Being successful at work, just like anything else in life, is not just about what we do. Getting caught up in our to-do lists, it’s easy to forget that it’s also about how we approach actions: with the right perspective, the right attitude, the right energy level. Walter Scott said, “For success, attitude is equally important as ability.”
If we don’t have the right attitude or our head is not in the game, our actions may not be as effective. Here are four ways to make sure that your attitude is supporting your success rather than detracting from it:
- Be positive. It’s easy to be negative when everything is going wrong at work. Sometimes it’s hard to see the way out of a project gone wrong or face a disappointed client. To maintain a more positive attitude under stress, prepare yourself mentally beforehand. Consider past examples of how you normally react and ask yourself how you could react more positively. It might seem strange at first but you are, in effect, trying to re-program your reaction so that a positive response will eventually be the more natural, go-to reaction.
- Be grateful. Instead of dwelling on the things that you don’t have (the last job promotion, the bigger office, the newest high-paying client), concentrate on the things that you do have and the things you have already accomplished. Try writing down everything that you feel grateful for. This could be your family, friends, and any work accomplishments that you are proud of. Any time you feel a negative thought creeping in, take out your list and read it. The negative thoughts will have disappeared or at least diminished by the time you have finished reading your list. A great app we like is the “5 Minute Journal” to help remind you of what you are grateful for each day.
- Find inspiration. A quick way to have a better attitude is to surround yourself with people who have a positive attitude or outlook on life. This could be your group of friends, family, or even the books you read. Ask others how they have overcome difficult situations, and try reading autobiographies of people you admire who have stayed positive through trying situations. This will help you to see how you can imitate their examples when in difficult situations yourself.
- Remember, you are in control. Of your attitude, that is. Yes, there are many things in life and in your job that you won’t be able to control. Your secretary forgot to schedule a follow-up appointment with a client, your teammate didn’t complete his task on time, or your son’s soccer match was rescheduled to a day you will be out-of-town at a work retreat. These are all things that you can’t control. But you can control how you will react to them. So instead of thinking about all the things you can’t control and getting frustrated, focus on the things that you can control, your attitude and actions, and work on them instead.