Your attitude will affect how you interpret & respond to people and events. It’s a sort of self-fullfilling prophecy that will, more often than not, sabotage your desire to make change by creating the circumstances that you fear most.
- Your fear of failure will prevent you from even trying, which will cause you to fail every time.
- You think you’re not athletic enough to join the basketball team so you don’t practice enough to realize your own potential.
- You think you won’t get along with a new co-worker so you treat them accordingly and unconsciously make your fears a reality.
Self-fullfilling attitudes have negative affects by subconsciously affirming your beliefs, causing you to amplify the negatives and ignoring the positives, thus making your prediction come true.
How are your negative attitudes bringing about your fears? Are you fulfilling your own prophecies?
Not easy questions to answer because most of us aren’t even aware that it’s happening. However, that doesn’t negate the importance of asking.
In his book, Laws of Human Nature, Robert Greene says that you must overcome 5 constricting negative attitudes:
#1 Self-Fullfilling Attitude: Hostility
People with the self-fulfilling attitude of hostility tend to think the world is against them, thus treating others with hostility. They are quick to attack others, making them defensive or aggressive in return.
If you know somebody like this, stay neutral when your around them. Stay the course and don’t bite back.
To manage your own hostility keep telling yourself that you like this person, or as Og Mandino writes about in his book, The Greatest Salesman in the World, treat them as if they are to die at midnight.
#2 Self-Fullfilling Attitude: Anxiousness
People who are anxious are often overpowering and micromanage everything because they feel things won’t go right if they don’t do it themselves or if they aren’t constantly checking to make sure it gets done.
If you know somebody like this, make sure that you stay calm and soothing around them.
If you find yourself feeling like things won’t get done without you, train yourself to cope with stress and engage in calming work.
#3 Self-Fullfilling Attitude: Avoidance
An example of an avoidance attitude would be to leave a relationship when things get tough, or not asking for a raise.
The best way to handle these kinds of people is to avoid them yourself. Partnering up with them will leave you holding the bag. If you still want to continue partnering with them then you have to understand that there is a deep psychological reason as to why they avoid certain things. You can help them through it so that they can see there is nothing to be afraid of.
If you find that you’re suffering from this constricting attitude push yourself to take on small tasks. Bonus points for doing the tasks that make you feel uncomfortable
#4 Self-Fullfilling Attutude: Depressive
They feel unloved and unworthy, hurting others to invite criticism and betrayals.
To deal with this type of person, invite them into positive experiences, showing them that they are worthy.
If you yourself feel this way learn to chanel your depressive tendencies into something constructive. Small wins add up and will eventually show you that things aren’t as bad as you thought they would be.
#5 Self-Fullfilling Attitude: Resentfulness
People with an attitude of resentfullness feel so wronged that they treat others with an air of contempt and bitterness that pushes people away.
Be careful around these kinds of people as they hold grudges. Accept the fact that there may be nothing that you can do to change their perspective and that their level of anger towards you will outweigh whatever event caused their resentfulness. The best you can do is apologize for hurting their feelings, forgive them, and then move on. No need to resent them in return, you’re bigger than that.
To combat your own resentfulness, learn to let go of your hurts and disappointment. Don’t hold grudges and remember that forgiveness is a reflection on self-love more than it is an outward release of another.
Adopt An Expansive Mental Attitude
If negative mental attitudes are constricting, positive mental attitudes are expanding. One reduces your life experiences, the other increases them.
If you want to achieve more, then change your attitude towards events and others. It’s easy to get disparaged. Negative events tend to sculpt us in ways that positive events never can. Why? Because negativity tends to goes viral and once we feel that the word is one way our self-fullfilling attitudes makes it so.
So, what does it mean to adopt an expansive mental attitude? It means that you see people as people. We all have our quirks and idiosyncrasies that makes us unique. We don’t all respond to outside stimulus the same way but we all want the same things. We want to feel secure, we want to be feel seen, and we want to be autonomous. Seeing people as people means to understand that while we may all want the same things, we go about it differently. So, don’t take things so personal.
As you go through life, see the world around you as if you’re an explorer, seeing things for the first time. Learn to see differently and think differently. Leave your biases at the door and do your best to see life more objectively.
As an explorer expect adversity. It’s part of your journey. Understand that a life well lived has its risks but you can reframe your thinking around adversity and see them as opportunities to grow and to learn.
This is why it’s important to push past your limits. The best way to expand your attitude is to expand the limits you’ve put on yourself.
Once you’ve adopted an expansive mindset you’ll start to feel better about yourself and you’ll begin to see things open up for you. Your new mindset will give you new opportunities, better health, and a new sense of being.
That was such a great read, David. It’s interesting because for every one of the constrictive, self-fulfilling attitudes I know at least one person in my life who suffers from it.
Indeed, I have personally expended a great deal of focus and effortful self-training to remove them from my mental inventory.
How strange that our mind HIDES from us the cause of so many of our negative experiences when that cause is our own unmonitored, unmanaged, and unpleasant mental state that we mistakenly allow to serve as our bad ambassador to the moment.
I agree entirely that the key to displacing and eventually REPLACING such lousy states is to take on a new, expansive approach to thinking, being, and doing. It’s the kind of decision that starts out small but inevitably changes one’s entire life for the better – and I’m talking all four success pillars – Mental, Spiritual, Financial, and ESPECIALLY Relationships.
Thanks again for another value-adding blog post.
It’s so easy to slip into a constrictive negative attitude that we aren’t even aware of what came first: our attitude, or those of others.
I’ve gotten into the habit of asking myself “how do I know I’m right?” This allows me to stay in the present and use logic to understand how I’m feeling and if what I think really is the way I should be feeling or if I am conflicted with some sort of unconscious bias. I ask myself this whenever I’m feeling off my baseline.
As always, I appreciate the comment T!