending 10 seconds at a time focused on a single sensation—for example, the sound of the clock ticking in your office or the feeling of breathing in and out—and repeating the process 100 times daily. Sound overwhelming? Reps can be done in batches during routine activities and only take 17 minutes total.