Developing a More Positive Attitude and Self-Concept
Your behavior and performance will be consistent with the way you see yourself. Think and act like a winner, and you may become one. Following are some ideas to help you change your attitudes and develop a more positive self-concept:
1. Consciously try to have and maintain a positive, optimistic attitude. If you don’t have a positive attitude, it may be caused by your unconscious thoughts and behavior. Only with conscious effort can you improve your self-concept.
2. Realize that there are few, if any, benefits to negative, pessimistic attitudes about others
and yourself. Do holding a grudge, worrying, and being afraid of failure help you to succeed?
3. Cultivate optimistic thoughts. Scientific evidence suggests that your thoughts affect every cell in your body. Every time you think positive thoughts, your body, mind, and spirit respond. You will likely feel more motivated and energetic. Use positive self-talk—I will do a good job; it will be done on time; and so on. Also use mental imagery picture yourself achieving your goal.
4. If you catch yourself complaining or being negative in any way, stop and change to a positive attitude. With time, you will catch yourself less often as you become more positive about yourself.
5. Avoid negative people, especially any that make you feel negative about yourself. Associate with people who have a positive self-concept, and use their positive behavior.
6. Set and achieve goals. Set short term goals (daily, weekly, monthly) that you can achieve. Achieving specific goals will improve your self-concept, helping you to view yourself as successful.
7. Focus on your success; don’t dwell on failure. If you achieve five of six goals, dwell on the five and forget the one you missed. We are all going to make mistakes and experience failure. Winston Churchill defined success as the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. The difference between effective leaders and less-effective leaders is that the successful ones learn from their mistakes. They bounce back from disappointment and don’t let it affect them negatively in the future. Lou Holtz says happiness is nothing more than a poor memory for the bad things that happen to you.
8. Accept compliments. When someone compliments you, say thank you; it builds self-concept. Don’t say things like it was nothing, or anyone could have done it, because you lose the opportunity for a buildup.
9. Don’t belittle accomplishments or compare yourself to others. If you meet a goal and say it was easy anyway, you are being negative. If you compare yourself to someone else and say they are better, you are being negative. No matter how good you
are, there is almost always someone better. So focus on being the best that you can be, rather than putting yourself down for not being the best.
10. Think for yourself. Develop your own attitudes based on others’ input; don’t simply
copy others’ attitudes.