This is your glimpse into chapter two in Catherine Goggia’s lastest book available on Amazon:
You can also listen to the 15 Day Attitude Challenge that aligns with the book:
It’s important to understand why mindset management and attitude habits elude so many people. Human development is complex and attitude requires consistent discipline. A person’s upbringing significantly impacts his/her perspective in life, and self-awareness to overcome development gaps is required.
Our attitudes are linked to our temperaments and personalities. Instead of adjusting behaviors stemming from problematic temperament and personality demonstrations, many people justify their negative behaviors by reinforcing the very traits that can become relationship breakers.
Let me share some common examples of justifying non-productive behaviors so you know what I’m referring to in specific terms. These examples come from clients during coaching sessions:
“I’ve always been this way.”
Right. And it drives people crazy 40 hours a week.
“I’m just stubborn.”
No, it’s more than that. You are acting childish, focused only on getting your way without regard for how your actions impact others and the work flow.
“I don’t like change.”
You’ve moved through change repeatedly in your life (new: clothes, schools, grade levels, teachers, jobs/supervisors, pets, moving, relationships, food, cars, learning technology, rearranged furniture, etc.).
The issue is resisting change imposed upon you. You want things to be your idea and your way – which can work out okay if you have what it takes to create your own business. But if you DECIDE TO and AGREE TO work for someone else, you must adapt to change sourced from other people’s ideas and actions.
LIVE IT! reminds us to check in with ourselves and understand what we feel and why we feel it as we flex to the demands and requests of others. It’s important to provide logical (rather than emotional) reasons for your requests.
Some people want to keep the jobs they have when they aren’t willing to evolve with the changing needs of their customers, organizations, departments, and roles. If you want to keep your job and fulfill your role effectively, you will likely have to adapt to change repeatedly.
Evolution of any type requires change. Evolve or die. And don’t tell yourself you’re just “plateauing”; look again. Something is probably eroding.
“It’s harder for me.”
Teaching college classes tested my ability to see and believe in the best in people because many people were addicted to the stories they’d been telling for years. Their excuses seemed incredibly valid, and I was tempted many times to cave in and allow different rules for different people. And then I realized it would be a disservice to those students if I became yet another person who bought into their excuses and lowered the bar for them.
I’ve come to believe each of us has difficulties. And while some bring higher level challenges to their daily circumstances, people have proven repeatedly if one person refuses to support their excuses, they can rise up and make themselves proud. The rule in my classes was not one everyone agreed with: the criteria for earning a grade should be the same for everyone. If I made an exception for one person, the exception should apply to all. Here’s my rule: if you earn an “A” grade, this is the time period and scoring criteria you must meet – it’s the same for everyone.
In my teaching experience, students who earned “A”, “B”, or “C” grades took pride in knowing they met the same criteria as all other students. It boosted their confidence to know I didn’t make special rules for them. For many students, that “C” grade was spectacular, because many people in the same situation would likely drop out or flunk the course. My students felt good about knowing they could earn passing grades without making special rules for them.
I’ve seen the same circumstances apply in the workplace. People want a promotion, but they aren’t willing to take responsibility for meeting the requirements – they want to keep doing things their way, at their comfort zone level, and want to be rewarded for it. That’s not how it works. Related to this circumstance are those employees who have an elevated view of their capabilities and then have a disgruntled attitude because they are focused on feeling overlooked instead of taking responsibility for advancing their skills.
I don’t know what difficulties you face when you get up every day. For many people it takes all they’ve got to show up to work on time on the days they are scheduled. For many people, following directions is an awakening. Wherever you in the spectrum of challenges, I do believe this: if you tell yourself repeatedly, “It’s harder for me,” it will be harder than it needs to be.
You might never know what you may have accomplished if only you would have let go of that excuse. May I encourage you to see it’s time for a break through? Raise the bar for yourself before it becomes someone else’s job to raise that bar for you.
“It doesn’t matter what I do.”
Yes, it does matter what you do and say. You are either making other people’s jobs more enjoyable and easier, or you aren’t.
You are creating your reputation every day. Now that your coworkers know you, would they still want to hire you if they could do it again?
“I don’t want to.”
I get that. Success may require doing things we’d rather not do. For example, I dread having to deal with any type of technical support. When I say dread, I mean – hate. Technical support issues trigger high levels of stress in me. However, if I’m going to participate in continuous improvement, I’m going to be learning new technologies and applications continually. Those things don’t always work the way they are supposed to and I don’t always see what it is exactly I’m supposed to do or what I’m doing wrong. It’s a given I will be dealing with technical support on a regular basis. It’s part of the trade off: in order to meet my goals, I’m going to deal with technical support.
In his book, The Slight Edge: Secret to a Successful Life, Jeff Olson wrote a statement that stuck with me: “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.”
Exactly. Wanting or not wanting to do something is not the point. Are you WILLING to do the things you don’t want to do in order to master positive attitude habits?
Being prepared for your success is foundational for expanding careers and contributions. If an opportunity arises, you need to be ready to say, “Yes,” and pivot. Being uncomfortable and uncertain during the pivot stage is normal. Exchange thoughts of, “I don’t want to,” with the question, “Am I willing to…?” and habits can be established to help you meet your goals.
You may also encounter circumstances in which you ask, “Am I willing to….?” and the answer is, “No”. That’s okay. Own your decision consciously. However, you don’t then get to resent the result of your decisions.
Now that we’ve seen some common examples of how people justify their non-productive behaviors, let’s focus on these important attitude factors.
Temperament: “1. A person’s or animal’s nature, esp. as it permanently affects their behaviors.”
From my training perspective, I think of temperament as the way we are “wired”. For example, on the Italian side of my family, the men were short-tempered. As I was growing up, the behaviors resulting from that temperament trait were modeled for me.
Awareness: there’s a 50% chance I’m wired to be short-tempered (nature). Yelling, hitting, throwing things, hitting walls or other surfaces was modeled for me (nurture).
During my teenage years a lack of control over my temper limited my success. Even though I won athletic awards, including the overall athlete award from my high school, I KNEW my talent was limited due to a lack of emotional control.
I didn’t want to demonstrate some of the behaviors that had been modeled for me. I launched a self-improvement plan to overcome certain parts of my temperament, without giving up the positive aspects of my temperament such as quick thinking and action, high energy when under pressure, a determined “can-do” way of being, and a warrior-like fighting instinct that literally saved my life when I was in college.
For those of you who have participated in spiritual study, your temperament is sometimes referred to as your “shadow” and “light”, depending on if the behavior limits or serves you. The idea is to “make friends” with both the shadow and light sides of your temperament so you can accept yourself for who you are and consciously manage both sides.
The teachers who impacted me most when I was 19-24 years old and trying to understand my temperament were Louise L. Hay, Marianne Williamson, and Tony Robbins. Their books and audio programs helped me realize 1) taking things personally led to anger, 2) fear of failure led to anger, 3) not doing everything perfectly was causing way too much stress, and 4) caring too much about what other people thought of me made me act in ways I didn’t like (so how could anyone else like me?). During that time I picked up a tape that said DOORS on the label – in my haste I thought I was buying a DOORS album and it was something completely different (divine intervention?). The entire tape was a repeated song mantra: “I’m closing doors, I’m opening doors, I’m closely doors, I am safe, it’s only change, I am safe, it’s only change. I’m opening doors, I’m opening doors, I’m closing doors…” Decades later, as I type those words, I can still hear the music in mind. I wore that cassette tape out, driving around in my Rambler, singing along and trying to redirect the shadow side of my temperament.
With practice, behavior change is possible even when you are trying to overcome the way you are wired. I am still working on ways I can tap into my temperament for positive outcomes without allowing my temperament to hijack my thought process and mood.
A few months ago a CEO I work with complimented me on my attitude. I thanked her, but confessed I had been feeling impatient with some of the team, to the point of starting to feel really frustrated. She laughed and told me she was surprised I hadn’t reached that point sooner. And that, dear reader, is one of the rewards if you invest conscious effort into balancing your temperament! You might receive compliments for behaviors that don’t come naturally to you, but have become part of your positive attitude habits.
Personality: “1. The combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character. The qualities that make someone interesting or popular.”
Personality is interesting to me because it shows up so early in babies. Before they walk and talk, their personalities come shining through!
I was lucky when I was little because my dad liked cameras and he loved taking pictures. When I was born, he had a Polaroid camera. I was first born, so there are photos of me– lots of them.
Being able to see a multitude of images of myself before I joined the ranks of kindergartners learning to conform to social norms is informative. I look at those photos when I want to be reminded of the truth about my personality. I can look at them and have an experience almost like looking at someone else.
If photos of you are available, take a look at them. What do you see? How would you describe the person looking back at you?
You can also learn about your personality from the stories people share about you. How do those stories compare to the person you have become? Has your true self been lost along the way? Are you more of the same, only better?
What are the stories that have been passed on about you from when you were little? If you don’t know any stories about that time in your life, it’s okay. It’s simply a tool for considering how your personality impacts your attitude, but there are other markers as well.
Your personality when you started out in this life provides a helpful baseline so you can estimate whether or not you were able to maintain your personality once life starting unfolding for you. Some of the people I’ve coached have lost sight of their true selves, which is one of the reasons their attitudes derailed. Is it time for you to call your true personality “home”?
The actions of the people raising you impacted you. The role of existing siblings or birth of new siblings impacted you. Relatives may have impacted you. Sometimes it’s not easy to maintain the incredibly genuine personality we started out with.
My mother left when I was a baby. She was very young when she got pregnant and I can understand why she had second thoughts about staying married. My grandmother and aunt took care of me while my dad worked. My mother returned about six months later when my grandmother wrote to her and told her she wanted to adopt me. I didn’t know about this until I was in my forties. What I did recognize is I had certain relationship behaviors that didn’t make sense to me. Although generally independent and self-sufficient, I sometimes acted like a person with abandonment issues. I couldn’t figure it out because I believed my parents stayed together through good times and bad, even though they came close to separating more than once.
When I learned about my mother abandoning me when I was so small, my behaviors made sense and it helped me complete my work around that issue. The reason I share this with you in the personality section is I’m delighted I was able to come through that situation (which I’m guessing was rather traumatic for me) with most of my confidence in tact – not all of it, but most of it.
How did your life circumstances impact your personality? Ask this question with the intent of understanding yourself, not blaming people for upbringing challenges. Blaming is a negative attitude pattern, so it’s important to focus on a higher understanding of your life and how you coped with the challenges you faced.
The chapter continues with more examples, limiting beliefs, supporting beliefs, action assignments, and humorous illustrations. With more than 300 pages of content and 55 illustrations, you’ll see why this information and these action plans have already helped thousands of people – it can help you too. GET A JUMP START ON 2017! Here’s your link: