A bad attitude is easy to spot, but what does it mean to have a “good attitude”?
Here’s a list of Ten Aspirational Attitudinal Enhancers that can come in handy on those challenging days – you know the ones – when you need:
a) a good pep talk,
b) a stiff drink,
c) a swift kick in the butt, or
d) all of the above in no particular order.
1) Accept It
Sometimes the first step in the face of adversity is to accept that the situation is out of your control. There’s only so much you can do to change things for the better, and you may not be able to fix the problem. At least not immediately, and not all on your own.
Letting go of the responsibility you feel to change what you cannot change will free you to focus on dealing with the issue in a more productive way. At the very least, you’ll feel a little less frazzled.
2) Work Through It
We all wish we had unlimited capacity to handle what life throws at us, but we don’t. There will be times when you’re overwhelmed, depressed, angry, hurt, frustrated or just plain pissed off. And that’s perfectly alright!
Rather than trying to avoid these feelings or push them aside, it’s better to admit to yourself that you’re struggling and work through it. Give yourself license to feel upset, and acknowledge how the situation is really affecting you. Take a breather if you have to, just try not to vent your frustration at anyone or you might regret it later.
3) Rise Above It
Focus on the positives. Don’t get caught up in triviality or pettiness. For example, sometimes one comment can make or break your mood, your confidence, your day, or even your whole week. Take people’s kind words to heart, and don’t dwell on the rest. Someone else’s bad day doesn’t have to ruin yours.
By choosing to forgive and be kind to people who don’t always return the favour, you invite them to join you on the high road rather than letting them to pull you down to their level.
4) Be Accountable
First and foremost, be accountable to yourself. You may not be able to control how other people behave, but you can control how you react.
Admit your mistakes but don’t dwell on them. Focus on what you can do to improve things, and do whatever you can to make things better. You may not be able to control all of the outcomes, but you can at least say you tried your very best.
5) Take It In Stride
When you’re having a bad day, sometimes even small things seem enormous and overwhelming. Don’t Panic! Believe it or not, you can handle it. Whatever “it” is, don’t let “it” get to you – you are stronger than you think.
6) Have Confidence
In fact, you’re not just strong, you’re awesome. You can not only handle the situation, you can ROCK IT!
Give yourself credit for your successes, and how well you can handle yourself under pressure. You may not be perfect, but you’re getting through it one step at a time.
7) Respect Yourself
No matter what you’re up against, go easy on yourself. If you wouldn’t put cruel demands on someone else, why would you put them on you? Sometimes this means defending your boundaries and saying ‘no,’ which can be really hard. But if you treat yourself the way you would treat a cherished friend, you’ll have more to offer in your relationships with others.
8) Nurture Yourself
When life taps your well dry, you need to replenish it. Find something that restores you – reading, biking, sitting in the sun, playing fetch with the dog, painting with watercolours, or whatever makes you happy – and treat yourself whenever you can.
If you don’t think you have the time, book it as an appointment. Schedule an important meeting with yourself, or better yet, take yourself on a date. Book it a week in advance if you have to!
9) Laugh It Off
Is this something you’ll laugh about later?
Try laughing about it now. Take a step back and see the ridiculousness of it all. Sitcom writers live for this kind of hilarity. Even if it doesn’t change your perspective much, your insane cackles will scare off anyone who might cause you more trouble.
10) Live and Learn
Believe it or not, even the worst of times can’t last forever. When you do make it through the storm and find yourself on the other side, enjoy breathing that big sigh of relief. Pat yourself on the back – you made it!
Now take some time to reflect. What did you learn from this experience? Would you do anything different next time? What worked for you and what didn’t? Who could you count on for support and who left you hanging?
What does having a “good attitude” mean to you?
Do you have any advice to share on how to keep a positive attitude through challenging situations?
(Cocktail recipes totally count as advice.)