One of the exercises we do at the Momentum opening retreat is called Emotional Contagion. Participants are asked to stand and walk around the room. One person is asked to frown deeply, look concerned, stressed or sad. In less than a few minutes the bad vibe is picked up and reflected by everyone in the room. Then another person is asked to change that frown to a hopeful happy face. Like the sun after a storm, the good mood fills the room in no time.
Our attitudes are contagious, and great leaders know how to cultivate a positive outlook, even in the face of great adversity. Most of the time, we cannot change the situations we are in. We can’t change the deadline or the difficult customers we are serving, but at the end of every day we can control our attitude. We control how we approach and react to every situation. Momentum facilitator Dr. Sharon Melnick explores the idea of focusing our energies on the 50% of things we can control in her book “Success Under Stress.” (Tip: you can download an excerpt from her book on her website for free!)
Here are a few more tips on how to maintain a positive attitude, even when the going gets tough.
- Know that you are resilient. Celebrate failure as a learning opportunity and bounce back with vigor.
- Set time-bound, measurable goals. Getting clarity about what we want to achieve and by when leads to intentional living, a sense of purpose, and satisfaction.
- Celebrate victories, even small ones. Big wins are made from little steps that take us to the end goal. Rejoice at the milestones along the way and invite others celebrate with you!
- See the bigger picture. What feels like an impossible situation “on the ground” can have a simple solution when viewed from 10,000 feet. Get a new perspective to help you shift your attitude.
- Take action. Put yourself out there and take some risks. Let your passion guide you and refuse to be defined by fear.
- Practice random acts of kindness. Giving back or helping someone will not only brighten someone else’s day, it brings joy to our own.
- Finally, be grateful. An attitude of gratitude can affect how successful and content we are. Even on our worst days, we have so much to say thanks for.
The way we view challenges and approach others says a lot about ourselves. It also says a lot about how far we will go. Let’s be willing to train our brain to see the positives in every situation and encourage others to do the same.
Contributing writer Holly Moore.