There has been plenty written about the importance of attitude in determining the outcomes you enjoy and the direction your life will take.
We are no different in Sandler. Attitude sits firmly at the peak of the three elements of our ‘Success Triangle’ – in fact, your attitude will determine whether you will read this any further. Whether you will settle for ‘average’ or strive for excellence.
Think of something you want to change – could be your house, your job, how much you earn – your aspirations in respect of these and what you are prepared to do about it. All come back to this thing called ‘attitude’.
Given it’s so important, isn’t it worth spending a few minutes considering what is meant by ‘attitude’ and how you can develop your attitude in a beneficial way?
To develop yourself means to be at least open to the possibility of change. This involves a degree of humility – being open to the idea that you can learn from others. If your belief is genuinely one of having no need to change, you won’t. Of course at its worst this can come across as arrogance, the balance is to blend confidence in yourself with the humility that acknowledges you may not currently have all the answers.
Changing your attitude is usually not a one off event but happens gradually as a result of continuously ‘challenging’ the beliefs you currently hold. It requires commitment and a reason to get out of your comfort zone.
In a business sense it is useful to think of your attitude in terms of three key areas; you, your company and your market. You must feel good about and believe in these three.
This is about your self-image. This has the most influence on your attitude, it determines how you respond to situations. People with a low self-image tend to blame external factors for set-backs. A strong self-image means that people take responsibility for situations and look to themselves for solutions. They also recognise that life has bumps on the road. Its not the bumps that determine your life but how you choose to handle them.
Think of development in this area being like investing in ‘You Ltd’. Below are some key areas where you can focus on improvement. It’s worth remembering if you are not growing, then in relative terms you are going backwards.
What are the principles you operate by? Are they serving you well? For some their principles stem from a religious base, for others it is their own intrinsic life philosophy. Whichever it is, it’s important you are clear on these and strive to live by them.
What you are currently doing to develop yourself mentally; your life is a manifestation of your thoughts and you will not be served well by thoughts are negative, anxious or fearful. Consider meditation, affirmations or other techniques to help you keep control of these and not allow them to become barriers to your development.
Are you taking care of yourself physically ? More and more research is showing how exercise & diet directly affects mental well-being. Are you paying attention to your diet and exercising?
Outside of your concept of ‘you’, your attitude will be influenced by your feelings for your company – are you proud to be part of what they do? Do you feel you are treated fairly, and have good relationships with your colleagues, or do you feel uncomfortable when you think about going to work ?
What beliefs do you hold about your market? On the one hand you could hold the belief that the market is limitless, on the other you could impose limitations through your beliefs. These limitations are not real, just something you have formed and decided to accept. What are your beliefs about the economy, your competition, the region you operate in? In many cases and for most companies it is their belief about these things that affect their performance. For example, a colleague has a client who runs a printing business that has doubled in size in one year and plans to do the same in the coming year. Their belief is that with so many print companies struggling, this is the time to invest in plant, process and skills. The economy for them is no different to the economy their failing competition are in, yet they are growing revenue and profitability.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.” – Charles Swindoll
You hold the power over how you choose to develop your attitude. Be aware of the emotional, victim based reactions which feed negative attitudes. By adopting a more adult response you will see different outcomes which will support your attitude change program.