Join Tatiana Kolovou for an in-depth discussion in this video Choose your attitude, part of Building Resilience.
- It's human nature to be negative in the face of adversity. However, choosing to be positive often has favorable effects on your own health and even the health of the people near you. Researchers in the University of North Carolina have found that experiencing a three to one positive to negative emotion ratio can result in reduced cardiovascular disease and improve overall health. So if you find it difficult to turn on the positive switch during a challenging time, you may be better off thinking through the three types of attitudes in every situation.
Say, for example, that you received a negative performance appraisal in your job. The most negative attitude would be to say, "That appraisal "had several unfavorable comments about me. "This means that I won't be recommended for a "leadership track and I don't have what it takes "to be a manager." A positive yet unrealistic attitude would be to say, "They're wrong. "They don't know me and what I'm capable of. "I'll prove to them that they're wrong and they don't "know what they're talking about." Although this attitude is positive in regard to your skills, it may not help you develop a healthy relationship with your superiors.
A positive and constructive attitude would be to say, "Among many of the comments, which were tough to hear, "I received several recommendations for improvement. "So I'll work to strengthen my skills and keep at it. "It will be tough, but I'll grow in the long run." Feel free to verbalize the negative attitude, but don't let it define you. On a professional note, I experienced all three attitudes in my first job.
My first job that I got fired from in four days. I was a graduating college student with enough hours in the week to be able to manage a full time assignment. So I took the first one I was offered with a direct mail marketing firm focusing on the health care industry. The company owner was friendly. The staff worked hard. And the training was outdated. Well, there lay my problem. No experience plus no training in the specific job and you have the infamous and stressful line of, "I'm sorry, but this is not working out." "What?" I thought to myself.
I went to college and I'm not capable of figuring this out? As you can imagine, the tough part of this challenging experience was to maintain a positive but constructive attitude. To say to myself, "You know, you were in over your head "in this job, Tatiana. "You could have asked better questions and possibly "asked for more help for the first few days. "Keep that in mind and do more of your homework "next time around." Actually, that's exactly what I did. The next job I pursued was a whole different experience.
I interviewed the staff there more than they interviewed me. And eventually the experience gave me a better perspective. Maintaining a positive but constructive attitude is key.