When I was younger, I had a t-shirt that read “I love my attitude problem.” I was a divorced, single mother, and I really did have an attitude problem, so I wore the shirt proudly. My Dad had bought it as a joke, but to me it was, in a way, my voice. It wasn’t until I grew up a bit, moved away from home and went to university (I was 30 then) that I realized that having an “attitude problem” isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Here’s the thing… your attitude, your thoughts and feelings toward the activities you pursue throughout your daily life, has a huge effect on who you are as a person. It colours your behavior and influences your mood.
And this is what I didn’t realize as I wore my t-shirt proudly… Your attitude impacts the way others view you, as well. If you think you’ve got an attitude problem and are proud of it, other people are going to see you in a less positive light that you’d probably like.
That negative attitude problem is going to feed on itself and grow because people will treat you like you do have an attitude problem, whether you really do or not.
So, it should come as no surprise that your attitude plays a direct role in your general happiness. If you’re not aware of your attitude when you start down the path of self-growth, you might be in for a bit of a rude awakening.
Here are three things to consider when dealing with your own attitude.
Be Mindful of Your Attitude
If you want to change your attitude, you first have to be mindful of it. Knowing how you’re feeling and being able to recognize certain emotions as you are experiencing them is an essential step in dealing with them.
One of the best ways to name an emotion is to notice the way your body feels when you encounter it. Some self-assessments throughout your day can help you to associate the symptom within yourself to the emotion. For example, you may clench your teeth when you feel angry or get a slight stomach ache when nervous.
Part of being mindful of your feelings is to also accept them. Both positive and negative emotions are part of the human experience, so don’t beat yourself up for your difficult moments.
Understand Your Power
Part of an “attitude problem” can often be attributed to the fact that we allow other people or even our feelings to control us.
You give up your power when you react negatively to a situation, a person or your emotions. Angry or sad reactions happen. They’re a part of life. The problem is when these negative feelings invade your attitude and remain for too long. Bad feelings don’t usually go away easily.
Changing your thoughts and beliefs about their cause is required in order to banish them in favor of a more positive outlook. This is where questioning your attitude and re-framing your thoughts comes in handy. You have the power to change the way you feel and act by altering the way in which you view events.
Take Action on Your Thoughts
Once you’ve been able to re-frame your thoughts and reclaim your power, it’s time to start taking positive action and put your new attitude to work for you.
For example, instead of pouting and feeling helpless about unfair treatment at work, decide that sometimes misunderstandings happen. Then figure out whether there is anything you can do to improve the situation. Perhaps talking to your superior at a later time could help to sort things out and put them in your favor. If not, you may be able to develop a strategy to demonstrate your knowledge and positive contribution to the company.
Taking some kind of proactive step will almost always lead you to feeling more in control and confident. When you feel more powerful over your life, you will have a more positive attitude.
As they say, attitude is everything. Taking steps to improve yours will have a great effect on your life in so many ways. An attitude shift requires effort and isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. By putting these suggestions into practice, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a favorable mindset, and people won’t be buying you t-shirts proclaiming your attitude problem.