20th, May , 2016
Is your attitude standing between you and success?
What does it take to succeed in business and life?
Recently I spoke at a women’s networking event and was asked to frame my presentation around the following question:
Why do some people make it while others are left wishing and wondering why they were never able to make it?
I believe one of the deciding factors is Attitude.
Admittedly I am one of the fortunate few that did make it, riding the waves of success and adapting to the ebbs and flow of the changing tides.
But, there were also many times, while my competition were on the podium celebrating their success, I was left wondering what went wrong, what more do I have to do? What have I learned from this experience? Do I want to do this anymore?
Despite all of my challenges, the one thing I am able to rely upon is my positive attitude. Your attitude is made up of what you think, what you do and what you feel so watching the subtleties of your language will give you valuable clues into how your attitude is contributing to your current reality.
Ultimately what I learned during the early years of my surfing career was my attitude was not serving me. For many years prior to my first world title I found myself constantly questioning my ability, comparing myself to others, leading to feelings of doubt, inadequacy and destructive self criticism.
How many times have you made the same mistake over and over again until the realization occurred?
The way you frame an experience, be it positive or negative, directly determines how you respond. As we all know, you can’t always choose what happens to you but you can always choose how you respond.
Every test in our lives can make us bitter or better. Your attitude and sense of self will determine your course of action.
Losing my mother at six years of age and being told I was adopted at age eight were both devastating moments in time, presenting me with the choice to become a victim of circumstance or a master of my destiny. Finishing dead last in the first surfing event I ever competed in shattered my confidence and made me question if I wanted to pursue the surfing dream, work harder and persevere.
More recently, nursing my husband back to health after prostate cancer surgery was deeply distressing and incredibly challenging, at times feeling helpless and hopeless, lost and confused.
When life throws me curve balls, I have to keep swinging the bat to stay in the game. Your attitude influences your choices, actions and responses to life. To begin changing your attitude you either change your thinking, the way you act or the way you feel. Knowing that thoughts, emotions and behaviours are related, when you change one of them, the other two will change as well. For example, when you change what you think, and change what you do the emotional change will create resiliency.
I continue to endure the occasional dark day, where life is all too difficult, when it seems there is nothing to be grateful for, buried under a blanket of negativity.
The way I address this is to first become aware of how I am thinking and choose to think differently, more positively, detaching myself from the negative mindset.
My past is not my future, therefore I do not spend too much time looking back, only forward because the windscreen is much larger than the rearview mirror.