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Is Attitude the Key?

One of my favourite sayings is by Henry Ford – “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right either way”.  I refer to this quote whenever asked for an inspiring thought. Why? Because it is so very true and I believe it encompasses one vital element in respect to how we deal with things, that of “attitude”.  Your attitude to and about yourself.

I read a definition of attitude recently – “An attitude can be defined as a positive or negative evaluation of people, objects, event, activities, ideas, or just about anything in your environment”. Whether the attitude becomes useful or damaging depends what we tell ourselves during the evaluation process.

I think of the many experiences of attitude I have, from the attitude I receive from my three daughters, to attitudes from managers that I work with and their views or evaluations about colleagues, bosses, their environment and often themselves. I also think of my attitude towards myself, my family, my colleagues and my environment.  It all boils down to how we think and what we tell ourselves on a daily basis.

Jung’s definition of attitude is a “readiness of the psyche to act or react in a certain way”, so it’s not only what we tell ourselves, but how we behave that shows us our attitudes.

Attitudes very often have a conscious and unconscious aspect and it is important to understand and acknowledge both if we want to create the right attitude towards ourselves and others.

A simple exercise to check in to your own attitudes:

  1. Consciously notice and write down your evaluations of yourself, of others and your environment for 21 days, without critiquing. Simply write down your internal dialogue.
  2. Now review your thoughts and evaluations to gain insight into the attitudes you are presenting.  You are what you think, so now is the time to change your thinking if you don’t like what you see. Highlight the statements that work for  you.
  3. Jot down how you would like your thoughts to be and replace any negative statements or evaluations that aren’t working for you with statements expressed in a more positive and forward thinking context. For example, instead of “why does this always happen to me”, replace with “I choose my own behaviour and actions and next time I will…….”.  The quality of your life is determined by the quality of questions you ask yourself, so extend yourself!

Just remember, it’s not what you do once in a while that matters, but what you do every day. So every day start telling yourself, or think in a way that serves you and what you are aiming for.

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