You’d think with the situation we’re in – this “unpresendented” world-wide COVID-19 situation that the world finds itself in now - well I’ve been thinking about those well worn words “positive mental attitude”. I hear them all the time. “You must have a positive mental attitude”; “where’s that positive mental attitude of yours?”
Well I am announcing here and now that I’m banning those words from my vocabulary and would encourage you and my clients to do the same.
Surely You Don’t Mean That!!!
You may very well say, so I’ll explain how I came to this decision.
When we say to someone you should have a positive mental attitudewe are actually saying “come on buck up/stop feeling miserable/sorry for yourself/it could be worse/think how lucky you really are/count your blessings etc etc. Umm.
So I decided to check out the definition of “positive”
The Oxford Dictionery says:
Positive (adj) (Hopeful)
Yes being full of hope and confidence is great but “full of hope” makes me think “OK I’m hopeful I’ll try to succeed” or “I’m hopeful I’ll try to loose weight; stop smoking” “to reach the expectations I feel I’m supposed to reach” “I don’t fit in”+++++ . The words ’try’, ‘hope”, and other suchlike words are some of the most negative in the English language. Just think about that for a moment . Those words give us permission to fail, which is what we don’t want to do. When we use these words we are actually setting ourselves up not to succeed but to actually fail and thereby, as a consequence, this results in us having feelings of negativity and disappointment with ourselves.
In future I’m going to use, what I feel is the much better phrase “A Good Mental Attitude”.
You see with a Good Mental Attitude, things can be or go squiffy and the end result may not be as you would like it to be, but by having a GMA you can look at the situation with a far better frame of mind and thereby handle things in a more solid positive way, which in turn will help you cultivate a feeling of wellbeing with yourself and the world you occupy
A Good Mental Attitudecan be sustained whereas a positive mental attitude is unsustainable in the long term.
Let me explain. Having a Good Mental Attitude is having a solid, strong, stable frame of mind - it’s a way of being, having a good mind frame, being on an even keel. No high bars to jump over. No need to set yourself up to being “way hey; yippee high ho, jazz hands and all that stuff” , which in this long term is unsustainable.
Don’t set yourself to fail but set yourself up to succeed . Don’t look at what others do, but more importantly look at what you can achieve with your Good Mental Attitude.