The attitude and perspective we have has a big effect on our emotions, ability to learn, and ability to succeed.
I’m a terrible actress. I don’t like people’s eyes looking at me, I don’t like being on stage, I hate public speaking, I’m terrible at improvisation, and I go blank. But every year I have to act at least once at a family holiday program I’m part of. I get very nervous and anxious during rehearsals and just before going on stage if I have a large speaking role. (If I can be a clown or someone who mimes, I have a ball on stage!)
But there was one year I had a large speaking role that I had to memorize. I was freaking out! One of my friends heard me mutter that I couldn’t do it over and over. He did the best thing. He had me stop muttering and had me focus on him. He said with authority that if I told myself I couldn’t do it, I stopped myself from succeeding right there. When he told me this I knew he was right. I defeated myself with my own perspective and attitude. I had to change it. I didn’t feel any better about it and I didn’t know if I could do it, but I knew I had to stop thinking I couldn’t do it.
I stopped telling myself I couldn’t do it and just focused on remembering the words. And guess what, I delivered the monologue to a T.
I was with an older person today and he’s not very computer literate. The whole time we were talking about computers he said he couldn’t do it and that he’d never figure it out. He got angry at the rate of changing technology, blaming it for the problems he faced with it. But instead of getting angry, I thought all he needed was a change of perspective and attitude. Instead of wasting all that energy thinking he’d never get it and being angry over it, he could use that energy to really focus and learn the new technology.
I think part of the key is to stop focusing on how bad things are and how much you don’t like them. I don’t like acting, this guy didn’t like new technology. They are difficult things for us that we have to get used to. But there’s no point getting worked up about it and fighting it trying to get your own way. Separate yourself from it a little and get a different perspective. Embrace it with a different attitude. Learn what you need to know. It might be hard and a lot of work, but try.
Having the right attitude and perspective means you’ll have the discipline, commitment and focus to at least give it your best go.
I have a friend who was never any good at school and hates studying. The problem is she can’t get anywhere with the career she wants without studying. I think she can study and get to where she wants to be, but she thinks she’s a lost cause in that area. She’s defeated herself right there. She doesn’t even want to try, because her attitude and perspective won’t let her.
To give it a go, get the right attitude and perspective.
You might not be able to do whatever it is you want and/or need to do, but if you tell yourself you can’t do it from the start, it’s certain that you won’t be able to do it.
How’s your attitude and perspective? I think I have to check mine in a few areas.