I wore a yellow dress to my mother’s funeral.
It caused the wags of the relatives to whisper in disapproval but my mother had instructed me to wear it before she died. She knew I’d be sad and she wanted to remind me to be untroubled and lead a cheerful life like she had taught me.
So I stood before the congregation in that dress to deliver the eulogy and share stories of our happy family times together. Why do I tell you this sad memory? It’s to remind me and suggest to you to choose your attitude and perspective as you maneuver through life.
Choosing Your Attitude Changes Your Life, So Choose A Positive Outlook
Your brain believes what you tell it. If you take a negative perspective, your brain supports it. If you take a positive, productive, constructive perspective, your brain supports that instead. That is true of your perspective toward yourself as well as toward others.
With a positive perspective you can change your mind; make decisions; delegate sooner; and have better coping methods to go over, under, around, or through problems.
It also helps you to avoid a constant seeking for approval. You will trust your intuition; have a sense of peace and comfort in yourself; handle stress better; add joy to your life; give yourself freedom from needing to defer; and create better, more fulfilling lives for your children and you. And you will be more fun, interesting, intriguing, and inviting to be around.
On the other hand, if you choose to look at yourself, your situation and your fellow humans negatively, you will find yourself struggling to manage the stress in your life, work well with others, and achieve your goals.
It makes sense to choose the attitude that will work for you, not against you. Not that it’s always easy to choose your attitude.Your brain believes what you tell it. If you take a negative perspective, your brain supports it. @debrabenton in You Can (And Should) Choose Your Attitude #careeradvice #professionaldevelopment Click To Tweet
Your Circumstances Don’t Choose Your Attitude – You Do
All of life, on a daily basis, can tear you down — people, problems, politics. But as a thinking adult you choose the attitude and mindset that you want to have despite what’s going on around you.
An unflappable, undaunted mindset is a mental muscle you develop. You have to keep at it, or it will atrophy. It’s similar to when you break a bone: the muscles start to weaken within a week, and it can take months to rebuild them.
Whether a mental muscle or physical one, it takes a lot more time to restore a muscle’s strength than it takes to lose it. ‘
Don’t let a bad meeting, bad day, or even a bad week take away your positive attitude. You choose your attitude even during negative circumstances.
Lessons From A Four Year Old On Choosing Your Attitude
One of the best examples I’ve seen of this came from a four-year-old.
My grandniece had had a rough day at home. She’d soiled the heat vents in her room, roughed up her little sister’s toys, and spoken some new and inappropriate words, all resulting in extended “time out” in her room.
At dinner during conversation with her parents about the day, she said, “Even though you made me spend time in my room for what I did, you didn’t break my day.”
You didn’t break my day is a perfect approach for all of us. Bad things routinely happen day in and day out, but it’s important to make sure mistakes you made or reactions from others about those mistakes don’t break your day.
Control Your Thoughts And You’ll Control Your Attitude
Your mind manages all of your life: your outlook, how you approach situations, and how you interact and work with others. It’s a feeling of great freedom to think whatever you want.
Sure, there are random thoughts that come and go that you can’t do anything about. But the ones you put in and hold, you control.
Outside of having brain damage, disease, or mind-altering substances, you’re in complete control of what goes on inside your head—if you choose to be.
You already know this, but I’m emphasizing these facts because I want you to understand how empowering they can truly be. You rule your world and run your life with the perspective you choose.
Or, as one CEO told me, “Your mind is your boss, and you gotta be self-employed.”
Even if it requires putting on a “yellow dress” for the outside show as you work to manage the inside mindset.Your mind manages all of your life: your outlook, how you approach situations, and how you interact and work with others. It's a feeling of great freedom to think whatever you want. You Can (And Should) Choose Your Attitude Click To Tweet
Take Control Of Your Attitude And Stay Positive
I never wore that dress again but every time I see it hanging in my closet it reminds me to choose the positive perspective of life that is within my power. That choice is one thing that no one can take away from you — unless you let them. The choice is always yours.
If you could use guidance in how to choose your attitude or want to improve executive presence and ability to work with others, I am here to help. Contact me to discuss executive coaching, or if you have a group of emerging leaders, for a speaking engagement.