Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. Winston Churchill
Attitude is the most powerful driver of success. The good news is it is up to you to choose your attitude, to determine how you will look at and perceive the world around you, to decide how you will react. Dealing with the inevitable ups and downs of running your business is a constant challenge. To develop your ability at coping with these challenges, you need to foster the right attitude.
Be open minded
- Recognise that you don’t have to be right all the time. Accept new suggestions, comments and questions
- Recognize that there are many reasons why people have certain beliefs
- Learn to listen carefully. Rather than jumping in with your opinion, let the other person finish speaking. Be ready to consider and receive new ideas
- Look at things from a different perspective
- Take time to try something new. Look for opportunities to learn and grow every day
- The best option may be to throw out your solution and start again in a different direction
Great new ideas often come from challenging our assumptions about how things do or should work. Always be open to different opinions.
- Ask questions whenever you feel it is necessary. Curious people always ask questions and search for answers in their minds. Their minds are always active. Don’t accept everything that you are told without question
- Always be looking around and noticing things. Look for things that seem odd or stand out, any patterns, anything that is there that maybe shouldn’t be and anything that is missing.
- Consider new possibilities. Look beneath the surface and discover new ideas. Inquire into all matters to get the best information on everything you are learning.
- See learning as fun. Enjoy the process.
- Feed your mind from a variety of sources.
Ask the Right Questions
Smart questioning helps to define and frame the problem. If you only ask questions you already know the answers to, you don’t learn or grow. And that means you’re not exploring and probably not innovating.
- What’s right about this? When something does not go according to plan, don’t judge it and immediately ask ‘What went wrong? What did I do wrong?’. When you do this, you are choosing to only see the bad and none of the good. If you ask ‘What’s right about this?’, you will be able to look at what has happened from a different perspective and open doors to innovative ideas and creative avenues.
- How does it get any better than this? Ask this question when something great happens in your business. If you keep asking for more with your business, it can and will happen.
- What else is possible? This invites other possibilities where previously you may have decided there were none. Instead of thinking, ‘I have a problem; what’s the solution?’ start asking ‘What else is possible?’ instead.
- If I choose this, where will the business be in five years’ time, 10 years’ time, 50 years’ time? If I don’t choose it where will the business be in five years’ time, 10 years’ time, 50 years’ time? When looking at choices with your business, asking these questions will begin to give you more awareness of what will expand your business.
You may find that by asking these questions, new questions arise specific to the situation. This is good. The more questions you can ask the better.
Gratitude doesn’t seem to come as easily as grumbling does. One way to shift your focus away from negativity, judgment, and disappointment is to list the things you are grateful for. Take stock of what is going well.
- In relationships and situations, avoid feeling as if you deserve something from them. Don’t take thoughtfulness, kindness and joyfulness for granted.
- Sound genuinely happy to hear from the people who call you on the phone.
- Don’t brush off a compliment given to you. Smile and say thank-you.
- If you identify something or someone with a negative trait, switch it in your mind to a positive trait.
- Show some gratitude for the human beings who make your life run smoothly.
- Life and business can be messy. Instead of regretting your mistakes or remaining caught up in the ways you were wronged, take a moment to think about what the challenges have taught you.
Panic is the initial reaction to many when faced with a problem. But it’s not worth it and it doesn’t do anybody any good. We all have days when the problems pile up and it sometimes seems as if the secret forces of the universe are conspiring against us.
In many cases, it is a good idea to simply park your problems for a while, and come back to them later when you’re in a better and stronger frame of mind to tackle them properly.
The seasoned problem solver however is calm and relaxed in the face of problems as they know that solutions always exist and with the right approach they will triumph. When you are calm you are able to think clearer and more creatively.
We all have voices in our heads that tell us we can’t do this or that. These voices tend to get stronger when we’re going through a bad time. It’s a matter of how much notice we take of them. If we’re constantly hearing and being distracted by these negative messages, it is probably time to take some action to turn the negative thoughts into more positive ones. Having a concrete plan will help keep you moving in the right direction. If you don’t meet the goals or deadlines in your plan, don’t quit. Instead make a new plan by asking yourself, when, where and how you will make capitalize on your opportunities. Don’t let a lot of time pass by before doing this. By changing the way you think about problems, you will be able to overcome hundreds of hurdles.
“Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitudes in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Victor Frankl