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How to develop a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude)

Posted by: Jessica Leslie 14 Jun 12 - 12:00AM
“I was recently asked by one of my well respected colleagues – Andy how do you create a positive mindset, a can-do mentality?"

It’s a great question and one that upon pondering, I’d suggest doesn’t necessarily have one clear answer. You see it’s like asking what makes a good friend or a strong business partnership? We know what each of those looks like but there are many different factors which go in to making each of these ideals exist. In fact it’s often equally as important what’s not in there as what is.

Arguably most of us would want to have good friends or strong business relationships just as we all would like to think we have a positive mindset, but it takes a bit more than wanting to make these things happen. So what I’m going to give you are my own, personal top five tips to creating a positive mindset and hand-in-hand, a can-do attitude.


1. Surround yourself with up-beat people and actively avoid those who aren’t.
It sounds simple but if you’re investing time and energy towards maintaining a positive attitude then the last thing you want is someone who sucks that positive energy from you. I heard a great phrase a few years ago which has stuck with me to this day and describes these individuals – ‘mood hoovers’. They float around positive people like you and hoover up all your good energy.

2. Remove certain limiting words from your vocabulary, particularly “I can’t”, “I don’t”, and “It won’t”. I’ve recently started joking with my kids that whenever they say they can’t do something that the word doesn’t exist and they are only allowed to say, Can, Will and Do! You shouldn’t underestimate the positive change in your ability to tackle challenges when you tell yourself you will be successful.

3. Accept that things go wrong and challenges will be there to test you in all aspects of your life; then smile, roll up your metaphorical sleeves and say “bring it on”. Avoidance or blind ignorance to problems means you’re much less effective in dealing with the challenges in front of you and a small issue unresolved can often develop into a big unresolvable issue.

4. “I didn’t come here for a finisher’s t-shirt, I came to win”. I love this phrase as it embodies a spirit of competition and self-belief. There’s a fine line between confidence and cockiness but you know what, I love a confident person. They make me feel confident myself and they make me feel like they deserve to be successful if they believe in themselves so much!

5. Look around and be thankful.
Without sounding trite there are a lot of reasons we should be grateful and feel positive about our lives when we look around the world and see people far more challenged or afflicted than we are. When you put your ‘perspective glasses’ on you’ll see that there is often little reason to be negative and self-defeating. !)

So the next time you hear someone start to complain and moan or make excuses for some situation they found themselves in, step back and take a deep breath. Then with exaggerated purpose, fix a smile on your face and either walk away or tell them that you can no longer talk to them until they have an S.A.A. (A Serious Attitude Adjustment
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