Attitude is a powerful tool for positive action. Our actions are determined by our attitudes. Attitudes can be developed. Attitudes reflect your personality traits and they have immense power on our actions. We can control our destiny by learning to become positive even in the most challenging situations. As human beings we need to take charge of our attitudes by taking responsibility for what goes on inside our minds and monitoring our internal dialogue. Additionally, attitudes have the capacity to pull us back ward or propel us forward. Once we reframe our bad attitude, and try to be grateful and forgive others, we can shift our perspective and move forward. Most of the time, we are unaware of our purpose and passion and this tends to hold us backward. It is important to have a personal vision in order to achieve and be successful. We also need to motivate ourselves and build supportive relationships. Also, it is important to treat change as an Opportunity. Once we take the attitude of “whatever it takes” we become more determined, motivated and face the change.
In order to understand attitudes, it is also important to be aware of the root causes of bad attitudes:
1. Low self esteem
4. Resentment and Anger
5. Inability to handle change
There are three things that cause bad attitudes
1. Error of permanence: When bad things happen to us, we become pessimistic and believe that bad days will never end. The subconscious mind runs on auto pilot and makes us feel negative and leads to self pity and grief.:
2. Error of Pervasiveness: When we face challenges, we begin to feel that it is pervasive and bad days will never end. However, this is wrong. If we look back, and think in retrospect, it might appear that we are better off without those things that we felt were so important at the time. When dramatic changes happen they teach us how to welcome change in all areas of our lives.
3. Error of personalization: When bad things happen to us, we tend to personalize them. We begin to think like all bad things happen to us and question what did we do to deserve the adverse situations? It is not about us. Life tends to offer good and bad things but we should not take bad things so personally and internalize them.
Our internal dialogue, automatic self talk and words we hear from others, tend to produce bad attitudes. Words seem to leave a lasting impression therefore, one should really be mindful of what we say to others and us.
One way to address bad attitude is to develop gratitude and forgiveness. Writer has elaborated on this concept in other blog posts of this web site and readers are referred to those posts. Also, it is important to give permission to love and forgive. Letting go of blame, hurt, and anger helps one to forgive. Attitudes of forgiveness and gratitude facilitate the healing process and also put the responsibility on one’s shoulder. As long as we continue to blame others for our problems, we will never assume the responsibility to rectify the situation and work on self improvement.
Attitudes can be reshaped with the help of affirmations. Affirmations are like mind chatter that we engage in. It has been found that affirmations can work wonders in changing one’s attitudes. When we affirm something positive in our mind, we can deal with negativity better. Affirmations contain the elements of your belief, attitude,and motivation. When we say positive things, the subconscious mind reads the message, triggers positive feelings and drives positive actions. Affirmations also stir the power within the person. This power needs to be guided to optimize the person’s performance and potential.
Another tool that helps change the attitude is, self motivation through discovering one’s motives. When we try to identify our motives which help us, we become more action oriented. Some of the examples of motives can be love, self preservation, anger, financial gain, and fear. Since people have individual differences, they are motivated in different ways. Motivation is the hope that inspires the person to take action. However, there are certain things that go with this: Enthusiasm, a positive outlook, positive memories and a belief in your potential.
Another strategy that facilitates a change in attitude, is Visualization. When we use our five senses to recreate a scene, the subconscious mind believes that it is really happening so when you visualize a positive imagery, you will feel positive. Athletes tend to use this technique to improve their serve,make hole in one, basket, and make home run. Writer has described this technique in other blog posts also. Pregame visualization exercises help the athletes react more quickly in game situations. Visualization works well with affirmations to improve one’s attitudes and self motivation.
Another tool for attitude change,is engaging in Positive Internal Dialogue. This helps override the past negative programming by replacing it with conscious positive internal voice. This, in turn, helps you face new directions. According to Keith Harrell, a motivation speaker, our negative internal dialogues are influenced by television, newspaper and other people. When a person faces a challenge, his internal dialogue could be, “I hate my job and the people I work with.” However, when the person changes this dialogue and does” attitude talk”, he will say something like,” With so much unemployment, I am lucky, I have the job”. As soon as you engage in such talk, you begin to feel better about your situation and not feel so bad about the negative aspect of the job.
In order to change attitude, it is also important to discuss the power of Positive Greeting. There is so much power in our words and actions. It is , therefore, important to use words that uplift your attitude and the attitudes of others around you. It is possible to have a lasting impact on others around you with the help of words that you use, small gestures of thoughtfulness or a few encouraging words. When you greet someone with enthusiasm, the other person can sense it and can also acquire the same positive attitude.
Enthusiasm is another requirement of a positive attitude. It helps one remain motivated. Enthusiasm enables you to maximize your potential and generate good feelings in others. Additionally, enthusiasm is an internal spirit that speaks through your actions and your belief in what you are doing. It puts you in motion and empowers you. It also facilitates risk taking capacity, shines your personality and helps you combat fear and worry.
Humor also tends to play a very important role in making your attitude positive. It is a powerful motivator which helps reduce the person’s stress level. When the person lightens up with humor, he is able to laugh at life. Body muscles expand and contract and blood circulation increases. When we laugh, there is a release of endorphins and this helps in the healing process too.
Physical exercise also keeps one motivated and helps in changing attitudes. Negative moods can be reduced with the help of work out and researchers have found extreme benefits of exercising when they studied the depressed population. One can make a dent in the attitude and frame of mind by exercising. Stretching, yoga, aerobic exercises can help too. Sometimes some quick fixes can be helpful too, like brief and simple visualization of a positive scene or person you love, can change your mindset and help you begin to feel peace and joy. You can do these mental exercises while sitting at the desk of your workplace.
In this way we see that there are many strategies that are helpful in facilitating change from a negative attitude to positive. General awareness of self talk, negativity, and low moods can motivate you to do something about it. As soon as you catch yourself engaging in negative self talk, you can pause and immediately change your internal dialogue into positive self talk and see a change in your attitude.
Reference: Attitude is Everything by Keith Harrel