You might ask, “How will I know if I have a negative attitude?” Just observe yourself in action. If you have a positive attitude about something, you seek it out and try to possess it whether it’s music, career, love, money, art, food, adventure. If you have a negative attitude, you unconsciously lean away; you try to duck it. How do you know if your children have a negative attitude about school? If they do, they’ll break out, psychosomatically, in spots and a fever, to creatively avoid getting out of bed. When we perceive or anticipate an uncomfortable situation, we get creative to avoid it.

How do we acquire our attitudes about success; about money; about travel; about the death penalty; about selling; about war; about love? When we ask ourselves, the answer often is, “I don’t know.

For example, I have a good friend who runs a hair salon. Years ago, I had the attitude that running a hair salon was a strange business for a man. At that time, my friend was helping me conduct seminars for convicts as they were released into our custody. While I worked on their inside image, he worked on their outside image acquainting them with the latest clothing and hairstyles.

One day I was teaching this seminar to some people who were being paroled. It was lunchtime, and since I hadn’t talked to my friend for a while, I suggested that we cross the street to the campus cafeteria and have lunch together. He agreed. So after I finished teaching, we walked outside. It was winter, and he was wearing a stylish coat, which was fine. But he also had a purse slung over his shoulder.

positive mindset

Well, I do not walk with men who carry purses. That was my attitude. But I didn’t realize it until we started across the street. What went through my mind then was, “I’m crossing the street with my ex-friend and his purse.” Subconsciously, I’d already created my avoidance. When we entered the cafeteria, I stopped to talk to the first person I meta guy I didn’t even know. I turned back to my friend and said, “Go ahead and get in line. I’ll be right with you.” I acted as if I had met an old friend. My creative subconscious was taking over; I wasn’t consciously aware that I was avoiding my friend and his purse.

If I didn’t know better, I might have fixed the blame on my friend and quit the friendship. But he didn’t have the problem; I did. It was my attitude, not his purse.

The solution was to simply realize that fashions change, ideas change, and so do people. By changing my attitude, the problem was solved and our friendship preserved.

Your subconscious works the same way. It could be causing you to creatively avoid a friend new jobs, restaurants, neighborhoods, new experiences. Unless we closely monitor ourselves, we don’t recognize a negative attitude until the damage is done.

By changing our attitudes, we allow ourselves to achieve what we’re capable of achieving. It isn’t just a matter of thinking better of yourself, dwelling on positive thoughts and visualizing end results. We also have to work at changing old, inappropriate attitudes and habits that prevent us from reaching our potential.