Success Begins with Attitude

ThinkstockPhotos-468878719Thomas Jefferson was right when he said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

Attitude affects everything: health, relationships, overall contentment, and productivity. It’s no shocker that a good attitude is especially important at work. I’ve seen situations where one person’s sour attitude dragged the entire team down. Then, again, I’ve seen businesses soar when all the members held one another accountable to keep a professional attitude.

Improving your attitude takes more than a desire. It requires awareness and effort to pay attention to the way you respond to others, and to make an attitude adjustment day after day. It’s hard work, yes, but the effects will undoubtedly put you on the path to success.

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Here are seven steps to begin fostering a success-driven attitude.

  1. Take care of yourself. No one likes a Grumpy Gus. Simply put, the condition of your body affects the condition of your emotions. Getting the recommended amount of rest, exercising each day, and eating well gives you the physical stamina you need throughout the workday, making it easier to be aware of your attitude and emotions.
  2. Pause and relax. Do you leave work at work, or does it follow you home? Defining spaces of work and rest will help your attitude in a number of ways. When you take time to stop, relax, and do the things you love, you will actually enjoy your work much more. Your decision-making skills will also improve when you take a break to focus on something relaxing.
  3. Be mindful. “Mindfulness” means you aware of your emotions and what triggers them in certain situations. A series of small incidents can cause your emotions to snowball into a sour attitude by the end of the day. Be mindful of what you are feeling and what is causing it. Once you identify the root of the problem, you have power to manage it. It may help to write down why you are feeling angry or stressed in order to get it off your mind.
  4. Focus on the present. Trying to accomplish too many things at once can cause you to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Instead, take one step at a time by focusing on small, achievable goals.
  5. Present positive affirmations to yourself and others. Success magazine says having a positive inner-dialogue is part of fostering a better attitude. We are all our worst critics, but learning to monitor our self-critic can help stop negativity in its tracks. It takes practice to spurn negative thoughts, but as you replace them with affirmations, a new positive outlook will ingrain itself instead.
  6. Smile more often. A simple flex of your facial muscles can immense good for you and others! According to an article on U.S. News and World Report online, studies show that smiling more can directly affect your mood. The results proved that people who frown often are inclined to feel pain and sadness during the day, while those who smile are noticeably happier and more motivated.
  7. Don’t let frustration take the wheel. It’s easy to shut down when you are dealing with a difficult decision or a conflict. Instead, politely distance yourself from the situation to give yourself time to reset and think through an appropriate response. Try saying, “I need some more time to think about this. Can we take a break and talk again after lunch?” Acknowledging your needs lets other people know that you are being honest, and setting a time to revisit the conversation shows you care about the situation and plan to get back to it.

Your response to a difficult situation is what determines your attitude, your self-perception, and other’s perception of you. When you respond with a positive and willing attitude, your staff members and co-workers will speak well of you (and who knows, you may even get that promotion you’ve been hoping for!).

Steve Isenberg

Steve Isenberg
Steve Isenberg is president of ASJ Partners, a marketing agency for the staffing industry. He can be reached at

Steve Isenberg

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