Winston Churchill once said “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”
I agree with the sentiment. I’ve come to believe that attitude is more significant. In fact I'd go as far to say it’s a big thing that makes every difference you want to make in life.
If there is one thing I know all great KAM’s and sales people have, it’s a positive attitude to solving problems and approaching our professional life and client conversations. This doesn't always translate everywhere. All of us have people and situations we face where our attitude might let us down. This is because our attitude is the collective experiences and beliefs we hold on with people, situations and circumstances.
Early in my career my attitude didn't serve me at all. I blamed managers for my failures, made excuses about why things didn't happen. Responded poorly to customer challenges. I was a different man at 20 than I am today at 34.
This weekend I started to reflect on this year, current successes, almost wins and failures. The revelation was surprising. Those places where success showed up most often was defined by my attitude towards it.
I wanted to determine exactly what made those moments matter. Why was my attitude different; more powerful and more creatively charged in particular moments over others? What were those traits?
We often hear the phrases in our everyday language
- “that person has a real attitude problem”
- “he/she has had a change of attitude”
- “she has a great attitude”
What is this attitude people speak of?
There are a number of definitions of attitude out there. In psychology, an attitude is referred to as a set of emotions, beliefs, and behaviours toward a particular object, person, thing, or event.
There are three known ways to describe the components of how attitude works in all of us (ABC).
- Affective component: this involves a person’s feelings / emotions about the attitude object. For example: “I am scared of presentations”.
- Behavioural (or conative) component: the way the attitude we have influences how we act or behave. For example: “I will avoid presentations at every possible occasion”.
- Cognitive component: this involves a person’s belief / knowledge about an attitude object. For example: “I’m not good at presentations”.
Each one of these components is very different from the other, and they can build upon one another to form our attitudes and, therefore, affect how we relate to the world.
How can we effectively nurture the right attitude in every situation we face personally and professionally? Among the many ideas out there, I’d like to share five ideas from practises of great men and women dominating in life like Tony Robbins and Arianna Huffington.
Reframe your thoughts (or Zen it up) – In moments that feel out of your control, instead of “why is this happening to me?” "This person is making me angry' ask yourself “what can I learn and apply from this today to move on to greatness” "how can I remain true to my values and deal with the emotion I feel to this person". Easier said than done I know. The moment you think it your mind will respond if practised daily. Our attitudes are driven from our core beliefs. Our minds will do whatever it takes to prove itself right according to our core beliefs. Take a step back and get centred in your core beliefs.
Stretch your comfort zone and challenge beliefs –Those areas you know you find most difficult or challenging. Get proactive and decide to do something different that will expand your frame of thinking of what’s possible for you. For example. If you've never lead a team meeting. Ask to do so, stretch that belief muscle and expand the possibilities of what your capable of.
Focus on helping others – There is something about helping others that immediately shifts my thinking. Whenever I’ve felt emotions that don't serve me this is probably the one I go to most often. In helping others you give no room for festering negative thoughts to rest in your mind. Instead you focus your energy on helping someone else succeed. In the process you; build your own confidence, flex your thought muscles and increase your feel good and positive experiences. You can then think more clearly and are more creative. All this is proven to help you become a better problem solver and become more resilient.
Take responsibility - It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of blaming others or beating ourselves up on things that haven’t worked out. In those times focus on what is working and amplify those things while you learn what else you can do better. Own it right away and take action, don’t allow those negative thoughts or feelings to infiltrate your daily thoughts.
Practice being grateful and smile more – There are so many benefits to these two suggestions I’d suggest looking them up separately. Smiling alone releases endorphins and serotonin, also known as the feel good hormones. Isn’t it easier to do work you may not like if your body is physically and mentally feeling good. Gratefulness has a similar effect and is proven to be beneficial in all parts of life (health, mood, focus and more)
This list could go on. All of these actions compound to create new and more positive responses to what results we’ll get from life. Just imagine being able to face that one thing you know constantly challenges you and being able to beat it every single time. By applying one or two of these actions daily you'll see an almost immediate shift in your thinking and response to others and your environment.
What do you do to nurture the right attitude at all times?
Leave a comment below as I’d love to learn some new ideas