Live Life Better: 15 Ways to Foster a Winning Positive Attitude
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“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” – Helen Keller.
No matter how amazing your life or how dazzling your smile, everyone hits a bumpy road every now and then. And when it happens, it’s not easy to be positive.
You may think it takes a superwoman to manage both work and family; to keep up with a fast-paced life; to cope with ‘not-so-positive’ people and situations, or to manage your kids and be an engaged and attentive partner while dealing with your own demons.
But the truth is life happens.
We experience struggles, fears, insecurities, untold number of mistakes and missteps.
Being positive, having a positive attitude, is about learning how to move past all of those things and to keep going, even (and especially) when it gets tough.
So whenever the going gets a bit messy and you don’t feel your usual Superwoman-self, here’s our list of 15 ways to cultivate and maintain a positive attitude, so that when times get a little rough you can put your best foot forward.
15 Simple Ways To Cultivate A More Positive Attitude
1. Take the time to connect with yourself.
Sometimes it can be as simple as stopping for a moment, taking a deep calming breath and relaxing, if even for just a short period of time.
Take a quick inventory. Reflect on your situation, your thoughts and feelings and your current mindset.
Is this the track you want to be on? Is what you’re doing now moving you closer to your objective? If so, continue on, even if it’s temporarily difficult or uncomfortable. And if this is not your path, if your behavior and actions are not in line with your goal, what must you do to change it and be on course?
2. Be yourself.
Consciously or unconsciously we all wear many hats (or masks) to be who we need to be each and every day.
Eventually over time, we can lose touch with our authentic selves which can leave us feeling frustrated, lost, insecure and unsure about ourselves.
The truth is you can’t please everyone, so being true to yourself, first and foremost is incredibly important.
Be yourself. Be comfortable with who you are inside.
Live the life you’re meant to live according to your core values and beliefs, and what you desire for your life.
That doesn’t mean intentionally hurting or abandoning others.
It simply means acting in a way that aligns with the person you are or want to become, that values who you are, and being that person authentically.
3. Don’t be distracted by the negative attitudes of others.
You may find that one or some of those individuals closest to you are immersed in negativeness.
It could be your husband, your kids, your in-laws, your parents, your siblings, your friends or co-workers.
Dealing with toxic people who are focused on themselves and their own agendas, who often complain, are pessimistic or don’t relate to you in a positive way, or acknowledge you for who you are, is a delicate balancing act at best.
Don’t allow yourself to become involved or weighed down in their negativeness.
Don’t doubt yourself, your abilities or the potential of your opportunities as a result of their opinions or behavior, or react to their negativeness by being negative.
Acknowledge who you are, stand up for your choice to maintain a positive outlook, and be confident in the belief that you are worthy of good.
If you (temporarily) lack the support of others, find a place inside yourself to value, love and embrace the wonderful and amazing person you are.
Let that love encircle you and provide a barrier from the negativity in your midst.
And if needed to protect your emotional, spiritual and intellectual self, distance yourself as much as possible from negative people.
(Hint: See #6)
4. Quit comparing yourself to others.
Comparing yourself to others is one of the worst things you can do to yourself.
Because no two people are exactly alike, and no matter how similar they may seem, everyone’s circumstances are truly unique, the comparison can never be a valid one.
It’s comparing apples and oranges.
And comparison often breeds negative competitiveness.
It can lead to low self-esteem, and leave you feeling inadequate and insecure.
Regardless of what you may see on the outside, every person has their own struggles.
Everyone, including you, is unique and has something amazing to offer, so be happy with who you are, and who you are becoming.
The best comparison for you is yourself, and using that as your measuring stick will serve you much better than any comparison with someone else.
5. No ‘dwelling on the past’.
I recently had a conversation about this very thing with a loved one who insists on dwelling on the past.
We can’t change the past. Not one experience, not one conversation, not one minute, not one action of it.
So why dwell on it rather than letting go of the past and the things that have already happened.
It will only cause you unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Extract lessons from past negative experiences to help you move forward and be better for having gone through the experience, and cherish the good experiences, but don’t limit yourself to thinking they’ll be the only ones you have.
Take all as learning opportunities that serve only to help you grow into a better person, and release the things that you can’t change and that don’t serve you.
6. Stick around positive people.
It’s been said that we ultimately become most like those with whom we spend most of our time.
If you’re reaction to that statement is “Gosh, I hope not,” maybe it’s a good idea to re-think those with whom you surround yourself.
Find some positive people and hang out with them.
Surround yourself with positive people.
They make good role models and mentors, support you, encourage and listen to you, and bring you up even (and especially) when you don’t feel that good about yourself.
They also present many opportunities for you to give and practice being a positive contributor.
Positive people help you succeed.
7. Remind yourself you can change.
Life is change.
It’s a positive affirmation.
Whenever you remind yourself that you are life and life is change, you reaffirm your flexibility, your marvelous adaptability; your ability to change with it.
Sometimes a particular viewpoint, perspective, outlook or behavior (way of “being” or doing things) can become so comfortable to us and ingrained in us, we think there is no other way.
But there are often many, many paths that lead to the same objective, goal, or desired place in life.
We just have to find the one that is meant for us, and sometimes that takes us down a road we hadn’t anticipated.
And sometimes that makes us angry, but more often we are afraid.
However, traveling an unknown path doesn’t mean we can’t get to the place where we’re supposed to be, or take the journey that’s meant for us.
We must learn not to fear or resist change, but to plan for it, anticipate it enthusiastically, to embrace it, and to delight in it as a new adventure, a new opportunity to learn and grow.
Not only will it program your mind to think positively, but it will also strengthen your self-confidence as you move forward, which will continue to fuel a positive attitude.
8. Be grateful.
Being grateful brings instant positivity in your life.
Finding gratitude in all things – bad, good, difficult, challenging, big and small, brings perspective and positivity into your life.
You can start by acknowledging one thing every day for which you’re grateful.
9. Find a purpose.
A sense of purpose helps us to feel grounded, motivated and confident.
Having goal or an objective helps you to focus your mind, energy and resources.
It helps you to be productive and fruitful.
It promotes a positive perspective of your life and circumstances.
When you do something with purpose, you have intention and determination.
It helps you to feel relevant and powerful. You matter, life matters.
All of these things fuel a positive attitude.
Find your purpose.
10. Become aware of your negative self-talk.
We all have that ongoing conversation in our heads.
But when that conversation consists of a majority of negative thoughts and negative self-perception, the effects on our perspectives, self-esteem, attitude, actions and behaviors can be devastating.
And while it’s not possible to completely eradicate negative thoughts, don’t allow negative self-talk to take hold.
- Learn to recognize negative thoughts when they form.
- Do not mistake negative thoughts for your authentic voice (self).
- Immediately challenge your negative thoughts as untruths that have no power over you.
- Replace your negative thoughts with positive, truthful statements and affirmations that support who you really are – fabulous, beautiful, wonderfully made.
Think about and treat yourself the way you treat a best friend, and turn negative self-talk into a positive conversation.
11. Gain inspiration.
Finding inspiration fuels our motivation, will power and conscious efforts to be positive.
Reading affirmations, positive quotes and success stories is a great way to gain inspiration from the thoughts and examples of others.
In doing so, you find the commonality between what others have experienced and your own situation, giving you hope and encouragement as you travel your path.
12. Don’t be a victim.
Sometimes we see ourselves victims of our circumstances.
When this becomes a habit we adopt negative attitudes.
The fact is, there are many of aspects of your life that can be changed by the decisions you make, the actions you take and perseverance.
There’s always some new opportunity or possibility on the horizon.
Don’t be a victim. Never give up.
13. Don’t allow resistance or challenges to stop you from achieving your goal.
We may often face resistance from others as well as certain challenges when we set out on the road to being positive.
People will want to convince you to be ‘realistic’.
And while being in close touch with what is real is certainly a desirable thing, considering what is possible beyond the reality you may be experiencing also has its place.
“Reality” in this case is often an excuse to justify fear, negative thinking, playing small, risking nothing and inaction.
Instead of falling into this trap, acknowledge that people who don’t realize their true potential will try to push you into the same pessimism.
But their reality doesn’t have to be yours.
Choose higher, greater, better, farther.
14. Use your sense of humor.
Learning to laugh is a most formidable weapon in formulating and maintaining a positive attitude.
When we can laugh at life’s absurdities and at ourselves, it allows us to put things in their proper perspective in addition to fostering a positive outlook.
Finding the humor in things will lift you up, lighten your load, change your attitude and draw others to you in a way in which you can share positively with them.
Smiling provides an instantaneous attitude boost.
It releases your “feel good” hormones (endorphins and serotonin), and when the chemicals being released by your body are conducive to well-being, you can easily adopt a positive attitude. (Source)
Make it a practice to smile as often as possible throughout your day while you think of a happy memory, how blessed you are or simply want to share a pleasant moment with someone else, and bring a little positivity into their day.
Wrapping Up 15 Ways to Develop A Positive Attitude:
“Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” – William James
Life is not all sunshine and rainbows.
It’s messy and sticky and muddy and confusing.
It’s a series of tests and situations and circumstances meant to turn you into the best version of yourself; a person who’s meant to do your part to make this world a better place for you having been here.
Having a positive attitude isn’t some kind of namby-pamby, Pollyanna, naiveté do-gooder crap.
It’s a powerful tool, an authoritative stronghold and suit of armor for a world that’s not always so easy to move through, as well as a force for drawing good into your life.
So be positive, stay positive no matter what life looks like, what it feels like.
Your quality of life will be better, your ability to deal with adverse circumstances will be improved, your experience will be deeper and your potential to sow meaningfully into the lives of others will be increased.
And what you contribute to life will be more and better as well.
As always, if you have enjoyed this post, please share it with your family and friends.
Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.