How to Develop a Positive Attitude When You’ve Been Hardwired With a Negative One


“Change your attitude, change your life.”

That’s Matt Rissell’s final piece of advice in his recent article, “5 Ways to Make the Leap from Employee to Entrepreneur” on AMEX Open Forum. He believes that a positive, winning attitude can mean the difference between small business success and total failure. “It can make or break you,” he said, “It can determine the trajectory of your entire life” … and your business.

“Unfortunately,” he continued, “some people are simply hardwired with a negative attitude — or it was ingrained early on.” And, if that’s the case, it can be hard to flip the switch.

Hard, but not impossible.

So if you’re ready to turn that frown upside down, we’ve got a few tips.

Just do it.

The truth is, no one is born with a negative attitude — and you weren’t either. Contrary to popular belief, your attitude isn’t a byproduct of the things that have happened to you, but rather, it’s how you choose to react to those things. For example, let’s say you were gifted an old bike. Someone with a negative attitude might think, “What a piece of junk!” But someone with a positive attitude would say, “Cool, free transportation!” Or, even better, “Cool, a vintage gem!”

There’s a silver lining in nearly every situation, you have to make the choice to find it.

Wake up on the right side of the bed.

More than 71 percent of smartphone owning adults sleep with their smartphone either in their bed or on their nightstand. Thirty-five percent of them reach for it the moment they open their eyes. More often than not, it’s to check their email, read the news, or immediately delve into work.

Not a great way to start the day.

Rather than spending your first waking moments consuming negative media or stressing yourself out about work, use that time to read or watch something inspirational or motivational. Find an inspirational leadership blog (we’re big fans of Seth Godin) or search for “feel-good” stories to kick your day off on the right foot.

When you start your day with a positive attitude, everything else follows.

Change your language.

They say that if you smile more, even when you don’t mean it, you’ll start feeling happier. And the same goes for your positivity. If you force yourself to use positive phrases instead of negative ones, you’ll start to feel more positive as a result. For example, when a coworker asks you, “How’s it going?” Try responding with “Great!” or “Fantastic!” rather than the usual “Good” or “I’ve been better.” And instead of saying things like “I can’t” or “This is impossible,” try saying “I will try” or “I can do this.”

When you use positive language, you’ll start to feel more positive too.

Find positive mentors.

Being an entrepreneur is hard — harder than you ever imagined. But the good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. In fact, no one expects you to. Part of being a successful entrepreneur is finding successful mentors — people who can motivate and inspire you to greatness … even when you’re feeling negative.

And while it’s great to be able to see or speak with that mentor in person, virtual mentors work just as well. So seek out positive, successful people, either in person or online, and learn everything you can from them. Read their books, follow their blogs, and absorb their values.

When you look up to positive people, your negativity will uninstall itself.

Ready to make the leap from employee to entrepreneur? Ready to flip the switch on negativity?
Check out Matt’s latest article on AMEX Open Forum to learn how.

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