Research has shown that after all else, productivity can be dramatically affected by attitude, and success is certainly a function of productivity.
Attitudes are habits of thought. Most of your basic attitudes were developed very early in life. The earliest understandable conditioning – physical touch, plays a critical role in your attitudes about people, love, physical safety and how you feel about yourself and others. As you grow, the conditioning process becomes verbal and you begin hearing all the “truisms” that have a powerful impact on your present attitudes.
All too often, the majority of conditioning many people hear is negative. Adages like, “Children should be seen and not heard,” and “Don’t go where you’re not wanted,” are frequently meant to help us develop social graces. Others like “Don’t talk to strangers” are intended for safety and security. Still others like “Don’t bite off more than you can chew” are intended to keep us from failing or getting hurt.
Unfortunately, the results of repeated exposures to these adages are frequently negative attitudes about the worth of what we have to say and a propensity not to talk to people.
The conditioning continues as we begin our educational process where we hear for years,
“Don’t talk in class.” It’s no wonder that when we are asked to give an oral report in front of the entire class, it is a very frightening and frequently negative experience! It may also help explain why public speaking ranks among the top fears of adults. Our daily lives are impacted immensely by the attitudes we developed when we were young.
Your attitudes are a result of the events you have experienced thus far. These attitudes determine your concepts of everything. Among these experiences are those things you were taught as a child. All the rules, admonitions, values, and “acceptable” behaviors that
you were taught have contributed to the development of your attitudes. Many of these admonitions, meant for your benefit, hinder your progress in success.
Compounding the problem is the fact that most of the conditioning we are exposed to on a daily basis is negative. Just think about the front page of your local newspaper or your local news broadcast. Odds are that most of what you see and hear is negative. This is true for most of today’s society. As a result, most people think more often of what’s wrong, how they might fail, and why it won’t work, rather than what’s good, what’s right, and how it can work.
Building Attitudes For Positive Results
Your ability to build successful attitudes and winning habits is of primary importance in the achievement of your personal goals. By eliminating harmful unproductive attitudes and replacing them with constructive, positive ones, you will begin to assume the behavior required to meet your personal and professional goals.
Changing attitudes is not a simple process. It involves the formation of new habits which can take days, weeks, months, and even years before they become an integral part of your behavior. The task is not easy, but can be done.
The process of attitude development can be broken into three parts:
1. Understand that attitudes are habits of thought. They are habits of thought that give you some degree of internal satisfaction.
2. Analyze the habit as honestly as possible to learn what kind of satisfaction it gives you.
3. Replace the old habit with a new, more effective habit, which offers you greater satisfaction. Remember that the mind does not work in a vacuum – you can’t simply erase a habit and leave an empty space.
In order to change your attitudes, you must be willing to do some introspection and take an “inside-out” look at yourself. As you become more specific about your goals and acquire a more knowledgeable view of yourself, your chances of success will greatly increase. You may discover that certain attitudes were a result of early conditioning and are no longer valid in light of your present knowledge and experience.
The process for developing successful attitudes is the same process that developed your existing attitudes: spaced repetition. Your existing attitudes are a result of hearing things over and over until it became your thinking. You can develop successful attitudes the same way.
Spend time each and every day “inputing” positive information and ideas. Create personal improvement time that you dedicate to improving your mind and body. Read exciting stories and positive articles. Listen to motivational speakers, lecturers, and trainers who can give you a lift. Look for every positive morsel you can find to feed your positive self-image.
You are what you think about!
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