A negative attitude will affect your quality of life because it makes you see the bad in everything. Of course, everyone has had a negative attitude towards something in their lives before. Nevertheless, it is wise to effectively overcome your negative attitude before it causes more damage, making you regret missed opportunities to enjoy your life more.
So, how do you know that you have a negative attitude?
A person with a negative attitude usually exhibits the following:
- being less cooperative, constructive, and optimistic
- looking out for only the bad in people, situations, and life in general
- believing that there is nothing good going to happen, which makes it difficult to focus on achieving your goals
- being unhappy most of the time
- lack of belief in yourself and others, thus causing you to think negative thoughts and have negative feelings
- always seeing the glass as half empty rather than half full
- not being open to learning something new
- having trouble receiving constructive criticism rather than using it to improve yourself
- being resistant to change
This post discusses how you can overcome your negative attitude and enjoy a better life.
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When you have a negative attitude, you find it easier to blame others than realize that you may somehow have contributed to the issue. You could be in a situation where you have a terrible attitude that everybody sees except you. Depending on how bad the problem is, you may find that the people around you cannot risk mentioning it because they fear facing your wrath.
So, to begin with, spend some quality time examining your life. Then, look out for characteristics of a negative attitude like those mentioned above.
While taking your self-examination exercise, also check yourself against the following:
- Your tone of voice. Do you normally speak with a lot of anger?
- Your body language. Is it normally welcoming, or is it unfriendly?
- The kind of thoughts you usually entertain about yourself, other people, and situations around you. Are they positive or negative?
- Your goals. How eager and excited are you towards achieving them? Have you told yourself that no good will come from them, so there is no point in pursuing them?
- What makes you happy, and what makes you sad? Why does it make you happy and sad?
Feel free to explore all aspects of your life because you know yourself best. Document whatever you find out that is related to your negative attitude. That way, you will see what you are dealing with and how bad the situation is. Taking notes during this self-examination exercise helps you figure out your lousy attitude’s real cause.
Come up with action points that you will undertake to overcome your negative attitude. Write these down so that you can track your progress one little step at a time. Give yourself time to grow, and don’t be too hard on yourself. If you are up to it, ask your trusted friend to give you feedback on your progress.
2. Be open to constructive feedback
From now on, embrace the constructive feedback that you receive. Avoid going on the defensive and getting angry with the one giving it. Instead, take the feedback and use it to improve your attitude and your life. You may want to write it down to track your progress on improving periodically.
When you realize that there is something for you to benefit from the constructive feedback, you will avoid having a negative attitude. Here is more on how you can effectively receive constructive feedback.
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3. Have more control of your thought patterns
Your thoughts can significantly impact your attitude. What you think is who you are, so watch your thoughts. First, write down the negative ones. Then find positive ones that are the opposite of your negative thoughts and write them down.
After that, cross out the negative thoughts and focus on the positive ones. This exercise helps you have a clear perspective and positively change your negative attitude.
Continuously direct your thoughts away from negative thoughts to positive ones. Of course, this is easier said than done, but you will master it with continued practice.
4. Do not take everything personally
As much as you are encouraged to receive negative feedback, it would be best to sieve this feedback. Some of this feedback is given without pure motives.
One may want to discourage you and make you look bad when the evidence states otherwise. The other may have totally unachievable expectations, while another may be offloading their personal issues onto you. This inaccurate feedback can trigger a negative attitude in you.
It would be best to filter out the negative feedback meant for your growth and development. First, take a moment to calm down and analyze the intention of the negative feedback. Then, ask yourself if there is anything to learn from that feedback.
Don’t take that personally when you realize that the person giving the feedback had other intentions other than your development. Instead, tell yourself that it has nothing to do with you and move on.
You are constantly worried about what others think about you when you take things personally. It would help if you stopped it because it is draining and not productive. Instead, learn from your mistakes and move on. Learn to let things go.
Even when you have received negative feedback and have taken the necessary action to improve yourself, continue to believe that you are a better person and think positively about yourself. This way, you will have more control of your emotions and attitude.
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5. Be mindful of toxic people
Toxic people give off negative energy that could eventually cause a negative attitude. Some people constantly cause you pain, but you find yourself giving them the power to control your emotions and behavior.
To overcome the negative effect these people have on you, limit the amount of time you spend thinking, talking, and worrying about these toxic people. Instead, look out for and spend more time with positive people that will help you to develop a better attitude.
If you must work or live with these toxic people, find something motivating that you can focus on, like achieving a particular goal or whatever helps you manage your stress (which is not harmful to your body). Also, look out for that one good thing in those people and focus on that rather than their negative energy.
Consciously choose to have a positive attitude every day despite the negative people around you. With time you will get to overcome your negative attitude.
6. Pray for strength to overcome your negative attitude
Thank God for all your blessings, naming them one by one, rather than focusing on the issues causing you to have a bad attitude. When you are continuously grateful for your blessings, you will stop complaining and grumbling.
Pray for God to help you find ways to overcome your negative attitude. Then, as you pray and trust God, continue to take action and fix your negative attitude.
You need first to realize and accept that you have a negative attitude. Next, you need to desire to overcome it and develop a positive attitude. Lastly, it would help if you put in the work to achieve your desired effect. The tips shared above will greatly help you get started on your journey to overcoming that negative attitude.
Have you overcome a negative attitude before? Please share in the comments below how you did it.