Train your brain’s ‘radar’ to become more positive

In my last post “They All Tell Me “I Lack Confidence” I explored the multi-faceted nature of confidence, and how over many years of coaching I’d found that one of the first things clients ask for help with is their lack of confidence, irrespective of their position within the management hierarchy of an organisation.

Being confident obviously goes with positivity, and this exercise is one that I use regularly with my coaching clients to increase their positivity and train the brain’s ‘radar’ to become more positive.

Do this exercise and become more positive

Keep a notebook by your bed and each night write 3 things that you appreciate about your day. Focus on small things you are grateful for that maybe you take for granted.

Here are some examples from my clients:


  • Saw two Robins helping themselves to some birdseed I put out
  • My little girl put her arms around me and said “I love you Daddy”
  • Laughing at a funny video on You-tube.


  • Got up early and went for a run for first time in ages
  • Jumped on scales and discovered I had lost 2 pounds
  • Hot bath with candles this evening


  • Glass of wine with my friend at lunch
  • Night in on my own watching favourite TV programme
  • Son passed his driving test today


  • Felt kittens move inside my cat’s tummy
  • Top off car for first time this year
  • Daffodils open on my windowsill


  • Great sunset tonight on drive home
  • Some one wolf whistled at me!
  • Lovely cappuccino and skinny blueberry muffin

Why you need to train your brain’s radar to become more positive

As you can see, its about focussing on the small pleasures in life that we often don’t notice because we are busy on our little ‘hamster wheels’. This is a great way to build Positivity and if like some of my clients you find this difficult to do, notice that you find it difficult and ask why? You will realise that you are not stopping to ‘smell the roses’ enough because there are lots of the above examples happening in your own life. However you have to tune your brain’s radar into seeing them!

Just to get technical for a minute……… the brain has a part called the Reticular Activating System (RAS) which is rather like a radar. You will have experienced a change in your RAS on a number of occasions.

  • Ever bought a new car and then suddenly noticed there are thousands of others on the road?
  • Put your house up for sale and then noticed all the hundreds of other sale boards?
  • Been pregnant and suddenly see what seems like hundreds of pregnant women everywhere you go?

All these things were there before but your brain was filtering them out, because they was not important to you at the time. Now that it is important, then your brain will consciously be on the look out for your car, house sales and pregnant women!

The same applies for the Positivity exercise above so it may take a few days or weeks to really get going but once you tune your brain’s radar you will start to see lots of positive things everyday.

Now you have a big list of positive things, so what?

Once you have been doing this for a month you can increase the counting to 5 things per day then 10 things per day. It is limitless.

It just means you are focusing on more positive things so that the negative gets less of a look in.

The added benefit is that it becomes like a journal of your life that you can keep to look back on when you are having a down day. I have kept mine from a number of year ago and it gladdens my heart to see references to my young son excitedly running to me after school; especially now he is a in his late teens and just grunts at me ( if I’m lucky!).

So what are you waiting for?

Give the Positivity exercise a go and get in touch to let me know how it worked for you.

And if you’d like hear about how we can work with you to increase your self-esteem through more advance techniques contact me now



8 years ago : Mar 1, 2014

By Julia Menaul