Attitude Adjustment

Jim Roberts, CEO
July, 5, 2017 -

Your Attitude determines the state of the world you live in; it is the foundation for every success and every failure you have had and will have. Your Attitude will make you or break you.

ATTITUDE is the primary determinant of how you are perceived and how others react to you. Have a positive, joyful attitude, and you’ll have positive, joyful results. Put out a bad, negative attitude, and you’ve failed before you even begin.

Attitude creates the way you feel about people and situations. Your actions are a result of your attitude—which in turn elicits a reaction from others. Without sounding weird – what you think is what you get!

Your attitude may control your life--YOU control your attitude!

Over the years, I have found it very interesting how some people approach life with great vigor, enthusiasm and an overwhelming positive attitude, while others seem to be mired in gloom and doom...which leads to the perennial question: is your glass half full or half empty? I was fortunate to grow up with a mom who was “Miss Positive,” but I’ve had other family members and acquaintances who seem to always think the sky is falling, reacting negatively to every circumstance! Sad.

I believe we are born with certain personality characteristics which definitely push us one direction or the other on the Positive-Negative Attitude scale. These characteristics may determine propensity, but each of us still plays a critical role in making sure our positive attitude engines are running smoothly. Everyone has the opportunity to make an Attitude Adjustment by programming their thought-software on a regular basis. This approach takes discipline, but it’s our choice!

We develop a lousy attitude by thinking negative thoughts over and over until they become part of our subconscious, part of our personality—they become habitual. You may not even realize you have a negative attitude because it’s been with you for so long. Once you have a bad attitude, you expect failure and disaster. And that expectation turns you into a magnet for failure and disaster.

Unfortunately, it becomes a vicious cycle: You expect the worst, so you get the worst. Your negative beliefs are reinforced. Expect the worst, and you will get the worst.

So, how do we shift our thoughts to create a positive attitude? It takes work, but creating anything of value takes work and time. In order to have a new, positive attitude, you have to change your subconscious thinking. How? By being aware of and controlling your thought process until positive thinking becomes habit. You must replace an old habit with a healthy habit, much like replacing lethargy and laziness with exercise.

Here is the key — you can’t just stop being negative—you have to replace those negative thoughts with positive ones.

Okay, okay, I know life is messy, and that bad stuff happens and disappointment hides around too many corners. But, it is your Attitude which determines whether the situation is positive or negative, not the situation itself. Being positive is all about how we respond to these potentially negative encounters. Each of us is responsible for controlling how we think and feel! No one else on earth has this power unless you give it away. You’ve heard me say it probably too many times before, but I was taught “problems are only opportunities to get creative and come up with solutions!”

Take control of your attitude, your state of mind, and you take control of your results.

Here is a brief Attitude Adjustment process I have just discovered to be valuable in keeping us living on the positive end of life’s continuum.

First, remember “Be, Do and Have.” Make a disciplined effort to Be Positive, Do the Right Things (i.e., taking positive steps, initiatives, actions), in order to Have the positive results you desire. This approach is part of reprogramming our software to have a Positive Attitude. For instance, to be enthusiastic, you must decide to be enthusiastic and “fake it ‘til you make it.” At the risk of sounding a bit too ethereal or just plain weird, you must think it to be it.

Second, shift your Attitude and the world shifts with you. Decide that today is going to be an awesome day. Expect it to be awesome. Sit in a field of positive expectation and wonder of what great thing is going to happen next.

Third, when something less-than-fantastic happens, press your Attitude reset button before you react. This approach will definitely help frame the tone of your reaction. Sometimes, we just react and then we regret it. It’s okay when these responses happen, so long as we remember to quickly press the Attitude reset button. It is a process of time before we are able to master positive thinking!

Fourth, commit yourself daily--even hourly if needed--to reframe your worldview to a positive one. Teach yourself to think differently, react differently and avoid the strong pull into negativity. This is a discipline, just like training yourself in athletics.

Finally, on a daily basis Think Positive–Read positive–Listen positive–Talk positive–Affirm positive–Watch positive–Practice positive. Make yourself positive! As best-selling author, Honorée Corder, puts it, “Thinking you can achieve something unleashes the force that allows it to happen.” From another perspective, I have a long time friend who has spent decades listening to negative talk radio all day long, to the point he has transformed himself into a very negative curmudgeon! We can all prevent this negativity by learning to make ourselves positive!

Being a Positive, Encouraging and Enthusiastic person is not optional when working in the human services field, especially with individuals who have suffered severe trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences. We all know what it feels like to be around obsessively negative people–it’s a real downer. This kind of Attitude not what our clients need! Those in our care need to be buoyed up by our incessant positive influence, encouragement and hope-building--being this way is another way that we effectively Role Model.

True too, being positive is no better way to support our peers, coworkers and fellow laborers in the business of helping others. Positivity has a reverberating effect. Organizational leaders must make this a priority; modeling a great attitude will go a tremendous way towards creating the kind of culture and environment which promotes self-care and wellbeing, but more importantly, will foster much better results for those entrusted into our care.

So, take a deep breath, look in your self-evaluation mirror and Adjust your Attitude!