Changing Your Attitude

Attitudes Shape Your Life

By: Ashley Smith


Textbook Definition:

  • A thought, accepted as true, that leads to one to think, feel, or at positively or negatively toward a person, idea, or event.
  • An emotional readiness to behave in a particular way
  • You learn them and can change them

The Relationship

What is the relationship between core values, attitudes, and behaviors?

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The relationship is based on the interaction of three components. This interaction is called the "ABC model of attitudes". It explains how a person's values create their attitude which determines their behavior.

ABC Model of Attitudes

Affective Component:

How the person is feeling/emotions about the person, idea, or event.

Example: "I am scared of sharks"

Behavioral Component:

"The way the attitude we have influences how we act or behave"

Example: "I will avoid sharks, scream, and swim to shore as fast as possible"

Cognitive Component:

"This involves a person’s belief / knowledge about [the person, idea, or event]"

Example: "I believe that sharks are dangerous"

The powerful influence of attitudes

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Positive vs. Negative Attitudes:

Postive Attitude

  • People with positive attitudes are more likely to achieve personal and professional goals.
  • "Positive energy"

Negative Attitude

  • People with negative attitudes find it difficult to achieve contentment or satisfaction in life.
  • "Negative energy"

How to change your attitude?

Negative to Positive

Having a certain attitude can determine the consequences that occur. Thinking negatively can cause stress and wear someone out, physically and emotionally. Thinking positively can improve someone's self-esteem and bring them joy.

This shift in thinking has a tremendous affect on someone. However, changing one's attitude is extremely difficult but not impossible. To foster positive thinking, an individual must:

  • Choose happiness
  • Embrace optimism
  • Think independently
  • Keep an open mind

Step 1: Choose Happiness

"... a state of mind that permits us to live life enthusiastically"

Happy People

  • more sociable
  • flexible
  • creative

Unhappy People

  • self-focused
  • socially withdrawn
  • antagonistic

Step 2: Embrace Optimism

"Optimistic thoughts give rise to good moods, which help develop positive attitudes"

Optimism - a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of eventsor conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome. (

"Avoid Pessimism which leads to cynicism"

Pessimism - the tendency to see, anticipate, or emphasize only bad or undesirable outcomes, results, conditions, problems, etc.: (

Cynicism (cynic) -a person who believes the worst about people or the outcome of events (

Step 3: Think for Yourself

"Evaluate situations based on your values"

Avoid "group think" by not intermixing personal and professional relationships.

  • Can lose control of your attitude due to group thinking

Step 4: Keep an open mind

"Grow more flexible by exposing yourself to new experiences and information"

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"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you!" - Brian Tracy