How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

If you’re a parent, I know you’ve experienced a kid with attitude. And I can bet you’ve asked a kid to change a bad attitude. It’s that stubborn determination to have autonomy. When you consider that a teenager is testing the waters on adulthood, it makes sense. His attitude at that time is formed by the circumstances of his life. He’s still NOT an adult but wants to feel like one.

For teenagers it’s easy to understand attitude, and we know they’ll outgrow it. But for us as adults it comes to play in a different way. It’s how we perceive our personal circumstances and how we respond to that perception.

Attitude Impacts Life

In my 20-plus years of working with professionals, I’ve watched people lose positions, lose spouses, and destroy relationships with their children – all because of their own attitude.

On the flip side, I’ve seen people do amazing things… overcoming tremendous obstacles. Not because they were better, or smarter, or stronger, but because they had a better outlook.

Some life circumstances can’t change. But our response to the circumstances can.

A Contrast in Attitudes

Let’s look at two examples of people I know. These two people are both kind, amazing, loving people. Both are dealing with serious and life altering medical issues; and are considered disabled by the legal definition.

One, who has always had a negative outlook, and has always felt like a victim, is facing bankruptcy, dealing with depression, and basically giving up. Her physical impairment became the final straw in her negative and victim mentality.

She cannot change her disability. She has accepted this reality with the perception and attitude of a victim. And it affects her quality of life even more than the disability itself.

The other, with just as serious physical disability, has continued to work (albeit in a modified way) through several surgeries and months of recuperating. He’s faced the fact he may never walk again, and he’s recognized his physical limitations mean a very different life for him than he had envisioned. But his attitude has remained positive. He refuses to see himself as a victim.

Both are my friends. One, I genuinely worry about. I wonder if she’ll pull out of her depression; the other, I am inspired by. The biggest difference between them is their attitude.

Negative Thought Habits

To understand how to change a bad attitude, you need to understand what creates an attitude. At what point in our lives do we develop our attitude? And do we actually have the power to change it?

I don’t know much about the childhood of either of these two people. I only know that at some point in their lives they formed a habit. One formed the habit of a victim. She told me stories of being treated poorly by her former employer and how her spouse mistreated her. She said her children don’t understand her or care about her and she believes she has no friends.

For as long as I’ve known her, she’s had a victim mentality. She always felt as if the world had it in for her. By the time her physical problems entered the picture, she had already formed a strong victim habit.

Positive Thought Habits

The other friend used to coach hockey. He taught young boys about team work and about not giving up. He created (and taught) habits of success. His attitude was always one of overcoming.

In the months since his devastating medical diagnosis, he has maintained his habit of a positive attitude. It is that attitude that will carry him forward to face his new life without walking.

I have no doubt he will find happiness and more success. It is already there inside him, demonstrated by his attitude.

Changing Thought Habits

Fortunately, like any habit, good or bad, attitude habits can be changed. It won’t be easy, but it’s doable. It starts by recognizing we have the bad habit. Sometimes we can discover it as easily as reading our own Facebook feed. Do we post negative stories all the time? Do we talk about every headache or muscle pain? Or, do we share uplifting and motivating stories?

What we post can be a reflection on our habits. It’s a good place to start to identify our own habits of thought! We can also use journaling to see how our feelings go from day to day. If you notice weeks on end of negative journal entries, it might be a habit!

Once we identify it, we can make the decision to change it.

Like any change it takes time. You can’t just “decide to be more positive.” You have to work at it. Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Start a gratitude journal

Each day list items you are grateful for. This starts your day off on a positive mindset instead of negative.

2. Recognize your power over your thoughts

We can’t control the thoughts that run through our minds. But, we can control how much effort we will put into the thoughts. When a thought enters your mind that you know won’t serve you well, make the clear decision to let it go. I often encourage clients to imagine thoughts as items passing by them on a conveyor belt. If a negative thought comes by, let it go and wait for a better one.

3. Don’t engage in negative conversations

Negativity feeds negativity. If you want a positive attitude, hang out with positive people.

Hopefully you never have to face life changing disabilities like my friends did, but you will face adversity. Wrapping your arms around whether your attitude is good or bad will help you face it head on!

Want more strategies beyond how to change a bad attitude? To help improve your career further, look at your online presence too. Start with your LinkedIn profile. Click here to grab my free resource QuickStart Guide to a Winning LinkedIn Profile.

How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

Looking for a career transition or to create a bigger impact in your current career? Speaker and coach Cynthia Corsetti can guide you in Executive Leadership, Career Transition and Interview Skills. Connect with her on Instagram, LinkedIn. and Facebook

Cynthia,
Great article. Starting a “Gratitude Journal” is important, as is the rejection of negative thoughts and avoiding negative conversations.

I find that in this season of political discourse it us imperative that I maintain a positive attitude. If perchance my party does not prevail, I will survive and overcome any adversity.

Tips for Dealing with a Negative Attitude
Try these tips for maintaining your balance when dealing with negative people. Your goal is not to “fix” the negative thinker, but rather to minimize the detrimental effect. Rephrase negative statements – Acknowledge the speaker’s point if it is a valid one, while reframing it in a neutral or positive context. Put it to good use – Pessimists often see problems before they catch the attention of the rest of us. Again, ignoring the negative aspersions let him or her provide a synopsis of the problem – along with possible solutions. Keep responsibility where it belongs – Another person’s discontent is not necessarily your problem. Ask the complainer what ideas he has for correcting the situation. Point out the obvious – The negative thinker views events from the perspective of how they affect him. It may not have occurred to him that others have been affected as well. Explain what you observed and the repercussions that followed. Be compassionate – Accept his feelings as legitimate, even if you disagree with his perspective. Take care of yourself – Everyone has limits. Set boundaries regarding what you will tolerate, and physically remove yourself when necessary. The negative attitude of one individual can have far-reaching effects of the people and situations around him. Negativity is a learned response that is within our power to change. In every moment, there is a choice to be made, and awareness is the first step. If you or someone in your life is prone to negative thinking, these steps can be a starting point to creating a more positive existence.

How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

Everyone can have a bad day now and then, but there’s a difference between being grumpy from a slump and having a bad attitude. A bad day entails things completely out of your control. Maybe you realized you were out of coffee when you woke up extra groggy, and then missed your bus. Maybe you found a hole in your favorite sweater and then got chewed out by your boss at work. Maybe you got stood up for a date or got into a spat with a friend and couldn’t but help scowling all the way back to your apartment. bad days happen, and it’s completely okay to run away with out feelings now and again and have a good pout.

But a bad attitude? That one’s completely in your control. Maybe you find everything to be stressful and terrible at work, or maybe you find a certain relationship grating on your nerves? These are things you can change by just changing your own outlook on. Your bad attitude only escalates the terrible-ness of certain situations and experiences, and that bad feeling can be easily fixed into a good one. Below are seven ways to fix a bad attitude — because the way a situation comes out is completely in your control.

1. Figure Out What Exactly Needs To Be Changed

Before you can change anything, you first need to figure out what’s the problem. Did you snap at your friend because you’re unhappy at work? Are you feeling in a dark mood because you feel lonely? Are you frazzled at work because you feel unfulfilled? Find the real culprit of your bad attitude.

According to self-development blogger Niro Thambipillay, “There have been many times when I know I’m not quite feeling right but I can’t put a finger on exactly what’s bothering me and until I can figure it out, my attitude remains bad. However, once I figure out exactly what is bothering me, I can then do something about it and my attitude immediately changes.” So sit down and iron it out.

2. Find Role Models

It’s easier when you’re not self-improving alone, so for inspiration and encouragement find role models you want to emulate. And these don’t have to be in real life — follow go-getter entrepreneurs on Twitter, follow happiness-seekers on Instagram, or read the encouraging posts of a self-development blogger. Surround yourself with positive role models and their vibes will start rubbing off on (and teaching!) you.

Self-improvement writer Kara Heisman at Life Hack suggested, “Find someone who has the kind of attitude that you want to have, and let his or her life give you inspiration and encouragement to move beyond your temporary failures in your journey towards becoming a better person.” You don’t have to do it alone.

3. Change The Way You Look At The Situation

If you have a nagging issue that won’t go away, instead of caving into your bad attitude, try to find a different way to think of the situation. After all, reality is what we construct, so the way we respond to an experience is the way we end up feeling.

Thambipillay pointed out, “For example, if you feel like you have too much to do at work, rather than complaining and wishing it will go away, take on your extra work as a challenge. Imagine how good it would feel to get through all this work and have your head above water again. Then, with your new positive attitude attack your workload with a new enthusiastic gusto.” Find different ways to approach negative experiences and you can come out with a more positive attitude.

4. Think Of How Your Life Will Change If Your Attitude Changes

If you’re having a hard time finding a reason to shake off your bad attitude, think ahead how a change in attitude will change and better your life. There’s your motivation right there.

Heisman asked, “Will changing your attitude mean a happier family or social life? Will a change in your attitude mean a more successful career or business? Fix your mind on the things that would come as a result of your attitude change and you will have a greater chance of reaching your goal.” When you realize how much better your situation could be if only you tweak your outlook on things, you’ll see the value of working through your bad attitude.

5. Take Stock Of What’s Amazing In Your Life

When we’re stuck in a bad attitude, it can be hard to see the way out. If work sucks, then everything else does. Your boss makes you feel like you don’t bring value, your cash flow makes you think you don’t have enough to enjoy a Saturday night, and your mindless tasks make you feel like you’re wasting your life. Yes, these are all terrible things. But they’re not the only things in your life, are they?

Thambipillay suggested, “Every day, look for things to be grateful for. I don’t care how tough things get, there is always something to be grateful for.” When you’re feeling particularly dark, be corny and make a list of everything you truly feel #blessed over. It’ll put things into perspective and make you realize this isn’t all there is to your life.

6. Start Using More Positive Speech

If you want to change your bad attitude, change your negative speech. Instead of thinking that you can’t finish something in time, change it to “I can finish this portion of the project on time.” Or if you’re feeling particularly lonely and unwanted, change “No one wants to hang out with me,” to “I have so much time to work on passion projects.” And it’s true — these are just different ways of looking at the situation and will have your brain going in a more positive direction.

Health coach David Zulberg at self-development site Mind Body Green says, “Use statements like, ‘I am hopeful,’ or, ‘We will find a resolution,’ throughout the day. The words you use when you talk have a major impact on your attitude and emotional outlook.” Words construct our reality, so choose to make them positive.

7. Steer Clear Of The Victim Mentality

Don’t turn yourself into a victim: If you constantly think that things are happening to you, you’re taking responsibility out of your hands and folding. This only stunts your ability to change something negative into positive. Remember, nothing is ever out of your hands; you are responsible for your own thoughts and how you handle a situation.

According to self-improvement writer Chris Talambas at Life Hack, “We have unlimited potential within to create our own reality, change our life, and change our thoughts. When we begin to really internalize this, we discover that no one can make us feel or do anything. We choose our emotional and behavioral response to people and circumstances.”

If you want to improve your bad attitude, realize that nothing is happening to you. You have the power to change it around.

Written by Angel Chernoff // 29 Comments

How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

Happiness is in the mind, not in outside events and circumstances. Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negative thinking.

There is an opportunity in every difficult situation to understand yourself more deeply, and also to improve your life.

I encourage you to reflect on recent situations where you’ve felt let down – where life’s outcomes were nowhere near as good as you expected. Rather than focusing on the uncontrollable things that were “done to you,” consider instead your part in what went down. For example, perhaps your gut told you not to do something, but you did so anyway. Or maybe you were deceived a second time by the same person, and wish you had let go of the relationship sooner. Or perhaps you just weren’t paying attention and ended up missing out on a great opportunity.

It’s so easy to be negative when things go wrong, or blame others for negative outcomes in your life. But do negativity and blame change anything for the better?

Truth be told, the best time to be positive and take responsibility for your happiness is when you don’t feel like it. Because that’s when doing so can make the biggest difference.

No matter what the specifics of your troubled times are, taking a moment to look inward at what you could have done differently and how you could potentially avoid similar situations in the future can be a healthy exercise. This is not to blame yourself or shame yourself, but simply to give you the opportunity to learn, on a higher level, from your experiences.

It’s about learning to choose the most effective response in a difficult, uncontrollable life situation.

It’s about learning to think better so you can ultimately live better, no matter what.

The key is to realize that no matter what happens, you can choose your attitude and inner dialog, which dictates pretty much everything that happens next. Truly, the greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another – to train our minds to see the good in what we’ve got, even when it’s far less than we expected.

But how exactly can you change your negative attitude and adjust your inner dialog in the heat of the moment?

In the video clip below, recorded live at our annual “Think Better, Live Better” conference, Marc and I share a powerful strategy to do just that. And I’ll give you a hint: it has something to do with the questions we ask ourselves when the going gets tough – you know, those ubiquitous questions like “Why me?” or “Why am I always so unlucky?”

The Mindset & Questions that Erase Negativity

Note: If you’d like attend next year’s “Think Better, Live Better 2019” conference on February 9-10 in San Diego, you can check it out here.

Your turn…

Please let us know…

What has helped you stay positive when life gets overwhelmingly difficult or frustrating?

Anything else to share?

We would love to hear from YOU in the comments sections below.

And we would also love to see you at the next annual “Think Better, Live Better” conference in February. 🙂

How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

Negative or toxic behavior at work can rear its ugly head in many different ways. Whether it’s constant complaining about a boss or coworker, dissatisfaction with the work/role/organization, critical/aggressive remarks or hoarding information, the effects of negative behavior from colleagues can be taxing on your mental state.

Toxic colleagues can erode team culture, tarnish your personal brand and harm the dynamics between a team. So what can you do when faced with a negative colleague whose behaviors are bringing you down? Let’s review some suggested courses of action.

Practice Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is an important part of building relationships, creating trust and cultivating a workplace that feels more human. If you’re noticing a constant stream of negative energy from one particular colleague, flexing your emotional intelligence in the following ways could be helpful in turning a sinking relationship into a more productive one:

Find out why: The saying “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about” is a great mantra when interacting with someone’s negativity. If there’s something going on in their personal life that is causing them to lash out at work, simply recognizing their struggles could be enough to help them show up more positively. Of course, you don’t want to pry into their personal affairs, but should the opportunity to talk about it arise, having a better understanding of their personal realities outside of work might help you humanize their behavior and build a stronger sense of empathy for them.

Offer compassion: Rather than trying to combat fire with fire, offer this colleague some compassion and express your desire to help. Perhaps they are feeling insecure about certain workplace relationships/events, or perhaps they could be drowning in work. By offering them help and support, you will create a safer place for them to put their guard down.

Create Personal Boundaries

It’s important to remember that negativity breeds more negativity, so if you’re surrounding yourself with negative energy, it will likely affect you more deeply than a simple annoyance. To create personal boundaries at work, consider the following:

Align yourself with positive people:The phrase “Your vibe attracts your tribe” can be true in both your personal life, as well as your work life. It’s important to align yourself with the people around you who see opportunity, excitement and reasons to be grateful at work, rather than get sucked into the energy of those who wish to see their glass as half empty.

Change your mindset: If someone on your team says something negative, or constantly creates a hostile environment, remind yourself that you’re there to work, and once you clock out, their behaviors and attitudes no longer affect you. Keep work to just work, and avoid creating a social life that revolves around this person. Stay calm, and remember that their negativity is likely a symptom of their greater unhappiness, which has nothing to do with you, nor is it your problem.

Diffuse the Situation

There are times when you won’t be able to (or won’t want to!) avoid this negative colleague. In order to co-exist harmoniously, diffusing the negativity that emanates from them is a strategy you can practice. To do this, consider the following:

Redirect the conversation: If you notice the conversation with your colleague is heading into a dark place, redirect it by switching topics and avoiding subjects that you know will set off negative alarms. For example, if this colleague has a problem with your current boss and spends most of your watercooler conversation complaining about it, try your best bring up topics you both enjoy and don’t engage in the boss-bashing.

Address the situation directly: If you’re unable to move the conversation into a positive place, consider having a direct conversation with your colleague about the problem. While this might seem intimidating, it could be a good opportunity for you to help them with their professional brand and reputation within the office. There is a good chance that they might be unaware of how their negative attitude is impacting their relationships.

You could say something like “I wanted to have a discussion about the energy that we both bring to the team. I understand the ups and downs that come with work, but I was hoping we could discuss how to make things more positive as we continue working together.”

Speak to the manager:Depending on the scope of the problem, you may need to reach out to your manager, given that someone’s attitude at work should be included in their performance management.

Managing your attitude in the face of adversity is a huge part of your personal brand. Negativity is contagious, so do your best to rise above, even though commiserating can feel good. Remind yourself, and your team, that you’ve all chosen to work wherever it is you are. How you choose to show up each day is up to you!

How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

Ever notice how a bad mood only makes our problems worse? Don’t miss these 4 ways to overcome a negative attitude even in difficult of circumstances.

The alarm sounded, but the mental fog remained. I blinked a few times and then it hit me. “Oh, no! We’re late!” Life had been thriving at breakneck speed and I was exhausted. Who knew how many times I had hit the snooze? The children and I had overslept after my husband left early for work. By 45 minutes! I quickly threw on the clothes I wore the previous day, splashed water on my face, and shoved a piece of peppermint gum in my mouth. Who had time to brush teeth? With 6 children to care for, 3 of whom were missing the bus, oversleeping was more than a terrible start to the day. We rushed, slammed, and took every shortcut possible. I somehow managed to pull the van in front of the school just 15 minutes past the first bell. 3 slightly disheveled children popped out and “I love yous” were cut off by slamming doors.

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4 Simple Ways to Overcome a Negative Attitude

How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

Maybe you’ve never overslept or your kids have never been late to school. But regardless of the circumstances, I know you’ve dealt with what happened next. On the short drive home, I felt it creeping up from my toes and making its way through every nerve. The thoughts began with “I am the worst mother ever. How could I do this?” and continued on with “What grown woman oversleeps? Now we’re going to be running late the rest of the day….” The thinking pattern escalated and what began with emotions over an accidental oversleeping episode ended with the tornado of a negative mindset.

Have you been there? When overwhelming circumstances consumed you and one negative thought led to another that led to another that led to another? How can you stop the negativity and prevent ruin? Today I want to share with you 4 Simple Ways to Overcome a Negative Attitude. No matter the circumstances, these tips will help improve your ability to stop negative internal chatter before it overpowers you in the moment.

1. Refuse to repeat the negative thought.

Catching ourselves at the first sign of negativity presents the opportunity to discard the beginning thought before it breeds another. Training myself to pause at the first sign of skepticism has improved my general thought cycles. I can be stubborn about other things; why not be stubborn about protecting my mind? Standing the ground of “I’m not going there…” requires a deliberate turn from negativity. Identifying a negative thought as soon as we have one can help us refuse to repeat the cycle.

How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

2. Choose to believe truth over the negative feeling.

Separating how we feel from the truth of a matter can be difficult. But does hitting the snooze one morning and oversleeping make me the worst mother in the world? No. Although I felt like the worst mother in the world the day my family overslept, the truth is “I’m a real mom who’s doing her best for God and her family each day.” At the first hint of a negative thought, identify the thought as fact or feeling. For me, identifying truth is reminding myself of what God’s Word says.

3. Remember to speak as kindly to myself as I would to others

It’s easy to quote the “golden rule” to our children, right? “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” But sometimes we treat ourselves worse than we want others to treat us. The conversations we carry within our own minds are perhaps more detrimental than some we’ve had with other human beings. My mom gave me three guidelines for conversation when I was a child and I’ve never forgotten them. These guidelines can also be applied to self-talk.

  • Is it true?
  • Is it kind?
  • Is it necessary?

Are the words I’m thinking about myself true? Would someone who knows me well agree with my thoughts? Would a stranger believe these words to be kind if I said them aloud? Am I belittling myself?

4. Search for an aspect of the circumstance for which I can be thankful.

Finding the good in difficult circumstances is a cultivated effort, right? We all know we need to think positive thoughts, but how do we do that when life presents depression, divorce, or disease?

One of my daughters fights a rare terminal illness, MPS. If I focus on the “average lifespan of 10-15 years,” I experience nothing but negative emotional thoughts. But when I count the blessings instead of the burdens, joy defeats despair. At the very moment a negative thought enters my mind, I purposely look for an opposite truth. These hard core statements require determined effort. For example, if we wind up spending half the day in the doctor’s office for something seemingly small, I’m tempted to think: “What a waste of time!” But I have fought hard to think instead: “We are blessed to be able to have healthcare. I’m so thankful for a doctor who cares and an office who spends time making sure every patient is cared for.” It hasn’t been easy to train myself to change perspective. When I flounder to find a positive, sometimes I use this catch phrase: “This could be worse and because it’s not, I’m thankful.”

If you’re like me, purposely choosing to think positive thoughts is not an easy task. But it is a very worthy one and promotes strength of mind. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if a lightning bolt would come down and zap that negative thought for us? But life doesn’t happen that way. Will it take some work to prevent negative internal chatter? Yes, but the work is well worth the effort.

How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

Working toward a milestone will always accomplish more than wishing for a miracle.

Ready to take one more step?

To recap, here are 4 Simple Ways to Overcome a Negative Attitude

1. Refuse to repeat the negative thought.
2. Choose to believe truth over the negative feeling.
3. Remember to speak as kindly to myself as I would to others
4. Search for an aspect of the circumstance for which I can be thankful.

How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

Everyone can have a bad day now and then, but there’s a difference between being grumpy from a slump and having a bad attitude. A bad day entails things completely out of your control. Maybe you realized you were out of coffee when you woke up extra groggy, and then missed your bus. Maybe you found a hole in your favorite sweater and then got chewed out by your boss at work. Maybe you got stood up for a date or got into a spat with a friend and couldn’t but help scowling all the way back to your apartment. bad days happen, and it’s completely okay to run away with out feelings now and again and have a good pout.

But a bad attitude? That one’s completely in your control. Maybe you find everything to be stressful and terrible at work, or maybe you find a certain relationship grating on your nerves? These are things you can change by just changing your own outlook on. Your bad attitude only escalates the terrible-ness of certain situations and experiences, and that bad feeling can be easily fixed into a good one. Below are seven ways to fix a bad attitude — because the way a situation comes out is completely in your control.

1. Figure Out What Exactly Needs To Be Changed

Before you can change anything, you first need to figure out what’s the problem. Did you snap at your friend because you’re unhappy at work? Are you feeling in a dark mood because you feel lonely? Are you frazzled at work because you feel unfulfilled? Find the real culprit of your bad attitude.

According to self-development blogger Niro Thambipillay, “There have been many times when I know I’m not quite feeling right but I can’t put a finger on exactly what’s bothering me and until I can figure it out, my attitude remains bad. However, once I figure out exactly what is bothering me, I can then do something about it and my attitude immediately changes.” So sit down and iron it out.

2. Find Role Models

It’s easier when you’re not self-improving alone, so for inspiration and encouragement find role models you want to emulate. And these don’t have to be in real life — follow go-getter entrepreneurs on Twitter, follow happiness-seekers on Instagram, or read the encouraging posts of a self-development blogger. Surround yourself with positive role models and their vibes will start rubbing off on (and teaching!) you.

Self-improvement writer Kara Heisman at Life Hack suggested, “Find someone who has the kind of attitude that you want to have, and let his or her life give you inspiration and encouragement to move beyond your temporary failures in your journey towards becoming a better person.” You don’t have to do it alone.

3. Change The Way You Look At The Situation

If you have a nagging issue that won’t go away, instead of caving into your bad attitude, try to find a different way to think of the situation. After all, reality is what we construct, so the way we respond to an experience is the way we end up feeling.

Thambipillay pointed out, “For example, if you feel like you have too much to do at work, rather than complaining and wishing it will go away, take on your extra work as a challenge. Imagine how good it would feel to get through all this work and have your head above water again. Then, with your new positive attitude attack your workload with a new enthusiastic gusto.” Find different ways to approach negative experiences and you can come out with a more positive attitude.

4. Think Of How Your Life Will Change If Your Attitude Changes

If you’re having a hard time finding a reason to shake off your bad attitude, think ahead how a change in attitude will change and better your life. There’s your motivation right there.

Heisman asked, “Will changing your attitude mean a happier family or social life? Will a change in your attitude mean a more successful career or business? Fix your mind on the things that would come as a result of your attitude change and you will have a greater chance of reaching your goal.” When you realize how much better your situation could be if only you tweak your outlook on things, you’ll see the value of working through your bad attitude.

5. Take Stock Of What’s Amazing In Your Life

When we’re stuck in a bad attitude, it can be hard to see the way out. If work sucks, then everything else does. Your boss makes you feel like you don’t bring value, your cash flow makes you think you don’t have enough to enjoy a Saturday night, and your mindless tasks make you feel like you’re wasting your life. Yes, these are all terrible things. But they’re not the only things in your life, are they?

Thambipillay suggested, “Every day, look for things to be grateful for. I don’t care how tough things get, there is always something to be grateful for.” When you’re feeling particularly dark, be corny and make a list of everything you truly feel #blessed over. It’ll put things into perspective and make you realize this isn’t all there is to your life.

6. Start Using More Positive Speech

If you want to change your bad attitude, change your negative speech. Instead of thinking that you can’t finish something in time, change it to “I can finish this portion of the project on time.” Or if you’re feeling particularly lonely and unwanted, change “No one wants to hang out with me,” to “I have so much time to work on passion projects.” And it’s true — these are just different ways of looking at the situation and will have your brain going in a more positive direction.

Health coach David Zulberg at self-development site Mind Body Green says, “Use statements like, ‘I am hopeful,’ or, ‘We will find a resolution,’ throughout the day. The words you use when you talk have a major impact on your attitude and emotional outlook.” Words construct our reality, so choose to make them positive.

7. Steer Clear Of The Victim Mentality

Don’t turn yourself into a victim: If you constantly think that things are happening to you, you’re taking responsibility out of your hands and folding. This only stunts your ability to change something negative into positive. Remember, nothing is ever out of your hands; you are responsible for your own thoughts and how you handle a situation.

According to self-improvement writer Chris Talambas at Life Hack, “We have unlimited potential within to create our own reality, change our life, and change our thoughts. When we begin to really internalize this, we discover that no one can make us feel or do anything. We choose our emotional and behavioral response to people and circumstances.”

If you want to improve your bad attitude, realize that nothing is happening to you. You have the power to change it around.

This strategy will help you recognize and replace negative thoughts.

How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

A pessimistic, dismal outlook can take a toll on your life in more ways than you might think. Research consistently links negative thinking to an increased risk of mental health problems, physical health issues, relationship problems, and financial trouble.

But the good news is that everyone can learn how to combat negative thinking. As a cognitive behavioral therapist, I’ve seen firsthand what happens when people learn how to change their thought patterns. Not only do they feel better, but their behavior changes too.

Several years ago, in my work as a psychotherapist, I learned about a simple but effective way to teach kids how to reframe their cognitive distortions. Developed by PracticeWise, the exercise teaches children to turn their “BLUE” thoughts into true thoughts.

I included this exercise in my book 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do as a way for parents to proactively help kids build mental strength. But I’ve received countless emails from parents saying that they not only are teaching the exercise to their kids, but they’re also using it on themselves.

It’s a simple yet effective method to change the way you think. And shifting your mindset is the first step in building mental strength.

How to Recognize “BLUE” Thoughts

“BLUE” is an acronym that stands for blaming myself; looking for the bad news; unhappy guessing; and exaggeratedly negative. It represents the thoughts that are just too negative to actually be true.

Here’s how to recognize BLUE thoughts:

  • Blaming myself. While it’s important to take responsibility for your part, excessive self-blame isn’t productive. In fact, it’s been linked to mental health problems, like depression. Be on the lookout for times when you tell yourself that you’ve “ruined everything,” or that something is “all your fault.”
  • Looking for bad news. If nine good things and one bad thing happen in a day, it’s easy to focus on the one bad part. But dwelling on the negative will keep you stuck in a dark place. It’s important to step back and create a more balanced, realistic outlook.
  • Unhappy guessing. Even though you have no idea what will happen tomorrow, you might predict doom and gloom. Whether you imagine that you’re going to embarrass yourself in a meeting or tell yourself that you’ll never get a promotion, unhappy guessing can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy if you’re not careful.
  • Exaggeratedly negative. Telling yourself that the entire interview was a complete disaster or convincing yourself that everything about your job is terrible leads to a downward spiral. The more negatively you think, the worse you’ll feel. And the worse you feel, the less likely you are to take positive action.

Replace BLUE Thoughts With True Thoughts

Once you identify a BLUE thought, the goal is to replace it with a true thought. One of the best ways to do that is to ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend who had this problem?”

So when you catch yourself thinking, “I’ll never save enough money for retirement,” you might respond by telling yourself, “I can create a clear plan for saving more money so I can afford to retire.”

Replacing your overly negative thoughts with more realistic statements can inspire you to take positive action, which is the key to creating the kind of life you want to live.

If you naturally err on the more pessimistic end of the spectrum, it will take some hard work to change your thoughts. But consider that hard work an investment. Studies show that changing your thoughts physically alters your brain over time.

That means realistic thinking becomes second nature over time. Your brain will start to view you and your abilities in a more realistic light.

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How to change a negative attitude that is destroying you

When you see a problem at work, do you complain to your coworkers or do you try to do something to fix it? If all you do is grumble and whine, nothing good will come of it. Workplace negativity is contagious. Complain to one coworker and he or she will, in turn, complain to another, and so on. Before long, one person’s negative attitude will spread to five more and then 10 more, and so on.

As the example above demonstrates, negativity has a way of spreading through a work environment as the fire spreads through a gasoline-doused haystack. Before long, all everyone will be doing is discussing the problems, and not only won’t they be solving them, they won’t be getting anything else done either. The result will be a loss of productivity.

Why You Should Lose the Negative Attitude

It’s no wonder bosses don’t like workers who whine incessantly. If you earn a reputation as a Negative Nelly, it may land you on your boss’s least favorite employee list. So what can you do, instead, when you see things that aren’t the way you think they should be? Is it better to keep your mouth shut so you don’t cause the spread of workplace negativity? Is it better to say something?

A problem can only be resolved if someone brings attention to it but if you don’t plan to be constructive, keep your thoughts to yourself. If you, however, would like to be, known as a problem solver instead of a complainer, speak up. If you do it the right way, you will make a positive change that could do a lot to improve your work environment. Rather than raising your boss’s ire, you may instead be the recipient of his or her appreciation. Here are 5 things you can do that will help you lose the negative attitude and bring about change.

1. Don’t Try to Fix What Isn’t Broken

We sometimes see problems where they don’t exist. For example, you may not like how something is being done in your workplace. You may think there’s a better way to do it but that doesn’t mean your assessment is correct. Before you say something, take a moment to think about it. Ask yourself if your way is really better or is it just a different way of doing something.

2. Take Your Complaint Through the Proper Channels

If you complain to your coworkers, all you will do is spread negativity. And if you’ve been paying attention to this article, you know by now that is something you want to studiously avoid doing. Figure out who in your organization is the right person with whom to discuss your concerns. You want to pick someone who will be receptive to your ideas, but you must also make sure you don’t go over anyone’s, for example, your boss’s, head.

3. Only Give Constructive Criticism

Anyone can complain. If you want to do more than that and really help affect change, you should have some ideas for how to solve the problems that are bothering you. Before you take your complaint to the right person, do your research so you can come up with possible solutions. Then use your critical thinking skills to evaluate each one and decide which will bring you the best results.

4. Pitch In

Get ready to get your hands dirty. If you point out a problem and present a list of possible solutions, get ready to help implement them. This will demonstrate to your boss that you have a stake in making improvements that will benefit the company.

5. Know When to Give Up

What you think of as a serious issue, may be less of one to the person to whom you voice your concern. If the problem is simply something that annoys you, you may just have to give up or look for another job. There may not be anything you can do to change his or her mind.

If the problem is one that is extremely serious, for example, it involves something illegal or unethical or is clearly doing the company harm, you may have to escalate your complaint up the chain of command. It’s a risky move and could harm your career, but you will have to ask yourself if you can live with yourself if you do nothing.