Reflecting on attitude reminded me of a time I attended an outdoor activities holiday. I remember being at the bottom of a rock face looking up at our next activity. Abseiling! To take part, I needed to get to the top first! I am not afraid of heights, but I am not entirely comfortable either. Looking up at the rock face I had a choice to make: was I going to attempt it or bail out? The truth is that I had no way of reaching the top if I decided to stay on the ground. So, I started to climb.
What are you like when you face challenge, stress, or crisis? We can be tempted to head for the nearest blanket and hide under it, but what if we adopt a can-do attitude and attempt the difficult thing anyway?
When we are leading others and leading ourselves, attitude is crucial to how we turn up. Our attitude as we engage with others we lead or have some influence with can massively change our results.
A positive attitude is key if we are to achieve more than we think is possible. It’s thinking: ‘I might as well get in the arena, otherwise I have no chance of succeeding’. I came across 4 questions recently in the book “Developing the Leader Within You” by John Maxwell, that will help you decide your posture towards the things you want to achieve in life. They were questions asked by a young offender who turned his life around and became a successful entrepreneur:
- What do I really want?
- What will it cost?
- Am I willing to pay the price?
- When should I start paying the price?
This last question is key when thinking about a positive or can-do attitude. Action is always positive. And the answer to this question is of course now. Any journey you want to make starts with the first step. I cannot guarantee that you will succeed, but I know that you have no chance of success without committing yourself to that first step. Once you are moving it is much easier to adjust your direction if needed.
Leaders who lead with a positive, can do attitude have adopted a specific mindset. They haven’t disregarded the reality of the situation, but they still take action. They move forward. This positive attitude is contagious. Through this attitude we are inspired to do more and attempt more, and the evidence suggests that more is achieved than by those who have the opposite.
Sometimes it is hard to see the positives. There can be lots of understandable reasons for that, including the one we are facing now in terms of the pandemic. What helps me change my view is to think about what I am grateful for. Initially it may only be one thing, but once you start to think of that one thing it is surprising how much else piles in behind.
Michael Angier, founder and Chief Inspirational Officer of SuccessNet, said, “If we learn to appreciate more of what we already have, we’ll find ourselves having even more to appreciate.”
The great takeaway for me as I think about having a positive can-do attitude is that you can develop one. It doesn’t matter what has gone before; it is possible to intentionally re-orient your thinking towards what is possible and thereby change the outcome.
A final thought to leave you with. In various sports, such as in golf, if you want to improve your game, then the best thing you can do is to play golf with better golfers than you. It follows the axiom that you become like the company you keep. The same is true for a positive attitude. If you want to develop a positive attitude you need to manage the negativity you expose yourself to and spend more time with positive people.
Photo by Maja Kochanowska on Unsplash