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How To Choose A Superhero Attitude

Champions and leaders understand the greatest obstacle to their success is a negative mindset. Psychologists define attitude as “a learned tendency to evaluate life events in a particular way.” In other words, your attitude is how you interpret circumstances in your life. My take? Our attitudes are within our power to change. People are not optimistic because they have recognized possibilities. They recognize possibilities because they are optimistic. Maybe you’ve heard someone say, “I was born pessimistic; that’s how my brain works.” The implication is that they were born to think negatively. Great logic. Let’s extend it here. If you were born in a barn, would that make you a COW? Some people are convinced that negativism is genetically programmed into their DNA, as in, “I came into this world with curly hair, brown eyes, and a bad attitude!” Okay, so terrorize the nursery, bring your dark shadows to preschool, and shut down kindergarten at recess. If this is your belief, think again! A self-imposed negative mindset is a considerable barrier to discovering new possibilities for yourself.

Like everyone else, I was born with some unchangeable physical characteristics, and just like everyone else, I have struggled to remain positive and accept what I cannot change. However, a significant turning point in my life occurred when I discovered I had the power to be a “superhero.” No, I couldn’t catapult from building to building with my prosthesis, but I do have X-ray vision. I have always been able to see through the brick walls of negativity that well-meaning people had placed in my path. You can have that same superpower. It’s your choice!

Being born with an unchangeable physical challenge forced me to look within for something that was changeable, something that I could control. Suddenly, I realized what it was! The greatest obstacle to my success was not my hands or legs. It was how I viewed them. Real power happens when we take complete control over our perspective. When you take control over the attitudes and beliefs that hold you back, you accept responsibility for your choices. You choose whether to notice and evaluate the possibilities. Therefore, you can choose which opportunities to jump towards and which ones to reject based on your values and goals. You become an active driver rather than a passive passenger in your life.

As a kid, I was often busy making excuses to get out of things I didn’t want to do. In those instances, I’d play the “physically challenged” card. I thought of it as my ace in the hole. Oh, was I good! I never seemed to learn that my father was playing a different game, and he held the trump card. He wanted me to succeed on the world’s terms, and that didn’t leave any room for “poor me-ism.” He would confront my negativity with a comment like, “You can, but will you?” His admonition was that he wanted me to look inside myself, to confront my state of mind, instead of the external me in the mirror. Yes, the shape of my hands and legs were predetermined genetic traits, but my choice to become excited about the possibilities, and explore them, was not. The good news is that choice, not chance, determines our attitude!

Are you weakening yourself with the kryptonite of negativity, apathy, or fear? Tap into your inner superhero by choosing to be optimistic, and allow yourself to recognize the endless possibilities ahead of you. You no longer have to give in to your unchangeable circumstances, anger, pessimism, negativity, or fear. Instead, soar like the superhero you are!

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