“Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.”
These lines by Charles Swindoll clearly signify how attitude affects one’s life. Attitude is defined as settled way of thinking or feeling about something. But, simply it’s the lens through which we see the world. Every situation we judge depends upon our attitude, our lives depend upon our attitude but it’s the most neglected thing. Let’s see in detail various dimensions of attitude.
Before diving into attitude’s other dimensions let’s understand how this word arose.
Originally attitude was used in language of painting and sculpture which described inner preparedness of some stability. Attitude is widely used in social science nowadays to evaluate people and their lives. It was derived from language of painting and sculpture where it was referred to as inner preparedness of some stability. This word entered in vocabulary in early 20th century, it was found in various languages before it was used specifically for social science. Attitude entered centre stage when psychologist L.L.Thurston published his work ‘Attitude can be Measured’ which paved the way for further development of this concept. The theory of reasoned action (that started out as the theory of attitude) was developed by Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen which led to the study of attitude and behavior. Daniel Katz proposed a theory of attitudes. He takes the view that attitudes are determined by the functions they serve for us, attitude helps us to achieve basic goals.
What is ATTITUDE?
In psychology, an attitude refers to a set of emotions, beliefs, and behaviors toward a particular object, person, thing, or event. Attitude is the way window through which we see the world. Our attitude decides which side of coin we are going to focus on. The biblical story David and Goliath helps us to understand attitude in the simplest way. Goliath was a giant man. No one fought with him ever. One day, a 17 years old Shepherd boy came to visit his brother and seeing the giant asked, “Why don’t you fight the giant?” The brothers were terrified of Goliath, and replied, “Don’t you see he is too big to hit?” But David said, “No, he is not too big to hit, he is too big to miss.” The rest is history. David killed the giant with the slingshot. Same giant, different perceptions.
Ability teaches us how we do,
Motivation determines why we do,
& ATTITUDE decides how we will do.
The need to develop a right attitude
Our attitude is what influences our actions. Right attitude gives us the right results. It is said opportunity knocks at everyone’s door but only few recognize it and others keep complaining about ‘noise’.
A person with positive attitude views difficulties and problems as stepping stones for success but a person with negative attitude views every little problem as a great block or obstacle in the way to success. I can’t to I can, Problems to solutions, limitations to possibilities, from focusing on blessings to what’s missing. This is how attitude changes us. Negative attitude not only affects our health but our life and relations too. We just deconstruct our emotional intelligence and exploit ourselves when we choose to become pessimists. Attitude answers the question WHY in our lives, our lives change form dreadful to cheerful once we choose to be positive. It changes our lives miraculously.
Is my ATTITUDE positive or negative?
Positive and negative attitudes are like two windows which show us different images of the same situation. Positive attitude enables one to live life rather than just survive. Positive attitude helps us to accept the reality and at the same time hope for best. A person with positive attitude focuses on good things in a day and is happy whereas even on the best days negative person is still unhappy.
Positive attitude develops happiness, optimism, peace, love; gratitude on the other hand negative attitude reaps anger, disappointment, and envy. Positive person focuses on solving problems and finding solution to all problems and enjoys each day he lives whereas negative person looks for problems in every solution. Positive person believes everything happens for good, negative person believes everything happens for worst, Negative person are afraid of changes, positive person look for new opportunity and accepts changes. Finding light even in a dim situation is their characteristic.
Negative person blames everyone for their failures and are completely broke by failures whereas a positive person takes all responsibilities and handles failures greatly gathering lessons from each along with upgrading himself. Negative person thinks they know everything but positive attitude strive everyday and are ever ready to learn new things. A Pessimist thinks everything is based on destiny and don’t plan or do something for future. Whereas an optimist thinks everything can be made better and changed if they wish and have a will to do so. What’s your attitude?
How Negative attitude ruins one’s life?
A negative attitude is backed by negative thinking. It is a lack of awareness to find and select particular thoughts. It makes us focus on the problem and stops us from looking for solutions or opportunities. Negative self talk and negative thinking are the best food for the negative attitude. A negative attitude can get converted into a habit, impacting you as well as your family. A negative attitude affects you mentally and physically, it generates various health disorders including hypertension and other diseases. It is said many disease arise due to negative attitude of people and their thinking. A person with a negative attitude is like a person continuing to living in hell though with door to heaven still open. Negative attitude makes life worse; we become judge-mental of everything and are unable to be completely happy. Sadly, many pessimists are stuck with this attitude as they feel bad when they think of improving their attitude. But the truth is it might seem comfortable being negative as it has become one’s comfort zone but is not a good place to be!
“Comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there…”
Team mates to develop a positive attitude
Thoughts to Triumph
Our thoughts are the thing which decides our beliefs. Thoughts are like seeds planted in our head. The seed we sow rises, if it’s of positivity or negativity both will grow. This links to subconscious mind, every single thought is produced by sub-conscious mind on basis of thoughts we choose to have daily. If we don’t choose we also made choice to not choose our thoughts. The thing is the thought which gets repeated daily becomes a firm belief, if a person thinks regularly- I am unworthy and I can’t grow or be happy. This thought gets continuously repeated in mind till one believes it. Then it slowly enters our life in form of words, again repeats it and inculcates through action in life. This small thought just created havoc in that person’s life. These lines by Henry Ford represent the power of thoughts while building our attitude.
“Whether you think you can- or think you can’t -you are right.”
Words are the most important thing because as stated earlier they are the ones which are directors our actions. Sub conscious mind is the controller of most of our thoughts, words, actions and outcomes too. The thing is what we repeat continuously becomes part of our life. If you say every time you can’t draw or I am bad at mathematics then your mind will slowly accept it and portray it as truth destroying your potential. Whenever you say I feel low, just fine or just waiting for Friday. You are conditioning your mind to behave that way even if it’s not your characteristic and prevent you from improving. What we say our mind accepts as something which couldn’t be wrong and it doesn’t have a capacity to classify things good and bad. It accepts the thing as we give to it. Check, what are you feeding your mind?
Ace the Action
There comes the main area of focus. Without action nothing is possible. No matter you condition your mind accordingly and avoid negativity think of great things and say you are great and can achieve great. But the main thing is without your action nothing is possible. Thoughts and words are just starters for building attitude. But the main burden lies on action and that’s where people fail. New year resolutions are the best example to understand importance of action.
Failures, many get broken after facing little failures. They cry, blame and the cycle goes on. It’s true that one feels bad after failing in spite of giving 100% to work but if we view through other way we realize failures are the things which build us they help us to realize our mistakes and grow.
Fear, all of us have some fears but the way we deal with them changes the whole course of our sufferings and life. Many of us stick to the method of running away from our fears, we never face them. We try to avoid fear and the result is the fear goes on building. Fear enters when we are out of our comfort zone, so the only way we can defeat them is breaking the comfort zone and facing them face to face. It might feel bit weird and we will be anxious the first time but as soon as we face it again we feel more powerful. The more we confront our fears more we defeat them and at last we are free from our fear. For example, a person has glossophobia (fear of public speaking which the 2nd most fearful thing around the world), he continues to avoid speaking in public, his fear grows and keeps growing till the day he confronts it. Once he stands up and speaks though he may be a bit nervous and it might not be his best speech but this builds way for him to deliver his best speech as the confrontation has reduced the fear. Now, he can deal with it. So the only mantra to keep in mind while facing any fear is to confront it and break the comfort zone.
But to achieve anything we must act, that’s a tough journey to leave our old attitude and start with new one but always keeps in mind,
“Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.”
- Listen to positive affirmations daily. Create your own positive affirmations, make them in present tense. For example- I am confident, I have high self esteem, I am a great public speaker etc. Start your day with positive affirmations and in few days you can feel the change it brings in your life.
- Self talk- The person to whom we talk the most is ourselves. Consciously or sub-consciously we continue having conversations with ourselves. We converse with others greatly being supportive and understanding others. But when it comes to us, we just forget everything- we treat ourselves badly, being judge-mental and thrashing and criticizing ourselves and our emotions. Instead we should understand and treat ourselves like a friend and instead of condemning and criticizing understand our actions and make us feel comfortable. Positive self talk is the key which sets everything right.
- Read and listen some positive uplifting thing daily. It would be better if you start and end your day with this. Read inspiring and motivating books or articles. Listen to audio books or podcasts, repetition is the key here. The thing we repeat becomes part of our lives and thoughts and mind the whole thing gets set in the same way.
- Use the power of imagination, and visualize yourself as achieving all goals set and having what you wanted. It can be speaking in public for people having glossophobia (people who fear public speaking). It can be getting a work promotion or better sales. It can be completing a book or just being confident and happy. If we wouldn’t think of it how can we achieve? Use your power of imagination wisely as it works both ways. If a person fears socializing and constantly imagines being alone in group of people and having no friends, it functions the person to go another way. The pictures we have in our mind are continuously repeated and slowly they make us believe it’s the truth and therefore, the person in the above example never tries to socialize fearing its consequences he has in his mind. Use imagination wisely- If you can dream it, you can do it.
- Wonder Words- Use words wisely as stated earlier they have a huge impact on how our attitude is shaped. Replace I can’t with I can, I am unworthy to I am worth it. Turn negative words to positive words and harness their power in the most impeccable way.
- Do things which make you happy and you enjoy them.
- Spend time with yourself. It helps you to understand yourself in much better way and manage your thoughts and emotions. It also provides a way to find negativity and convert them into chain of positivity. Journaling is also a great way to understand yourself and your emotions too.
These were some ways we can build a positive attitude and change our life. The crux of this article would be- attitude is everything.
“A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power on you.”
Urvi Shah is a CA Aspirant from Nagpur, Maharashtra. She is a budding writer and an avid reader. She loves to craft her imagination into words. She calls herself a wordsmith. She is an amateur writer and poet. With observation mode always on, she spends her time scribbling her thoughts in diary. She is also a beginner flautist and a bibliophile. She loves exploring and discovering herself. She considers her family as biggest inspiration for writing.