A Good Attitude

What is something that all of us in this world have in common? We all have an “attitude.”  The difference is our attitudes can be positive or negative. We all have a choice in how we use and display our attitudes to others. They can change with the seasons of life. They can change from situation to situation.

All of us must meet life’s problems up close and personal. When we meet these challenges head-on, we develop opinions about the situation, make decisions or choices and in many cases take action. Some of us may have nagging thoughts, doubts and fears surrounding unexpected situations. Everything we think, say and do is based on our conscious and unconscious held beliefs and values. We are consistently processing responses, feelings and emotions in our mind as we seek answers to our problems. Of immense importance is our response to perceived problems. Is there an effective strategy in dealing with these perceived problems? Negative thinking, for example, may be a strategy in coping with someone who just stole your vehicle, or you may have talked with your doctor and he informs you about a life-threatening condition that causes you to feel depressed. You must decide which strategy is best for coping with unwanted situations.

I believe the primary strategy that can assist you in coping with negative stress is a good attitude. There are many things to be thankful for. There is good everywhere, if you look for the positive instead of focusing on the negative aspect of problems. If you focus on the negative, you will find it. For example, the evening news is typically filled with more negative news that positive news. However, if you watch a news program on a Saturday morning, they typically tend to have more positive and uplifting stories. For every negative article you read or watch, try counteracting it with reading a positive one. You may want to consider changing your social media feed to include less news stations or find sites that report on positive stories and make sure you are reading just as many or more positive stories as you do negative stories. One publication that comes to mind is “Guideposts: Angels on Earth.” This publication includes stories of people down on their luck, who are grieving, who are ill, etc. and the positive things that happen to them because of someone here on Earth or possibly from some other intervention. It is a publication focused on prayer and faith and often the lack of it that people have and still the blessings that are bestowed upon them. There are many sites out there that focus on positive thoughts and articles.

If your health is not perfect, you can refuse to allow depressed feelings to get you down for very long. Sometimes it’s ok to be depressed for just a little bit. It could help you be more thankful for life and keep that positive mental attitude.  Some studies have found those with a positive attitude heal faster than those with a negative attitude. If your marriage is falling apart, your attitude could make the difference. If your spouse sees and feels you changing your attitude, they are much more likely to change theirs as well. If your child is giving you “attitude,” you can make sure yours is the best it can be to lead by example.  You can turn lemons into lemonade by putting effort into positive thinking. When you think of a situation in a positive manor this increases your energy and motivation. Keep in mind, you may have to stay mentally strong for a positive outlook – there may be days when you truly force yourself to be think positive – that is okay. Those days do pass.

Don’t be self-sabotaging yourself with a negative attitude. For example, let’s say you apply for a job. You get the call for the interview. You hang up the phone and immediately think, “There’s no way I will get that job!” You go to the interview preoccupied with these negative thoughts about why you won’t get the job and you are distracted throughout the entire process of the interview. You continue all week to tell yourself why you won’t get it instead of preparing and researching for the interview. It makes you stumble over some of your answers and not have concise answers to others. What do you think the odds are that you will get the job?

Replay that scene now. You get the call for the interview. You hang up the phone and immediately think “YAY! This job is all mine! I can feel it! I’m ready!”  You spend all week preparing for the interview, you research more about the company and the position itself. You practice your answers to some of the most common interview questions. You prepare your questions about the company and position. During the interview, you are confident, informed and engaging. What are the odds that you will get the job?   Yes, it’s very possible someone more qualified or within the organization might beat you out, but rest assured, the second scenario has increased your odds immeasurably. Chance are, you might even beat out the more qualified person who came in with attitude in scenario one.

Just like the song, “Get a New Attitude,” a good attitude will bring life changes and contentment. It will move you to a peace of mind while you are encountering human storms in your life. If you have been stuck in a place of having a “bad” attitude, just know that it doesn’t have to be permanent. You can change it by working on it with a strategy in place of counteracting it and changing it to a more permanent, positive attitude. Refer back to many of my blogs that talk about finding your inner circle to hold you accountable during your process.

You can do this! I believe in you!


Posted in Coaching.


Founder and CEO of The JAFA Group, James A. Farmer, PhD has worked in human relations, counseling and coaching for over 35 years. His vast experience, leadership, passion and success all contribute to a particularly strong understanding of workplace issues and their creative resolutions.
Dr. Farmer is a widely respected author and lecturer. He has written or co-written four books as well as numerous articles which have appeared in esteemed journals. His textbooks – Positive Influences and High Risk Teenagers were required reading in the curriculum at various major universities.
Dr. Farmer also maintains a strong presence in the business world. His expertise in areas such as motivational psychology, human relations, communications, and interpersonal skill development has made him a popular and sought-after consultant for many companies. Exxon, Dow Chemical, Texas Instruments, Blackmarr Associates and various human service agencies are among his impressive list of engagements.
He received his BA in social work and speech in 1974 and his MA in counseling from the University of Northern Iowa in 1976. Dr. Farmer subsequently received his MSW from the University of Iowa in 1978 and went on to attain his PhD from The Ohio State University in 1986. His academic appointments include the University of Northern Iowa, The Ohio State University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Farmer is also a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor and a Barksdale self-esteem analyst. As well, he is certified in dispute resolution and is a Licensed Advanced Clinical Practitioner and a Board approved supervisor in the state of Texas.
Dr. Farmer began learning to self-coach himself in the 4th grade in order to overcome early childhood trials and tribulations. He eventually enrolled in a life coaching course and was dismayed to find that many simple topics were made complicated and needlessly complex in a way that prohibited effective learning. He’s been taking notes ever since, and a lifetime later continues to adapt, learn, grow and teach.
The many students of Dr. Farmer are perhaps the greatest testament of his work. Thousands and thousands of people have come to him, and their success stories are endless – students have gone on to earn PhDs, management positions, high level government jobs and more. He’s especially proud of the foster children whom he’s counseled as a part of his therapy business.
Dr. Farmer’s passion continues to evolve in the field of developmental coaching – helping people to succeed in life, guiding them to help themselves, and learn authentic self-esteem.
He lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, yet enjoys traveling extensively to promote his work.

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