By Nancy Boyle, EAP Trainer
You wake up before the alarm goes off, you feel refreshed. The sun is shining, birds chirping, coffee brewing. The kids are off to school, and your spouse is headed to work. You breathe in and think to yourself, “It is going to be a good day.”
Then you remember you have a staff meeting at 10 am. Your attitude begins to change as you realize your first meeting of the workday is about conflict between several team members. As you head out the door, you spill your freshly brewed coffee. Now you’re going to be late. Traffic is horrible, and you get frustrated with drivers cutting you off. What started out as a good day is not going so well.
“If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” – Mary Engelbreit
Did you know that we have 60,000 thoughts in a 24-hour period? 95% of those thoughts are the same day to day, and 80% of these repeated thoughts are negative or pessimistic. Our thoughts form the foundation of our emotional experience throughout the day.
Many of us have heard the comment, “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” Did we, or are we just going through the motions? Our attitude is our choice, but we also need to be aware of how our attitude is formed.
Thoughts are biochemical energy, intelligence, and information that hold magnetic properties. The thoughts that we have are based on how we have been influenced – in the past, currently, and what you expect to experience, by family, friends, teachers, culture, and social media. The repetition of these thoughts turns to habit, then that of our attitude. Our attitude can affect us and those we work with in multiple ways: how we treat each other, how productive and efficient we are.
What mindset or attitude do you have toward your work day, team, and career? Is our negative attitude causing arguments, criticism and mistrust? Understand this: We don’t have to accept negativity as our norm.
One of my favorite motivational speakers, Eric Thomas, shares with audiences how to overcome any obstacle: “Regardless of whatever challenges we’re facing. Whatever roadblocks we see. Whatever pain we’re going through. It was a call, and reminder, for us to dig deep within. And uncover the courage, will and determination we have within us. To use that to overcome our challenges. Whatever they may be. To declare that: I CAN. I WILL. I MUST.”
Tips that can help you shift your attitude:
- Self-talk. Be aware of where our thoughts and attitudes are coming from.
- Choose to find the good or silver lining.
- Look through a lens of positivity or optimism.
- Accept that the shift to positivity will not happen overnight, it will take practice to become habit.
- Set limits for yourself. You do not need to take on the whole world, just the battles you choose to be a part of.
- Weed out negativity to the best of your ability.
- Avoid complainers.
- Don’t overanalyze the situation.
- Develop a support system.
- Hold yourself accountable.
- Choose something to be grateful for each day.
- Forgive yourself each day.
Remember each day we will run into some type of obstacle or issue that needs to be addressed. We have an opportunity to address how we will respond. Are we going to be positive or negative? Are we going to choose to look through a lens of optimism and believe what Thomas declares as: I CAN, I WILL, I MUST choose positivity today and everyday moving forward?
Our attitude determines our direction. Which way will you choose?
About The Author: Nancy Boyle is an EAP Trainer with The Village Business Institute. She has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Human Resource Management with an emphasis in the Human Services from Valley City State University, and brings 15 years of public speaking and facilitation experience to VBI with a background in program management, training coordination, and volunteer management. Her certifications include: MN Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Credentialed Advocate (Advanced Level) with designation of Comprehensive Victim Intervention Specialist; Volunteer Impact Leadership – MN Association of Volunteer Administrators; and Technology of Participation Facilitation Methods – The Institute of Cultural Affairs. To learn more about training opportunities provided by VBI, call 1-800-627-8220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.