January 29, 2013

How Your Attitude Determines Success & Positive Outcomes

Positive Attitude

The way we choose to approach life’s circumstances has the ultimate impact on how we handle the situation, as well as the end result.

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar: You have something big coming up that you’re really excited about. It’s something positive that you’ve been looking forward to for a long time. As the big day gets closer, excitement starts to change over to anxiety and nervousness. You start thinking and worrying about all the things that could go wrong that could destroy this big moment. You start doubting yourself. You can’t get the negative thoughts out of your head. You can’t fall asleep at night because you keep thinking about all the “what ifs.” You know you’re putting unnecessary pressure on yourself, but you can’t help it. Know what I’m talking about?

Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we let a negative attitude, self doubt and incessant worrying take over before something positive or happy is about to happen in our lives? Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who never worries unless you’re given a reason to worry. If so, I wish I had your mental strength!

As I was putting my thoughts together for this post, I came across this Business Insider article – Your Attitude Determines Whether or Not You’ll Succeed. I highly suggest you read the article, but if you want the main points, I’ll make it easy for you:

  • “The results of your actions have little to do with what you are actually doing and almost everything to do with your attitude.”
  • “You can put on a happy face temporarily when you’re in front of the right people, but your attitude is what determines the decisions that no one else sees until it’s too late.”
  • “Your attitude is what ultimately determines if you achieve your goals or if you fall short.”
  • “If you want to find the brightest parts of the universe around you, then that is what you will find. Your attitude will lead you there.”

This makes perfect sense, yet it’s easier said than done, right?

I’m currently experiencing the ultimate attitude test right now. To make a long story short, I’m on day 12 of a prolonged hospital stay for monitoring due to a complication associated with my twin pregnancy (follow me on Twitter and look for the #littlebabies hashtag for daily updates, if you’re interested). Everything is fine with the babies – this is just a precautionary measure.

To add to that, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes the week before I got admitted. I already wasn’t looking forward to the hospital stay, but I had no idea how many needle pokes and fussing over me I would experience until I got here (did I mention I hate needles and have a low pain tolerance?). The nurses and doctors at Royal Oak Beaumont are great and I know they are just doing their jobs, but it has been nonstop for 12 days. Thankfully, my blood sugar is regulated now so testing and needle pokes have slowed down (not enough for my liking, but hey, it’s better than before!). And, I’ve adjusted as much as I possibly can to being cooped up in a hospital room.

My attitude hasn’t been perfect since I got here. I’ve had good and bad days and multiple breakdowns. But, it’s amazing how much better I feel when I don’t allow myself to wallow in my sorrows. I keep reminding myself that this is all worth it to have two healthy babies, and people all over the world are experiencing (and have experienced) way worse than this. If those people can battle through their troubles with a positive attitude, so can I.

I still haven’t conquered all the negative thoughts, worrying and wondering about the “what ifs” that keep me from sleeping well, but I’ve made some progress.

My good friend Dave Murray gave me some great advice that may help you if you’re having trouble keeping your attitude in check or are constantly worrying about something. I don’t meditate, and I failed miserably the one time I tried, but Dave recommended the Meditation Oasis podcasts. He also suggested reading or studying something you’re interested in, but have no experience doing or studying. World War II military history worked for him. You may be thinking you have no time to add something new to your daily routine, but you can start out small and read, listen to or watch something 15-20 minutes before bed to help ward off the negative thoughts.

I’m working on finding the best mix for me. I have anywhere from 2.5 to four weeks left here, and I know I need to get my attitude and “what if” thoughts under control. This is absolutely one of those situations where I’m letting a lot of nonsense overshadow what will soon be the happiest time in my life. And I shouldn’t be.

What works for you? What methods and tactics have you used to help you keep a positive attitude?

Sidenote: THANK YOU to everyone who has shared encouraging thoughts and advice, sent flowers and visited me. I can’t even begin to express my appreciation for your support. You’re helping me get through this, and I’m forever grateful!

Photo credit