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Embrace the Power of Positivity: Practical Strategies for Self-Storage Operators

Most of us aim to have a positive outlook but it can be challenging, particularly these days. If you’re struggling in this area, you’re not alone. Read on for some practical strategies that’ll help you harness the power of positivity and ultimately perform better in your self-storage role.

Amy Campbell

December 2, 2022

4 Min Read

I like to believe that I’m a positive person overall. But I must admit over the last few months it has been a struggle to keep the sunshine streaming and the dark clouds at bay. It was fortunate that I watched a video on the topic just before the hectic holiday season kicked off last week. My company offers a number of enrichment opportunities, and a webinar on positivity was in the mix. Turns out, it was just what I needed to put things in perspective and gain some insight on the subject.

Presented by Brenda Bailey-Hughes, the video focuses on how to be more positive at work—and why it matters. She first noted the four benefits of positivity: an improvement in overall health, creativity, effective leadership and enhanced performance. These are benefits we can all enjoy, no matter your role in the self-storage industry.

One of the first things she said about the hallmark of a positive person is “When you see a problem, you kick into solution mode rather than despair.” Of course, this isn’t always easy! But she also provided guidance on how to take on this attitude. Like anything, it’s a process and will take practice. Here are a few pointers:

Find positivity land mines that trigger negative feelings. We all have them. The key is to figure out what they are and learn how to cope with them, so you’re not taken under. Perhaps making self-storage collection calls brings on negative thoughts. What can you do to better prepare yourself for this task? Perhaps schedule them at a time or day that follows a more pleasant duty. Another idea is to create a better system, so you prevent delinquencies from happening. Think about your triggers, then how you can keep them from dragging you down.

Stop feeding negative thoughts. This is the follow-up when those triggers happen. We often go “worse-case scenario” when we hit the slightest bump in the road. We begin to doubt ourselves and others. Refute those thoughts as soon as they enter your mind and rewrite the narrative. Bailey-Hughes suggests playing “worst, best and most likely outcomes.” Yes, there’s a slight possibility that something could go very wrong at work. But there’s a better chance that you can handle it and it won’t be as bad as you think. Thoughts and feelings aren’t necessarily reality, so sometimes you need to adjust your mindset.

Watch your words, too! Whether uttered to yourself or to others, keep extreme language out of your vocabulary Words like “always” and “never” are in this category. In certain contexts, no, can’t, shouldn’t and hardly can also bring on negative thoughts or feelings. Skip them.

Celebrate successes, big and small. Do this for yourself, but also for coworkers, the facility and the company as a whole. The jealous green-eyed monster loves to come out when we view others as having received some measure of success. We wonder why it didn’t happen for us. Rather than give into the pity-party, offer a heartfelt congratulations. In fact, making positive comments to others is simply practicing good karma.

So, what do you do if you have a (mostly) sunny disposition but work around a sourpuss? Perhaps it’s a self-storage tenant who constantly complains, a coworker who’s not pulling their share of the workload, or even a supervisor who seems to brush off your concerns. Bailey-Hughes offers three methods to handle these situations. First, when others complain, try empathy. Don’t attempt to fix their problem, just hear them out. Often, this is enough to appease a cranky coworker or customer. If it continues, try some distance. This can be complicated, especially if we’re talking about a tenant. But boundaries can also help. Even better, try modeling a positive attitude and redirect the other person onto a more positive path. Ultimately, we can’t change the people around us, only our response to them.

Becoming a more positive person takes practice and patience. We can’t simply turn off the doom and gloom overnight. But when we do, the benefits are amazing. You’ll feel better when at work and take less stress home with you when the day is done. To find your positivity zone, practice good work-life balance and seek the joy in your job.

If you need some assistance in making the switch from the half-empty to half-full mindset, there are videos, articles, books and webinars available to help. You can also reach out to your peers on Self-Storage Talk for advice. When triggers happen—and they will—you’ll be better prepared to swat away those negative thoughts and conquer the obstacle with an optimistic attitude.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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