Is Your Attitude Helping or Hurting You? (Part 1)

Posted by Todd Smith

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Your attitude is a powerful sentiment. It affects every part of your life: self-image, relationships, business, and even your health. There’s just no way that I can cover the subject effectively in one post and so today, I am launching a three-part series dedicated to YOUR ATTITUDE.

Definition of Attitude

A simple definition of attitude is a person’s feeling or emotion toward a fact or situation. It’s a person’s mental outlook on circumstances; one’s temperament, mood, or viewpoint. People tend to think that there are only two kinds of attitudes: positive and negative; but really there are many.

Here are just a few: friendly or reserved, confident or insecure, cheerful or depressing, compassionate or callous, determined or indecisive, peaceful or destructive, appreciative or ungrateful. It’s easy to see that all can be classified as either positive or negative and that they will truly identify who you are.

Attitude is a key component in defining one’s personality. Your attitudes affect how people see you—whether they like or dislike you, whether they want to be around you or avoid you. It affects their viewpoint about you—how they respond to you—whether you gain or lose influence with them.

Your attitude is reflected through the tone of your voice, the expression on your face, your body language, and the courtesy or lack thereof extended to others.

Good and Bad Attitudes

Think of someone you know who always seems to have a good attitude. Who immediately comes to mind? How do you feel about this person? Is this someone you enjoy being around? Is this someone you would hire if you were an employer? Is this someone you would buy something from if he or she were selling something you needed?

Now think about someone who always seems to have a bad attitude. Who do you immediately think about? How do you feel about this person? Is this someone you enjoy being around? Does this person give you energy or draw energy from you? If you were having a party, would you invite this person? How likely would you be to embrace any idea that comes out of his or her mouth?

Your Attitude is a Choice

Your attitude is a choice, and that choice is 100% within your control. Just know that the choice you make will influence every aspect of your life. Let me encourage you to begin looking at what’s good in your life and not what’s bad. If you are going through a difficult period, remember your attitude can make your life even worse or it can be the catalyst to turning your life around.

Learn From Your Failures

If you have experienced some recent failures, learn what you can and then force yourself to stop thinking about them. Continuing to think about mistakes you’ve made will affect your self-esteem, self-confidence, and ultimately your attitude. We all make mistakes. I’ve made hundreds of them. Everyone slips and stumbles somewhere along the way. But your success does not depend on how often you fall. It depends on how often you get up and try again and on how much you learn from each experience.

Stop Complaining

Perhaps most importantly, stop complaining. What do you gain by complaining? You certainly do not attract others. Most people don’t want to be around those who complain. You can’t change the situation by whining. You don’t make any progress or improve your circumstances by moaning and groaning. I can’t think of one positive result that comes from complaining.

Begin to Enjoy Doing What You Don’t Enjoy

If you find yourself struggling to keep a positive attitude at your job, begin to enjoy doing what you don’t currently enjoy. Make it fun. Look for the positives. Look at how you can grow yourself through what would normally be unpleasant experiences. People’s respect grows for a person who has a positive attitude when it would be easy to have the opposite.


So let me ask you to be honest with yourself and evaluate your attitude. If your family, friends, and co-workers were to describe your attitude, what would they say? Starting NOW, I want to challenge you to become aware of your attitude and its effect on your life and those around you.

In tomorrow’s lesson, we will look at several other situations that can challenge your ability to have a good attitude. By the end of this three-part series, you will have learned the strategies you need to be the first person people think about when they are asked, “Who do you know who always seems to have a great attitude?”

To read part 2 click here

To read part 3 click here

About the Author:

Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.

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