Attitude – A settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.
Did you realize that your attitude can actually make or break your success? Think about it, if your behavior reflects your attitude then ask yourself how people perceived your mood today? If the answer to your question was “not so good,” the good news is it is something you can totally control right now. You can be a great salesperson, super intelligent, an expert in your field, But if you’re moody and have a nasty attitude at times, or have an unapproachable persona where people feel they can’t talk to you freely, and people around you never know who they will get when you walk in the door, it will be almost impossible to get anyone to follow you. You may get some people to follow you for a period of time, but believe me people will start to walk away.
Your attitude shows itself in everything you do. It is so powerful that people can feel and see it in your face before you even say a word. You don’t even have to actually talk to anyone for people to sense your mood, our body language conveys our attitude. You can sense how someone feels by the way he or she walks down the street, enters a room or sits even sits down on a chair. We can sense someone’s attitude by the tone of their voice and the way they are breathing. Understand that your attitude determines both your simplest and most complicated actions, from the way you carry yourself to the way you deal people and with challenges you will encounter. If you are dealing with something, which at some point everyone will, you can’t bring it to work with you. You can’t meet new people or prospective clients, or anyone for that matter, that you would not want to walk away with feeling a negative vibe from you. First impressions are crucial, you can’t get them back.
So is controlling your attitude the secret to controlling your actions? If you could control your attitude, then you’d be able to control your actions, right?
Not exactly, you don’t have one single attitude. Your attitudes are changeable. One day you couldn’t be happier, until you get into an argument with your spouse. Then you have to go to the office to meet a potential client. The next day you find out that someone you trusted did something they shouldn’t have and you feel so vulnerable, your first instinct is to sit on the bed with a blanket over your head and hide from the world. Why would you want to go out to meet anyone new, how could you build a new relationship when you feel betrayed and now you don’t want to trust anyone again? That’s how we talk to ourselves. Sometimes we come home after a long day of work and walk in the door only to hear your kids complaining, nobody cleaned up, the dog hasn’t been fed or walked and you suddenly feel overwhelmed and want to just sit down and cry, but you are going to a networking meeting in 2 hours! I can totally relate with you, I’ve been there too. Trust me, how you react and act in response to these situations is crucial.
Some of us suck it up and go back out with our best poker face on the minute that we start to interact with other’s, but the majority of us don’t. Think about how you feel when you walk in to talk to someone with a smile, you say good morning and you get a monotone “hey” with a tight face and a half smile for a split second and then they look away! I don’t know about you, but I just want to turn around and say “if you are in a bad mood, give me call later when you are feeling better, bye -bye.” and go back where I came from and work on something else. Now of course that person could have just lost an account, had a fight with their spouse, something could have happened in their family that made them that way. They could have a legitimate excuse to have a bad attitude at that moment. But there is NO excuse to take that out on anyone else. So take a deep breath, smile and treat that person with the same attitude and attention you would expect someone to treat you with. Check your attitude at the door when you go into a room to meet people. If you cant control how you feel and how you are going to act with someone then make your appointment later or cancel it if you have to and work on changing your attitude first.
Your attitude is changing all the time. As your attitude changes, your feelings also change. Some days you’re not going to feel great. It’s hard to force yourself to feel happy when you’re not. Trying to control your attitude and feelings might work at first, but not for long. Have you ever had anyone say to “well just be happy” or “just get over it” when you are having a bad day? How annoying is that? Don’t you just feel like punching them? Of course you want to be happy! Who wouldn’t want to be happy rather than feeling miserable and dragging their grumpy ass around? I get it, I know sometimes it is easier then it sounds.
So if your actions are not a result of controlling your attitude and feelings, then what is at the heart of your actions?
Your philosophy is the key.
The key to changing your attitude is discovering the source of your attitude. It comes down to what is called your philosophy, or your perspective. Which is a fancy word that means how you see yourself and everything around you.
Here are 3 simple questions you need to ask yourself when you need to change your attitude:
- What do I think is the source of my attitude?
- Do I feel I even understand them and why I feel this way?
- What could I do to better understand my attitudes?
The bottom line is, attitude is everything! So if you cant figure out what is making you feel this way, and sometimes we just don’t know, then you better figure out a way to turn it around. Nobody cares why you are in a bad mood, they care about how you act and how you make them feel. So make sure you smile, put some pep in your step, and at least act happy until you feel happy. There are so many things you can do to help you change the way you are feeling.
Read or listen to a positive book, mediate, take a long walk, do yoga or go to breakfast with a friend that always makes you feel good before you start the day. The bottom line is you are in charge of your attitude. Remember “If I is to be, it is up to me.” Nobody wants to be around people who make them feel bad, they want to be around positive people who make them feel good. So make sure next time you feel funky and you know you have to flip it, look in the mirror and smile at yourself and tell yourself that you are going to make it a great day and start to turn your attitude around!
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