A few days ago I came across the article “How to Achieve a Winning Attitude in 6 Easy Steps” by Bnet. They always have good business related content, but usually it’s a ‘take it and go’ type of read. But not this time. So for the sake of your sanity and time, here it is in sweet, sweet snippets.
Want a winning attitude? Here’s the solution in 6 steps. You can’t go wrong! DO IT…HEY JUST DO IT.
Step #1: Realize that YOU are in Control
Attitude is not the result of what happens in the world, but how one decides to interpret what happens in the world.
Take the weather, for example. In the United States, many people feel depressed when it’s raining and uplifted when it’s sunny. In the Middle East, many people feel the exact opposite – a cooling rain is an excuse to have a picnic under a tree.
Similarly, many adults grumble when it snows, while most children are delighted. This illustrates that one’s attitude to the weather is essentially arbitrary. It’s not the weather that creates the attitude, but the interpretation what the weather means.
Arguing that “children like snow because they don’t have to go to school” is missing the point. A snowbound child could just as easily mope around inside and complain about not being able to play croquet because it’s snowing.
Similarly, a sales rep making a sales call while it’s snowing can grouse about the extra drive time or can look forward to the appreciation that a customer might feel because the sales rep is committed enough to fight the weather to make the meeting.
In short, attitude is the “mental filter” through which one sees the world. Some see the world through a filter of optimism; no matter what happens they always make lemonade from the lemons.
Step #2: Re-frame Failures and Setbacks
Sales reps who have trouble with maintaining a positive attitude are almost always letting arbitrary exterior events automatically trigger bad feelings.
For example, a sales rep might become annoyed and defensive prior to a customer call simply by running into a series of red lights during the drive. To that sales rep, the red lights “mean” that it’s an “unlucky” day. As a result, the sales rep walks into the customer meeting feeling depressed and defensive.
To change get a different result, you must modify your interpretation of exterior events that formerly triggered your bad attitude. Once those events have a different meaning, they won’t be able to trigger a bad attitude.
Rather than become irritated at a “failure,” it makes more sense to consider that, if you never failed, it would mean that you were taking no risks. In any case, even the best sales rep doesn’t close every sale.
If you make it your business to learn from every setback and stay focused on your end result “failure” simply becomes a way-station on the road to success.
Step #3: Get Daily Positive Input
It’s easier to achieve and maintain a positive attitude if you have a “library” of positive thoughts in your head, so that you can draw upon them if the day doesn’t go exactly as you’d prefer.
Starting each day reading, or listening to, something positive helps ensure that you have such a “library” to draw upon. Consider reading an inspirational book right after you wake up. You might also want to spend your commute listening to motivational tapes rather than the news, for instance.
Along these lines, don’t forget that music is a time-honored way to manage your moods and attitudes. Consider investing in mp3 files or CDs of music that you find motivating and energizing. Use it to “pump yourself up” right before your big meetings or to cool you down when things get challenging.
Use your imagination to find new ways to pump positive thoughts and feeling into your head. Set a target of at least 15 minutes a day. If you commit more time to this, you’ll get more benefits.
Step #4: Avoid Negative Media
Our mass media culture bombards us with highly emotional messages intended to lead us to buy a particular product. In particular, over-exposure to the news media can be a real killer of a positive attitude.
Thirty years ago, news programs primarily provided people with information intended to help them understand the issues of the day. Today, however, most news broadcasts consist of “infotainment” specifically-crafted to support commercial messages.
This constant flow of negative imagery and commentary can not only destroy a positive attitude, it can actively create a negative attitude about life and the world.
Therefore, if you want to maintain a positive mood, you should consider reducing, or even eliminating, your exposure to broadcast news programming.
Instead, read the business section, or better yet, spend more time with some motivational tapes. Or with some music that raises your spirits. Or with great literature. Stick to media that help your attitude to constantly improve.
Step #5: Avoid Negative People
Spending time with people who have a negative view of life makes it very difficult for you to maintain a positive attitude.
You probably have one or more friends, relatives, or acquaintances who make you feel tired and drained. They always seem to have something sour to say; criticisms come to their lips far more quickly than compliments.
Such people are toxic to your attitude (and hence to your success in sales) because, if they’re not actively tearing down your enthusiasm, they’re trying to get you think about the world the same depressing way that they do.
If you want to maintain a positive attitude, sharply limit your daily exposure to such people. Don’t show up at the daily “watercooler complain-fest.” Don’t go to lunch with the “grouse and grumble” crowd.
If you can’t avoid negative types entirely, don’t get drawn into lengthy gripe sessions. Limit your conversation to the business issues you need to address and then change the subject to a more positive topic as soon as possible.
Step #6: Adopt a Positive Vocabulary
The words that come out of your mouth aren’t just a reflection of what’s in your brain — they’re programming your brain how to think. Therefore, if you want to have a positive attitude, your vocabulary must be consistently positive.
Click here to view five quityouck techniques to use your vocabulary to improve and strengthen a positive attitude.
These seem like little things, but the truth is that your mind takes cues from what you say. If you respond to “how are you” with “hangin’ in there”, that’s the reality that you’re creating.
There is nothing in your career, indeed in your life, that will make a bigger difference than taking control of your attitude. If you maintain a positive attitude, success will literally fall into your lap. If not today, then tomorrow.