We all want to get ahead, and figuring out what’s keeping your goals out of reach can be tricky. It takes asking a lot of important questions and making sure all the pieces are in place to ensure your success. You’ll want to be sure you’re getting the right training, connecting with the best possible mentors, and working for a company that positions you for growth. But, don’t forget to take a good hard look where it matters most: yourself. Your attitude and the way you approach life, your job, and the people around you can be the critical factor that decides your fate. Luckily, your workplace attitude is the one piece of the puzzle entirely within your control. All it takes is accepting responsibility for the role your attitude plays, along with a willingness to change.
Here are 10 easy ways to change your attitude for the better:
- Stop Complaining: Everyone complains from time to time, but a nonstop stream of complaints gives the impression of someone who’s constantly dissatisfied. While it’s normal to be occasionally frustrated when things don’t go your way, nonstop complaining shows an unwillingness to take action on your own behalf. If you’re miserable in your job or hate where you live, ask yourself what you can do to change your circumstances.
- Banish Excuses: If you have the bad habit of justifying your own behavior, you’re missing a lot of opportunities for growth. Only by being accountable for your own mistakes can you hope to learn from them. Taking ownership is necessary to improve your performance in the future.
- Assume the Best: Instead of adopting a can’t do workplace attitude, be optimistic and focus on what you can do. If you assume things will not go your way, why would you try at all? Your negative assumptions could be keeping you from taking risks and trying new courses of action, which could produce exciting and unexpected results.
- Stop Sweating Everything: When everything bothers you, and you’re almost always angry and stressed out about something, all that tension drains energy you need to be great at your job. Getting caught up in your emotions also prevents you from being able to objectively look at situations to try to understand why problems occurred so they can be avoided in the future.
- Own It: If you spend a lot of time explaining why things are not your problem, you’re also missing the opportunity to take credit when things improve. Passing the buck may protect you in the short term, but it cheats you out of chances to grow and take on positions of greater responsibility.
- Learn to Compromise: It may seem like you’re standing behind your beliefs, but people who never compromise can make collaborating with others a miserable or even impossible process. What you call your independence or strong mindedness could be preventing you from making valuable contributions to team projects, or you might be derailing the team’s efforts altogether. Instead of drawing a line in the sand, strongly state your concerns, but listen to other ideas as well. The best course of action is often somewhere in the middle.
- Embrace Questions: When people question you, it can feel like they’re doubting you. The reality may be that they are just seeking clarity or shedding light on a detail you overlooked. Questions from others can help you provide critical support for your own ideas, which could bolster your argument and give your proposals a better chance of being approved. Instead of bristling, welcome questions with open arms.
- Stop Jumping to Conclusions: You call yourself decisive, but others would call you impulsive. While overthinking every situation could slow you down, not thinking at all before you speak or act can mean overlooking the potential consequences. Try to tame your kneejerk reactions, by taking just a few moments to cool down and think about how your response might be perceived by others.
- It’s Okay to Be Wrong: You associate making mistakes with weakness, but nobody can be right all the time. Refusing to admit that you might have made an error or might not fully understand something, doesn’t make you look smarter; it often does the opposite. People who don’t acknowledge their errors appear not to know they have made them.
- Celebrate the Achievements of Others: When others around you succeed, it can feel like it’s hurting your own chances for success. The praise others receive sometimes makes you feel invisible. But you might be overlooking how your colleagues’ successes contribute to your team’s overall growth. Instead of resenting their achievements, appreciate the way their stellar performance inspires you to up your game.
It’s never fun to admit that you might be the source of your own problems, but taking responsibility for your own workplace attitude is an essential step to overcoming those hurdles. Don’t beat yourself up. Instead, take an honest look at yourself and your interactions with others, and make a list of areas you’d like to improve. Write down tangible actions you can take to avoid being viewed as having a bad attitude at work in the future. You may even want to ask your coworkers how they perceive you. While their impressions may be hard to hear, their outside perspective is likely to offer insight into behaviors you weren’t even aware of. Understanding the problem is the first step toward being able to fix it.
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