When we’re describing behavior, we throw the word ‘attitude’ around a lot. But do we really understand it and how it develops? More importantly, do we know how to change our attitude so that we can be successful at reaching our goals?
Attitude has everything to do with the way you see the people around you, your perception of your surroundings, and how you look at life overall. Your attitude towards life is perhaps your strongest weapon in getting to where you want – even in the eye of the storm.
Your attitude doesn’t just influence your thoughts and opinions, but it also translates into action and hence, has a very tangible and practical influence on the series of events going on in your life. Our attitude impacts how successful we are in lots of different ways. For example, how often do you see people with bad attitudes attaining a big goal? Never, right? They often don’t even bother trying to reach a goal. Instead, they blame their circumstances or others for their lack of ambition or success.
Those of us with a positive attitude also are much more resilient. When life becomes challenging, positive people dig deeper and find a way to change course; they see challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow. It’s almost impossible to be successful at anything in life if you have a negative attitude about yourself and the world around you. So, you may ask how you can go about changing your attitude. You want more success in your life, so how do you get it?
Below is a list of simple ways you can use daily to change your attitude to a positive one. It will take time. It will take effort. But you will be able to find success after the storm and be glad you put the time and energy into changing your attitude.
Get started right now by implementing these changes:
The Words You Use – with yourself and others
Words have power. Much more power, actually, than what we typically appreciate. While words play a role in helping you communicate your thoughts to other people, they also have a significant influence on the thought itself. If you choose to incorporate more positive words into your vocabulary and eliminate the ones that can be perceived to be negative, you can achieve a system of communication and thinking that fosters positivity, optimism, and a ‘can do’ attitude.
And let’s not forget the words we tell ourselves. Our inner critic can run wild, spewing all kinds of negativity. For this reason, it’s important that we pay attention to the things we tell ourselves about our experiences. It’s not only about what you say to others, but it’s also what you think that informs your attitude about life.
Where can you start? By noticing the words, you think and say to others. How often do you complain? How often do you expect the worse? Then, start to consciously change your language. You’ll probably “catch yourself” falling into old speaking patterns, which is normal. Also, pay attention to your initial reaction to the positive language you begin using. Do you think dismissively about them? If so, just take note. The more you change your language, both spoken and in thoughts, to more positive ones, the easier it will become to buy the words you are using
The Company You Keep
The old adage that you are the equivalent of the five people you spend the most time with is as true as ever. Attitudes are contagious. When you start spending time with others who are successful and positive, who believe they can accomplish anything they set their minds to, your attitude will change too.
You may have noticed when you hang around with someone who is always complaining and negative that by the end of the day you feel grouchy and out of sorts. That’s the contagious part of attitudes.
To counteract this negative influence in your life, think about the people you are around most often. Friends, family members, and coworkers should all be considered. Who is in your sphere of influence that loves life and sees things in a positive way? Find ways to start spending more time with them and less time with the sourpusses in your life. You may need to change a few of your social circles – which can be challenging. But compared to what you’ll get out of it, it’s worth it!
Allowing Time for Mindfulness
In our busy lives, it’s very easy to forget to actually stand back and reflect on what we’re doing with our life. If you’re looking to develop a more positive attitude, you’re going to need to do an introspective evaluation from time to time. This means pausing, being quiet, and going inside to reflect on what’s most important to you and what you want to do with your life.
Scheduling quiet time each week or month is a great thing to do to continually improve your life. Take time to review your goals and how you plan to get there. Consider your current attitude about your goal, yourself, and your circumstances. Often, noticing and getting in touch with those thoughts and feelings are enough to change things.
You may find it difficult to find the time to do this or find that you don’t want to do it. Many people avoid self-reflection by keeping busy. But if you want to be more successful by improving your attitude, you’re going to need to go deep inside yourself to discover who you really are, where your negative attitude comes from, and what you are willing to do to change it.
Calming the Swirl in Your Mind
One way to spend time reflecting is to journal. Our brains actually work differently when we put feelings and thoughts on paper instead of letting them run wild in our minds. Once they are on paper, we can be more analytical and logical about them. If we just keep letting negative thoughts swirl in our head, it’s going to be impossible to evaluate them so we can change them.
Take some time each day to journal what’s on your mind. Write out your problems and challenges. Journal about difficult situations or feelings. Muse on times when your day starts out great but quickly turns sour. What happened? What triggers a negative change in your attitude? You’ll most likely come up with possible solutions during that journaling session. These insights can be life-changing, and all you need is 15 minutes, a notebook and a pen. Or, if you want, you can go digital by downloading a journaling app.
Stopping the External Noise
Just like spending time around negative people will affect your attitude, so will other influences. Especially during this turbulent time, there is more noise with more volatility in the messages than ever.
Today, start evaluating what media you consume, including social media. Start with the thing you spend the most time doing. If you watch a lot of TV, question each of your choices of show. Do they ridicule others? Act violently towards people, use self-depreciating humor? Make different choices. Change the channel. If you prefer to come home from work and interact with people online, look at the comments others make. Are they offering positive suggestions or complaining about everything? “Unfriend” those people and groups who spend more time being negative than working for positive change. Now do the same for all the other media you consume.
Fueling Our Body
We all know our bodies need exercise. But did you know your brain needs it too? When we get our blood moving, our body releases Epinephrine and Norepinephrine, as well as other hormones that make us feel better; these hormones boost our mental attitude about ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in.
Getting daily exercise also helps us sleep better and feel good about ourselves. Starting even a short daily exercise program can go a long way towards improving your attitude so you can be more successful at anything in life.
Remembering Small Acts of Kindness
Did you know that studies prove that people who volunteer even small amounts of their time each month live longer? It’s true. And part of that is because helping others just plain makes you feel good. It releases feel-good hormones into your system.
Now, you may not have time in your busy schedule to volunteer right now, but that doesn’t need to stop you from being kinder and performing random acts of kindness. Give yourself a boost by doing little things for others like holding the door open for a new mom and her stroller, buy the guy’s coffee behind you in the drive-thru, or give someone a compliment. Most random acts of kindness cost nothing, but give you and the other person a more positive outlook for the rest of the day.
Interested in learning other ways to increase your leadership capabilties? Reach out to us at Panthera Leadership to see if our one-on-one coaching program is right for you. https://www.pantheraleadership.com/contact/