You may be surprised to know that your attitude has more of an impact on determining your success in life that your aptitude!
How critical is attitude to your achievement? Look at one of the greatest innovators of the last two centuries – Thomas Edison. Edison tried more than 10,000 times to make his light bulb invention work, however, he failed consistently. Edison, not letting his mindset be affected, realized, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Each time you turn on a light switch, you are experiencing the result of his persistence in the face of incessant failure.
You can learn to have this kind of outlook on life, but it needs to be purposefully installed into your daily living. Persistence and desire are integral to your attitude, but it needs to be intentionally ingrained in your daily practice.
You are probably aware or have heard that it takes 21 days to break a habit and to replace it with a new one. If persistent negative thoughts are running on a loop in your brain, you can replace this mindset with a new positive mental behavior!
Here is an easy five-step program to change negative attitudes to positive ones in 21 days.
1. Take control of your thinking.
Despite what you may believe, you get to decide what you think. Your thinking determines how you feel. After many years of hearing parents, teachers, employers and in some cases, significant others filling your head with negative comments, they may just play on a loop in your head. Liken it to a disparaging book on tape or your least favorite song playing loudly and repeatedly. No one else hears it but you, think about how that makes you feel.
Pay close attention to the messages that you’re sending yourself. Are they yours or someone else’s? It really doesn’t matter; the messages are clear and convincing. Listening to your thoughts takes a bit of focus and honesty. You may believe that this thinking is justified, don’t let that stop you. Realize that this type of awareness doesn’t happen overnight. As you identify these negative thoughts, replace them with positive ones. This new habit will take some time to build. How can you do this?
At first, you may have to force yourself to find something positive. Celebrate even the smallest accomplishments. Acknowledge the good that you have done. Remind yourself of these actions. When you choose to think uplifting thoughts instead of discouraging ones, you’ll start to notice a change. As you become more aware of your negative self- talk, start inserting and dwelling on positive thoughts and ideas throughout the day.
Consider keeping a journal to write down at least one good thing in your life. Do this daily for 21 days, think about the positive while keeping track of your accomplishment. Review your journal whenever you’re experiencing a low point.
2. Get inspired!
With the popularity of social media these days, it can be very easy to fall into an abyss of despair. So often posts about what’s bad in our world are more easily passed around than the positive messages that connect us with the universe. The news media inundates us with horrific images and stories that weigh heavily on our hearts and souls.
This is the time to fill your mind with good thoughts. Enjoy meditation or reading inspirational materials. Religious or spiritual materials are a great starting point. In this digital age, there is plenty of access to inspirational materials via apps or videos. Spend some time at a local library or a bookstore to discover some beautifully written materials that will inspire and lift your spirit.
There is so much available to you, try a few, see what works best.
3. Focus on others.
For the next 21 days make an extra effort to help other people. Focusing on assisting others will help you more than you realize. Often those who volunteer or otherwise find themselves in the service of others is helpful in grounding yourself and helps you to put situations in perspective. Putting situations in perspective can lead to easier thought processes and creativity, ultimately opening the door for greater success. Being successful is not simply measured by the size of your bank account, however, developing and nurturing relationships is a healthy indicator. If you succeed in becoming wealthy but are poor in respect to your relationships, you will limit the opportunity to truly be prosperous at all!
For the next 21 days make a special effort to focus on others in building your new habit of having a positive attitude. Once you’re able to concentrate on others, you will find that as your thoughts become clearer, your intentions purer and the easier it will be to achieve your goals.
4. Take care of yourself.
Maintaining a positive mindset can be difficult if you’re neglecting your physical self. Your physical health includes making an extra effort to eating regular nutritious and balanced meals. It’s best to avoid excessive sugars and processed foods. Having a minimum of three meals per day, with reasonable snacks will help keep your energy and reduce irritation.
Erratic sleep or a lack thereof can be a real hindrance. Getting a reasonable amount of sleep will provide you with the energy you need to be more productive. Develop a regular sleep routine, reduce your distractions before bed for better sleep.
Regular exercise is helpful for more than one reason. When you’re feeling sad, lack focus or energy, try to take a 30-minute walk. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.
Finally, your personal hygiene must not be neglected. Keeping clean, trimmed nails, kept hair and a fresh mouth will do wonders for your health and wellbeing. You’ll feel revived and ready to take on your challenges.
5. Learn contentment.
Society has us conditioned to covet and strive for material goods as confirmation of our successful existence. It becomes almost impossible to not be aware of that which you do not have. The important part is not to dwell on that which you do not have. For the next 21 days, it’s best that you live in the present, enjoying the gifts the universe has provided.
Difficult as it may seem, try to forget about keeping up with the Joneses. Doing so only leads to more anxiety and frustration. Practice gratitude. The simple act of being grateful can reduce your anxiety, frustration, and anger.
Adversity makes us view ourselves and others differently. Be aware of the lessons to be learned from each interaction. Some things that are bad for you may often lead to positive outcomes. There is no point in beating yourself up for shortcomings. These lessons can turn into credentials that will enable you to help others when they’re going through tough times.
Don’t let negativity ruin your present and future. Instead, build a new habit of having a positive attitude. It will take about 21 days to start seeing consistent changes in the way you think, but it will be worth it!
Now choose the starting date to change your mindset and go for it!
How about today?