Attitude: A Most Misunderstood Word

Managers tell salespeople that their attitude controls their sales.

Therapists tell couples to change their attitudes towards each other to improve their relationship.

Doctors advise patients that when there’s no further treatment option, “now it’s up to you. Have a positive attitude.”

But despite how frequently we use it, “attitude” is a most misunderstood word.

What does “attitude” mean?
If you ask ten people what attitude means, you will probably get ten different answers. (I have done this many times—and it’s true!)

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person’s behavior.”

As you see, attitude is not just one single element; it is the blending of your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

And who controls yours?

Most people may feel they control their attitudes, but that’s not really the case. Look at how easily the media manipulate people’s attitudes towards others and the conditions and circumstances in their lives. It’s not really that hard to do.

When you have a clear understanding of what attitude is and how attitudes are created, it becomes apparent that only a tiny percentage of the population is in control of theirs. Given the significant effect our attitudes have on the quality of our lives, that is not a good thing.

Thoughts, feelings, and actions are part of the mind-body connection. Let’s look at how each of these factors that comprise attitude affects yours, and how you can indeed control your attitude to shift any aspect of your life.

Thoughts: Your conscious mind acts as a thought gatekeeper, vetting an idea or thought before it takes hold in your subconscious. Your conscious mind can accept, reject, or ignore ANY idea that flows in.

If the thought or idea doesn’t resonate with you, it will not affect your physical body. But it’s a different story when that idea takes hold of your subconscious and becomes a part of you.

Your subconscious mind must accept anything that is impressed upon it. Once the thought is impressed upon the subconscious mind, it becomes a part of you and your belief system. It then determines the body’s vibration or the feeling to be expressed.

Feelings: How you feel about a thought will determine the action you take (based on how it makes you feel).

If you don’t like the idea that has come to you, you will express negative emotions.

On the other hand, your feelings or vibrations will be positive if the idea or information is positive and excites you.

Actions: The body is the instrument of the mind. It is the only connecter through which the conscious and subconscious minds (working together) can express themselves. The body carries out what the mind asks it to do. In other words, actions become your behavior.

Whatever idea is impressed upon the subconscious mind MUST be expressed through the vibration of the body’s molecules (I like to say you will feel it in every cell of your body.) When that vibration becomes intense, the body has no choice but to move into action.

For example, when your thoughts and feelings, or your conscious and subconscious mind are in harmony, that order will be expressed in your actions. You will be calm, focused, and productive. When there is a negative feeling (think “bad vibes”), your behavior will reflect that, negatively.

Shift your attitude, transform your world

As you can see, your attitude is determined by the ideas you choose and permit yourself to get emotionally involved with. The physical expression is automatic. It doesn’t matter if the choice is conscious or unconscious; “IT JUST IS.”

Actions drive and become your behavior. So, the question I ask you is, “Are you doing behaviors that get you what you want?” If not, here’s my advice: change your thoughts to change your feelings to change your actions . . . which will change your attitude and change outcomes.

If you are struggling with something, the problem lies in your conscious choice. Our conscious choice is where are all our future success and inherent genius begin. And by tapping into a conscious choice, we can control our attitude, subsequent actions, and outcomes.

What’s your attitude toward public speaking?

I invite you to check in with your attitude toward public speaking. Is it getting you the results you want? In your world (and conscious mind—before it gets stuck in the subconscious mind), are your thoughts about public speaking positive or negative? Are they leading to good or bad feelings, which in turn become inaction or forward movement?

Always remember, what you think and feel about public speaking—or sales or any other professional pursuit—will affect your actions around it. And when you shift your attitude—understanding what it is and how it’s formed—you will shift your actions.

If the idea of public speaking has you jazzed up, I can help you put that into action that gets positive results. Let’s schedule a time to talk about it. And if you need a little attitude adjustment, we can talk about that, too!