A commitment to having a good attitude in tough times makes all the difference. Despite this, we often choose an attitude that is unhelpful.
We all have bad days, and we all experience occasions when the burden of circumstance weighs down on our shoulders. Unfortunately, this is just the way it is in life.
During these times we can find ourselves asking questions like, “Why me?” — only to again discover their unhelpful nature.
A right attitude is important
It was Albert Einstein who famously defined insanity as,
“Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Any expectation that the same behaviour will bring about a different result in a similar situation is tantamount to madness, and if we’re not careful, habitual.
The same could be said for continually choosing a wrong attitude in difficult times. For many — myself included — there’s a danger of approaching life’s challenges with an unproductive attitude.
Some examples may include:
- Blame – failing to take responsibility for our part in the situation we find ourselves in, and pointing the finger at others.
- Denial – not accepting our present reality, its potential consequences, or taking steps to prepare for the worst.
- Escapism – allowing distractions to take priority, rather than giving time and energy to address the issue at hand.
- Isolation – withdrawing and not seeking support, advice and encouragement from those around us.
- Giving up – allowing ourselves to lose hope in the possibility of things working out for good, and instead becoming pessimistic.
Your attitude is your choice
Believe it or not, our willingness to accept responsibility for our actions will have more impact on our ability to handle life’s challenges than we think.
The truth is, though we may not be able to choose life’s obstacles, we can always choose our attitude and our responses to them. The decision to have either a good attitude towards our situation, or to play the victim, is entirely ours.
Of course, there will be occasions when — despite our best efforts and plans — circumstances will be beyond our control. Ordinarily, its not fate, karma, luck, or even destiny that determine the outcome of the circumstances we find ourselves in, but us.
And it’s only when we accept responsibility for our choice of attitude; that we’ll begin to see and experience life’s challenges differently.
When faced with challenge or upset, burying our head in the sand or blaming others will make no difference. And sadly, even taking good, thought through, and strategic action, can also prove fruitless in the situations that are beyond our control.
The reality is, once the cogs start to turn, there are some things that are simply outside of our power or capability to change.
We either crack on, or crack up!
Choosing your attitude is empowering
Though our choices can be limited, we continue to have significant power. We have power to choose our response, to decide whether to succumb to cynicism, fear or doubt, and most importantly, to determine our attitude.
Knowing we have a choice about the way we think is a powerful realisation.
With the right mindset life’s challenges present opportunities for personal growth and development. And finding them can be as simple as asking more helpful and empowering questions. For example,
- “What am I learning through this?”
- “How could others benefit from my learning?”
- “Where are new opportunities opening up?”
- “What am I now open to considering?”
Having considered this, when faced with life’s inevitable obstacles, not only should we give thought to solutions, but also to our attitude. For in choosing a right attitude, we regain personal power.
How do we develop a good attitude?
By keeping our eyes on the big picture, remembering that our troubles are temporary, and by being mindful that our attitude and behaviour are indicative of our ever developing character.
Over to you…
When faced with difficulty, what’s your attitude of choice? How helpful have you found your normal choice of attitude? Does it need to change? Share your comments below.
Connect with me on Twitter.