There’s a very popular book titled “Attitude is Everything” which describes the link between attitude and success. In a nutshell, if you have a positive attitude you are in a more empowered position and better equipped to deal with life’s challenges – you see the glass half full rather than half empty, as such you tend to have a more positive approach which leads to more positive results.
Science is now adding credibility to the theory that energy flows where attention goes; meaning what you focus on expands. Unfortunately, many people are so much more focused on the negatives in life than they are the positives. The reason for this can be explained using the metaphor of traffic lights.
It’s interesting to consider all the green lights you drive through, on a journey, without even noticing them… yet, you will always notice the red lights. The reason for this is that they create a little pain, in the sense that you have to stop the car, start up again, and it all feels rather inconvenient.
We notice the red lights because they create pain. The green lights, however, don’t create pain and stop us in our tracks – meaning we ignore them and filter them out… we take them for granted, and forget to recognize and appreciate all the green lights on the journey.
In this sense, we do this with life. If something tragic happens, it hits you hard – in fact it can knock you off your feet and the effects are long lasting… whereas, if something wonderful happens, the celebration is often short-lived.
We notice the bad, much more than the good – and we certainly dwell on the bad much more than the good. In this sense we start to “sweat the small stuff”.
Ultimately, your thoughts create your feelings and your feelings create your beliefs, which then results in your attitude… and your attitude is what will determine your results.
Therefore, if you want to change your results you need to change your attitude – but to change your attitude you must change your beliefs, which means changing your feelings, and to change your feelings you need to change your thoughts.
This is where counselling, psychotherapy, coaching and neurofeedback treatment tends to come in – as they are all tools to help recondition unhelpful thought patterns that subsequently create unhelpful feelings and unhelpful beliefs, which result in a negative attitude and therefore negative results.
So, now we know the importance of reconditioning your thoughts in order to create a better attitude which will result in higher levels of success – let’s take a look at some of the ways you can do this yourself:
Affirmations are statements that are repeated several times each day, to reprogram your subconscious mind into thinking more positively and having more positive expectations. Essentially, you reprogram your dominant thoughts to those that are more helpful to you experiencing the life and success you want.
2. Discover Your Motives
Many people are clueless as to what actually motivates them. See, we are motivated by feelings not things. For instance, you might want a fancy sports car and see that as your motivation – but deep down, you are merely using that sports car as a vehicle to create a feeling… for instance, it could be one of outward success, significance, security or superiority.
The challenge, however, is that material things can only motivate us so much, and often the emotional benefits of having that fancy sports car are short lived and wear off… meaning, we are on the lookout for the next “thing”, when in fact we’re often chasing a state of feeling rather than a material outcome.
There are many studies within the area of psychology that look into peak performance, which have found that most great athletes, surgeons, engineers and famous actors use affirmations (as above) and visualization in tandem to both consciously and subconsciously enhance their skills, raise their expectations, and their levels of self-belief and self-worth.
Nelson Mandela, for instance, has written on how visualization helped him maintain a positive attitude while being imprisoned for 27 years. He wrote that he thought continually of the day when he would walk free — creating a positive expectation… and then got lost in fantasies about what he would do.
In a nutshell, visualization is a great way to focus on more positive outcomes and bring them into existence, as “energy flows where attention goes”. You therefore want to start visualizing the best case scenario rather than the worst case scenario, which is what most people do.