How to Shift your Attitude toward the Positive

Shift your Attitude

Your attitude will greatly impact your life and leadership. Author John Maxwell says, “Your attitude colors every aspect of your life. It is like the mind’s paintbrush. It can paint everything in bright, vibrant colors–creating a masterpiece. Or it can make everything dark and dreary.” The attitude you have on a regular basis is your choice. Even though attitude is a choice does not mean it’s always easy to maintain a positive attitude. Your attitude is something you need to constantly control and shift toward the positive. Here are 3 ways to shift your attitude toward the positive:

1. Your inner life

Your inner life can greatly impact your attitude. A person’s self-talk, pattern of thoughts, and what they regularly think about and ponder upon will shape their life. What happens on the inside comes out in your attitude and behaviors. James Allen said, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” This is why you should constantly be aware and guard what goes on within your inner life, making sure your self-talk, thoughts, and thinking correlate with the good and positive. Whenever you notice yourself moving toward the bad or negative, be intentional about shifting back to the good or positive. This habit will cause you to shift your attitude toward the positive.

2. Be careful about who you spend time with

The truth is that you become like the people you regularly associate with and spend time around. The attitudes, behaviors, and mindset of those people will impact your own attitude, either for the good or bad. It can cause you to maintain a positive attitude or direct it toward the negative. This is why spending time with the right people is so crucial. Shift your attitude toward the positive by intentionally being around those who consistently (for the most part) possess a positive, optimistic, and kind attitude.

At the same time you need to limit your time with certain people. The people who always tend to bring up the bad, gossip, bad talk, or generally speak negatively should take up very little of your time. These type of attitudes or are toxic to a positive attitude. For those who have a bad or negative attitude but you can’t avoid or disengage interactions with such as those you work with or have to be around in some other setting, the best choice is to limit your interactions with them whenever possible.

3. What you consume

The good or bad content you consume on a regular basis will show through in your attitude (and behaviors). Consume the good and you will be able to shift your attitude toward the positive. Since first embarking on my personal growth journey, I’ve seen the positive impact personal growth content has had on my attitude and mindset. Reading or listening to content that has a good message can greatly shape your attitude toward the positive. This is one of the powerful benefits of maintain a personal growth plan, you will be able to shift your attitude toward the positive.

While you should consume good content you also must avoid bad content. Your attitude can be negatively impacted when you spend a lot of time watching TV shows like the news or reality shows, listening to gossip or talk radio, certain podcasts, or music. These things generally have a bad or negative angle on what is being shared, in turn it can impact your attitude for the bad.

Questions: How do you shift your attitude toward the positive? What techniques work well with you?

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  • These are great tips Dan. Several years ago I started making a conscious effort to spend the majority of my time with positive people – it has made such a positive impact in my life. Being around positive people always boosts my spirits and fuels my creativity.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed them, Steve. Being around positive people is a good habit for all of us. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

  • The three tips you mention, Dan, are the three areas I had to work on in my mental life in order to overcome depression. While physical reasons were the main source of my depression, my attitude was a huge factor as well. As I learned to be more positive and to truly choose my attitude and way of thinking, I found increased success in overcoming depression. Without this change, I don’t know that I could have overcome the physical. They needed to happen alongside each other in order for me to struggle to victory over depression.

    • Thank you for sharing about your personal experience. Attitude can greatly impact the other areas of our life, like our health. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  • These are such simple but profound tips, Dan. What we allow into our minds – and what we allow to take up residence there – seems so innocuous. But major havoc can come as a result. I particularly liked your emphasis on the people we associate with. I think we need to be intentional in seeking out people to love and to help even if they’re not great influences on us, but we need to be conscious that we are the ones doing the influencing and not the ones being influenced.

    • Yes, the people we are around really does matter. It can greatly influence our own life. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  • This is a deep and profound subject. What we actually believe is so crucial and is really the exercising of the gift of free will, I think. Believing in something and actually using the other gifts of desire and perseverance have a deep impact on how we see the future. This one made me think!

    I think one of the most important techniques for positive thinking is using the perseverance to not quit and build confidence in that arena first.

    • Great additional advice, Floyd! A mindset to persevere can greatly help us in life. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  • What you consume is huge Dan. Several years ago I had to cut way back on the talk radio and new intake. There is so much positive in this world that is rarely reported. Yes we have issues in our world but there is a lot of good. If all we hear is the negative we have a skewed world / life view.

    • I’m sure you began to see the positive results from making those changes. It’s something I had to do with TV shows, cutting out the shows that could have negatively impacted me. Thank you for sharing.

  • Dan Erickson

    These are great points, Dan. This is why living a simple life is important to me. It helps us seek our inner-being. We tend to make a point to only spend time with important people in our lives. And we make a point to consume less overall.

    • Thank you, Dan:) Great point about these things causing or allowing us to live a simpler life. Great insights.

  • Love it Dan. Such a crucial thing to have a positive attitude. I find if I posture properly it helps my attitude. To stand up straight with shoulders back and smile does wonders. I need to mentally shift first like you said…thanks for the great content.

    • That’s interesting! I never thought about how our body language can effect our attitude, it makes sense though. If we smile we our body/mind will think we are happy. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  • If I notice that my attitude is going downhill there are two things that often help me. The first is getting some sleep and the second is getting away from my work and getting outdoors or at least getting some exercise.

    • Great self-reflection, Celeb! Sleep is a huge one for me, it really can effect my attitude and/or actions. Thank you for sharing.

  • Your post reminded me of the old adage, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

    Being around people with positive attitudes helps me stay upbeat when circumstances want to drag me down.

    prayer also helps!

    • That’s a great saying. It’s very true. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment:)

  • I think that first point has been the most important to me. Self-talk affects positivity more than anything else – well, at least in my neck of the woods. I try to monitor my thoughts a lot, especially when I’m either lying to myself or making excuses or anything like that. It can just be such a bad environment in there and that comes out into the real world. Getting positivity comes by doing good in yourself first.

    • Great additional thoughts, Steve! A positive attitude really does start with us (our inner word self-talk/thoughts). Thank you for sharing.

  • Every day there is a choice in what I put into my mind which will in turn affect my attitude. When I start getting a bad attitude I know it’s because I have filled my mind with useless things. Think on these things that are pure and lovely always comes to mind when I want pure and lovely to come out of my mouth. Great points.

    • Great points, Betty! At least we know what we can do when our attitude starts shifting in the wrong direction. Thank you for reading and adding to the topic!

  • The first one really hits home with me, Dan. Attitude is so important, and for me the thoughts I’m thinking are huge. The more I see life from God’s perspective, the happier and more peaceful I am.

    • Great thoughts, thank you for taking time to comment.

  • Hey Dan!

    I’ve been thinking about positive vs negative external influences a lot lately.

    One thing I’ve been doing — practicing — for the past two months is to focus on all the good things in my life, focus on gratitude/appreciation. Because, as corny as it sounds, it’s mostly the “small” things in life that give the most pleasure. But since we’re used to doing or getting those things we tend not to appreciate them — at least that’s true for me.

    Meditation and working out are also good (and natural) ways that I like for being positive.

    • Hi Ludvig,

      I totally agree with you. It is about the small things of life that really matter. Thank you for reading and sharing your wisdom with us.