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10 Ways To Greatly Improve Your Attitude

10 Ways To Greatly Improve Your Attitude

Our attitude plays a big part in our everyday lives and can affect how our life may turn out in the future. If you decide to live with a negative attitude, always expecting the worst and never enjoying what you already have in your life, you’ll find that your inner choices will reflect on the outside. However, if you have a good attitude, you’ll be the kind of person who works hard, is a believer in the fact that life is for living, and you will live the kind of life many would aspire to.

Attitude comes down to choice, you can choose whether to have a good or a bad attitude and whether external things can affect it or not. With this in mind I’ve come up with a few ways to help improve your attitude when you are struggling to turn a bad day into a good one.

1. Take action and then let it go.

If you have something you need to get done, and you’ve been putting it off because the result could go either way, the best thing for you to do to improve your attitude is to take the appropriate action required and then let it go. Holding on, worrying and wasting precious time fretting will only put a downer on your attitude. If you remember that life is for living, and what will be will be, then you can’t go far wrong. Worrying is a complete waste of your time—if it’s going to happen, it will happen anyway, whether you worry about it or not!

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2. Spend time with those who share your positive attitude.

This is a must if you want to improve your attitude. The people you surround yourself with most of the time will reflect upon you and how you live your life. So always make sure that these people share your positive vibe, and lift you rather than bring you down. We are, after all, only human, so there will be times when we get a bit down on our luck, which makes it even more important to have good, positive people on hand to encourage, support and inspire us.

3. Remember to forgive easily the limitations of others.

So often we get disappointed by other people’s actions or non-action. Instead of getting angry or retaliating, the best way to improve the situation and to improve your attitude is to forgive. Most people don’t understand why they do the things they do or say the things they say. It is through your forgiveness (which is not about letting them off the hook, but rather letting yourself off the hook) that you will improve your attitude. Holding on to grudges will only cause you more harm than good because most people don’t realize how their limitations affect others anyway!

4. Always act with a purpose.

When you take action, always take steps to act with a purpose, so that your actions are in line with your values and who you are. Many people walk through life blindly, with no real reason for what they do and why they do it. Instead, live with a sense of purpose, so that you go through life knowing the effect you have on those around you and why you do the things you do. For an example, Walt Disney’s main purpose was to “make people happy,” so next time you act, think of your purpose and improve your attitude whilst doing so!

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5. Always say, “Please,” and, “Thank you.”

Being polite when given help or asking for it isn’t a hard thing to do, yet so often we forget these simple words, especially with those closest to us. If you want to improve your attitude use, “Please,” and, “Thank you,” every single time you are given the opportunity. Why? Because what you give out you get back, so when you are nice to someone who is helping you out or when you need some assistance, you’ll find that you’ll get more than you bargained for—in a good way, of course!

6. Don’t compare yourself to others.

If you want to improve your attitude to life and to those around you, quit comparing yourself to others. It’s human to compare our lives with others, but when we do it too often we can drag ourselves down and start to think that life isn’t going the way it’s supposed to go. When we compare, we think someone else’s life looks better than ours. It’s important to remember that we are observing the external view, and things may look different behind closed doors. So spare yourself the worry and stop comparing, only focus on your own life and attitude to it and you’ll be much happier in the process.

7. Expect the best out of every situation instead of the worst.

How many times do you focus on the bad stuff that might happen in your life, rather than the good? Do you hear yourself saying things like, “Oh, I knew that would happen,” or, “I really hope this doesn’t cost too much,” and, “I don’t want to be late”?

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When life is hectic and you feel that you don’t have time to do what you want because of what other people want from you, it’s no wonder you can get so down and disgruntled about life. We tend to focus on what could go wrong in our lives rather than focusing on what could go right. In some respects we like to have a moan, and it seems complaining has become such second nature to us that we don’t even realize we are doing it.

So how about trying something different? Try not to complain for seven days and instead replace any negative thoughts with a positive one. Expect the very best out of every situation and see the improvement in your attitude, you won’t be disappointed!

8. Wake up early every day.

I am a real advocate of early rising. For me it brings me closer to the feeling of starting afresh, just in case yesterday didn’t go quite as planned. I usually get up at around 4 a.m., although that kind of time is pretty extreme to most people. However, when you plan to wake up early and intend to make each day a good one, you’ll find your attitude will change. It’s like you are taking the day by the horns and making sure you get every last bit out of it and on your own terms. You’ll feel in control of your life rather than just going through life in a blur.

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Just try it, even if you only get up 20 minutes earlier than normal.

9. Live in the present moment.

As you read this you will probably have 101 things on your mind. Errands to run, things you should be doing and things that have happened that are worrying you. All too often we spend our days lost in thoughts about the past or the future and never really living in this very moment. When we live like this, we are never really comfortable with ourselves because our inner peace is constantly at odds, which affects our mood and our attitude.

Instead of rushing about, try to spend time watching your thoughts and becoming more mindful of what you are saying to yourself. If you are worrying about something, you are not in the present moment because you are thinking about something that could happen in the future. Anxiety, stress and worry are all signs you are not living in the now. When you have too much of this going on it can lead to health issues later on in life. To improve your attitude, learn how to take a break, to sit and be quiet even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day. Your body and mind will thank you for it, and so will your friends!

10. Be grateful for everything you have.

This always seems to come up whenever I write because gratefulness is one of the most powerful attitudes to have in life. If you want a better life, give thanks for all that you have each and every day. When you rise early, practice grace before you do anything. This kind of practice will set your day off nicely, your attitude will improve and you’ll find you will receive more things to be grateful about!

So how’s your attitude today, does it need a little fine tuning?

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Paula Lawes

Paula loves people and connecting. She writes about communication and relationships tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on August 12, 2020

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

How to Listen to Your Gut

The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

1. Tune Into Your Body

Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

5. Challenge Your Assumptions

When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

7. Trust Yourself

It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

The Bottom Line

The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
[3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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