Developing or Adjusting Your Attitude in Hard Times
I have heard many people say “Attitude is everything.” Attitude does determine how one approaches any situation. Attitude is made up of your past experiences and the predominant thoughts in your mind. If our past experiences were negative or always risk averse, our predominant thoughts will have a tendency to be jaded or cynical. A person can’t change their past, but they can change their future. Many outside forces that act upon us can’t be changed, but how we respond is a huge factor in determining what happens next. A positive attitude is the first determinant in being a life leader and being an value-adding sales person. A positive attitude does several things: 1) it enables you to see more clearly during the tough times or to look for the silver lining 2) it gives you and others hope for the future 3) a positive attitude causes you and influences others to work for the future 4) it enables you to want to associate with others who have a positive attitude 5) a positive attitude combats all the negative thoughts, experiences, etc. that a negative world throws at you (it basically insulates a you). 6) A positive attitude enables you to look at yourself and ask “What do I need to do to change?” Many times, it is we who need to change to make the circumstances for the better, not vice versa.
In hard times a positive attitude does not necessarily reduce the severity of the hardship, but it enables a person to get through the difficult time in one piece, so to speak. A positive attitude also positively affects those who you comes into contact: your family, friends, co-workers, even a stranger.
How does one develop a positive attitude? It is developed in primarily two ways: our thought life and our actions. For our thought life consider: 1) What do you constantly put into your mind? Do you allow anything to go into your mind (the thought of amusing versus musing) or do you consciously seek positive input such as positive music, books, people, etc. 2) How do you talk to yourself and to others – do you speak in positive terms or negative terms? “I can do that, or it can’t be done,” “That person is a jerk vs. that person needs help or is having a bad day.” Do you focus on what you should do, or shouldn’t do in your conversation? Do you say “Don’t forget (a negative thought) vs. Remember to…”? Do you say more “No” than “Yes”?
To have a positive attitude, positive thoughts must replace negative thoughts. You just can’t get rid of negative thoughts; they must be REPLACED. Your mind can’t handle a vacuum. To remove something bad, it must be replaced with something good.
The second method for developing a positive attitude is our actions. Our actions determine our attitude. 1) Body language –how you walk or stand- do you walk with your head up, eyes straight ahead or bent over and eyes to the ground? 2) When greeting or meeting with someone, look them in the eye when you talk – greet someone and specifically look them in the eye, give them a warm handshake 3) Our tone of voice –force yourself to speak in a positive tone. By doing things that look positive, your body will begin to adjust the attitude of the mind. The body and mind must always be in synch. So, if you force the body to be positive the mind will be also. If you force the mind to be positive, your body will follow.
“Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.”
God wants us to have a positive attitude developed through faith in him. He has made us promises in Romans 8:28 that whatever happens to a Christian, it is for their good no matter whether we can understand that or not. If you are suffering from a negative attitude, ask God to change it. Focus on the future and allow God to change your attitude toward your past. He can heal you of your pain and enable you to have a positive attitude, to be forgiven, to walk in His love, to move forward. Your present circumstances can be extremely negative, but your attitude does not have to be that way. Call to God, he can change you. Get into God’s word and search for his promises those “great and mighty things which you do not know.” Memorize those promises and replace the negative thoughts with these promises. (I put verses on 3×5 cards to study and memorize. I generally place them on my car dashboard so I can read them anytime I am in the car.)
Some helpful verses are: Philippians 4:4-9: Philippians 4:13, 19; Romans 8:1-3, 37-38; Psalm 40; Psalm 119: 92-93; Psalm 27: 14; Isaiah 40: 28-31; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 57: 13b.