In her book FOCUS on College Success, Constance Staley offers students eight tips that can bolster their attitudes and set them on a path towards positive personal achievement. Perhaps a few of these suggestions will give you some encouragement as well!
- Know that you always have choices. Regardless of circumstances, you always have a choice, even if it’s limited to how you choose to perceive your current situation.
- Take responsibility for your own outcomes. Blaming others simply reduces your own power to work toward constructive responses to challenges.
- Convert turning points into learning points. Instead of beating yourself up when things don’t go well, figure out why. See what you can learn from the experience and then move on.
- Choose your words carefully. “Can’t” and “won’t” are two of the biggest inhibitors to a healthy attitude. Also pay attention to how you describe things. Language is a reflection of attitude.
- Fill your mind with messages about the attitude you want to have. The old saying, “garbage in, garbage out,” applies to attitudes as well. Paying attention to role models whose traits you admire is also a great way to bolster your outlook.
- Remember that negative experiences can be great teachers. You can choose to learn from your own mistakes and setbacks. They all offer some sort of lesson, even if it takes a bit of distance from the event to see what you can learn.
- Offer help without expecting something in return. Give freely of yourself, and life will reward you in unexpected ways— not the least of which is a positive outlook.
- Acknowledge your blessings. Taking time at the end of each day to recognize and feel gratitude for the blessings in your life— no matter how large or small— is a great way to amplify a positive attitude. (Adapted from Staley 2013, 14)
Reference: Content adapted from Staley, Constance. 2013. FOCUS on College Success. 3rd ed. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Do you have additional thoughts, ideas, or suggestions on this topic? Please share your comments below.