Plus, 10 ways to turn it into action.
One of the most important steps you can take toward achieving your greatest potential in life is to learn to monitor your attitude and its impact on your work performance, relationships and everyone around you.
Related:It Takes a Positive Attitude to Achieve Positive Results
I generally start my workshops and seminars by asking a fundamental question: What attitude did you bring into this meeting? Often, this brings puzzled looks. In truth, people generally don’t have a high level of attitude awareness. They’ll know if they are hungry or if their feet hurt, but they usually don’t have a good handle on their attitude. That is a mistake because attitude is everything. It governs the way you perceive the world and the way the world perceives you.
We all have a choice. We can choose an inner dialogue of self-encouragement and self-motivation, or we can choose one of self-defeat and self-pity. It’s a power we all have. Each of us encounters hard times, hurt feelings, heartache, and physical and emotional pain. The key is to realize it’s not what happens to you that matters; it’s how you choose to respond.
Your mind is a computer that can be programmed. You can choose whether the software installed is productive or unproductive. Your inner dialogue is the software that programs your attitude, which determines how you present yourself to the world around you. You have control over the programming. Whatever you put into it is reflected in what comes out.
Related:Why It’s All About Attitude
Many of us have behavior patterns today that were programmed into our brains at a very tender age. The information that was recorded by our brains could have been completely inaccurate or cruel. The sad reality of life is that we will continue to hear negative information, but we don’t have to program it into our brains.
The loudest and most influential voice you hear is your own inner voice, your selfcritic. It can work for or against you, depending on the messages you allow. It can be optimistic or pessimistic. It can wear you down or cheer you on. You control the sender and the receiver, but only if you consciously take responsibility for and control over your inner conversation.
Habitual bad attitudes are often the product of past experiences and events. Common causes include low self-esteem, stress, fear, resentment, anger and an inability to handle change. It takes serious work to examine the roots of a harmful attitude, but the rewards of ridding ourselves of this heavy baggage can last a lifetime.
Here are 10 strategies from my attitude tool kit to improve your attitude:
1. Self-Coaching Through Affirmations
Affirmations repeated several times each day, every day, serve to reprogram your subconscious with positive thinking. An affirmation is made up of words charged with power, conviction and faith. You send a positive response to your subconscious, which accepts whatever you tell it. When done properly, this triggers positive feelings that, in turn, drive action.
2. Self-Motivation Through Discovering Your Motives
Discover what motivates you—what incites you to take action to change your life. Basic motives include love, self-preservation, anger, financial gain and fear. Self-motivation requires enthusiasm, a positive outlook, a positive physiology (walk faster, smile, sit up), and a belief in yourself and your God-given potential.
3. The Power of Visualization
Studies of the psychology of peak performance have found that most great athletes, surgeons, engineers and artists use affirmations and visualizations either consciously or subconsciously to enhance and focus their skills. Nelson Mandela has written extensively on how visualization helped him maintain a positive attitude while being imprisoned for 27 years. “I thought continually of the day when I would walk free. I fantasized about what I would like to do,” he wrote in his autobiography. Visualization works well to improve attitude.
4. Attitude Talk for Positive Internal Dialogue
Attitude talk is a way to override your past negative programming by erasing or replacing it with a conscious, positive internal voice that helps you face new directions. Your internal conversation—that little voice you listen to all day long—acts like a seed in that it programs your brain and affects your behavior. Take a closer look at what you are saying to yourself.
Related:Attitude Adjustment 101: Say It Out Loud with Me…
5. The Power of Words—WOW
Once released to the universe, our words cannot be taken back. Learn the concept of WOW—watch our words. What we speak reflects what is already in our hearts based upon all the things we have come to believe about ourselves. If we find ourselves speaking judgmental and disparaging things about our circumstances or those around us, we know the condition of our hearts needs to change. You can create a direct path to success by what you say.
6. The Power in a Positive Greeting
When people ask me how I am doing, I say, “Super-fantastic.” Most people enjoy working and living with others who try to live life for what it is—a beautiful gift.
7. Enthusiasm: Vital Tool for Staying Motivated
Enthusiasm is to attitude what breathing is to life. Enthusiasm enables you to apply your gifts more effectively. It’s the burning desire that communicates commitment, determination and spirit. Enthusiasm means putting yourself in motion. It’s an internal spirit that speaks through your actions from your commitment and your belief in what you are doing. It is one of the most empowering and attractive characteristics you can have.
8. Connecting to Your Spiritual Empowerment
The ultimate level of human need extends into the spiritual realm. Just as we feed our bodies in response to our primary need to survive physically, we need to feed our spirit because we are spiritual beings. Many people find powerful and positive motivation in their faith. I happen to be one of them.
9. Lighten Up Your Life with Humor
Humor is a powerful motivator. The more humor and laughter in your life, the less stress you’ll have, which means more positive energy to help you put your attitude into action. There are also health benefits to lightening up.
10. Exercising Will Help Keep You Motivated
One of the best ways to move to a more positive and motivated frame of mind is to exercise. A regular exercise routine can provide relatively quick positive feedback in the form of weight loss, muscle development and a sense of doing something positive for yourself.
Seek your personal and professional success by using the tools in this attitude tool kit. It is no secret that life seems to reward us most when we approach the world with a positive attitude.
Related:5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mindset in 20 Minutes
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2009 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.
It has been said over years that "Your attitude will determine your altitude in life." Attitude is the little thing that makes a big difference. Our attitude whether in business, sport, relationships and in life, will discover the altitude or the heights we achieve. Our attitude will determine the course of our life, the journey or expedition we travel on and the results we crop at the end of the journey. Our attitude developed through imitation right from the womb or assimilated from friends, families, colleagues, idols, environments, work place and many other ways will determine our victory and magnitude in life. Attitudes are the established ways of responding to people and situations that we have learned, based on the beliefs, values, ethics, scruples and conventions we hold. Attitudes become noticeable through our behaviour or comportment. Attitude is a way of life.
The right temperament towards people around us in words or deeds is necessary to having a vigorous and well balanced affiliation or relationship. We can uncover the outcome of a relationship from the beginning when the right tone is set. That tone is our Attitude. It is our attitude, not our aptitude, determines our altitude.
Attitude determining our altitude is not a new concept. Marcus Aurelius, the great philosopher and 16th Emperor of the Roman Empire, put it simply: “our life is what our thoughts make it.” Thomas Edison the American inventor, scientist and businessman said, “nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged. That is not the place to become discouraged.”
Airplanes have instruments called attitude indicators. These instruments measure the position of the aircraft in relation to the horizon. When a plane is climbing it has a nose high attitude and when it is descending it has a nose down attitude. Pilots keep close watch on the attitude indicator, because they know it helps to determine the altitude of the plane. If they wish to change the altitude of the plane they must adjust the attitude. The success we find each day is deeply influenced by the attitude we have about life. We can choose to go through life with a nose down attitude and see nothing but the ground or we can go through life with a nose up attitude and continually see the stars. We cannot control all the things that impact our lives, but we do have responsibility for the attitude we have as a result of them.
Attitude Jumpstarts the Day
Getting a leg up on the day is something that everyone can relate to. Whether it is the bubbly excitement of looking forward to a pleasurable activity or spending some quality time with loved ones or friends, that little smile that we find ourselves waking up with helps us to jumpstart our day. The only difference between a good day and a bad day is our attitude.
If we are down in the dumps because we consider ourselves ill-prepared or not worthy of success, our attitude will obviously reflect this. If, on the other hand, if we take the time to learn how to re-program our thoughts so that we welcome the day ahead, this slight change in our outlook can reap incredible rewards.
It is often said that nothing succeeds like success and when it comes to doing the hard work of recovery, the more successes we chalk up, the more inspired we are to do more. When we are feeling good about ourselves and projecting healthy attitude toward others, positive results are likely to ensue.
Attitude Affects Others
Our attitude has quite a bit of effect on others. While we may not even realize it, if we portray a sour posture in our everyday dealings with others, they cannot help but notice and may very well change the way they interact with us as a result.
Attitude Really Matters
Suppose things do not go as planned or we suffer a setback, either minor or major, the kind of attitude we have as we face these situations makes a tremendous difference in our ability to push forward, to get past the obstacle or roadblock or tense situation and continue to make progress in our recovery.
Attitude affects Time Management
With improved focus and better-decision making abilities, we will be more organised all round. This will help us to get more done in less time and then have extra time for ourselves and for our loved ones.
Attitude promotes Self-confidence
Having self-confidence means that we have faith in our capacities. It is also means we are much more likely to be trustworthy and happy being who we are, not trying to be somebody else. Affirmative attitude promotes self-confidence. If we don't have self-confidence, we will never accomplish our true potential. People with healthy levels of self-confidence lead merrier and fitter lives. If we have a positive disposition we can anticipate a happier life, laughter, good health and financial success.
Attitude Paves the Way to Victory
Our attitude is one of the key factors in helping make our dreams and goals a reality. Negative attitude gets in the way of success and happiness. Positive thinkers focus more on what can go right rather than what can go wrong and cultivate a feeling of success. A positive attitude improves the ability to bounce back from challenges in life and helps us better cope with whatever life throws our way. We will not become an optimist overnight, but it is worth the effort as it results in improved health, longer life expectancy and progressed levels of contentedness.
Attitude attracts Good things
When people live positively, they are able to attract positive people and more positive events in their life. Also, when a person is optimistic and positive, people want to be around them.
Attitude affects Health
Our thinking directly affects our body and how it functions. When we replace negative thoughts with calmness or tranquillity, and substitute confidence and peacefulness for resentment, anxiety, umbrage and worry, our wellbeing automatically improves. When we develop a positive attitude and maintain it, we are less likely to be stressed about life.
Attitude affects Decision-making process
Optimists are better decision makers. Clear and rational thinking prevents us from making clouded judgments, foolish decisions or doing things that we will regret or remorse later. When we start using our mind in a serene and controlled manner, we also make decisions faster.
As a final point, a winning attitude is not about putting an fictitious face on unsatisfactory results nor is a matter of changing a difficult reality by approaching it solely with a sunny mood. Rather, it is about focus, self-confidence and commitment to give each day – and each challenge – the best effort and to touch others positively in doing so. When we know that success is a matter of influencing others to lead, we appreciate more than ever before the simple notion that a positive attitude even in the most challenging times and situations is not only good for the individual, but interpersonal and cultural sustenance or nourishment for the entire team. Attitude determines how much of the future we are allowed to see. It decides the size of our dreams and influences our willpower when we are faced with new challenges. No other person on earth has dominion over our attitude. People can affect our attitude by teaching us poor thinking habits or unintentionally misinforming us or providing us with negative sources of influence, but no one can control our attitude unless we willingly surrender that control. Having the right attitude is one of the basics that success requires. The combination of a sound personal philosophy and a positive attitude about ourselves and the world around us gives us an inner strength and a firm resolve that influences all the other areas of our existence. Our attitude is an asset, a treasure of great value, which must be protected accordingly. We should be beware of the vandals and thieves among us who would injure our positive attitude or seek to steal it away. As Albert Einstein rightly said “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.”
Bottom Line: Attitude Matters…..
Financial Analyst and Adviser,