4 Life Tips to Help Choose Your Attitude

Published On: September 20, 2023Categories: Blog

Sometimes it feels like life can simply spiral out of our control, and that we have no say in what happens around us or what influences our responses. While there’s a fundamental truth to the idea that we can’t control the world around us or all of our circumstances, and there’s a certain comfort that comes with ceding your agency and simply “letting life happen” to us, this mindset can keep us from recognizing the ways we can influence our experience in the world.

Choose Your Attitude is one of the four pillars of the FISH! Philosophy, and is often a difficult one for people to really grasp. Far too often, people either dismiss the idea of choosing our attitudes as ineffective individualism, or they think they’re already in full control of their emotions and fail to recognize unhealthy behaviors. But while gaining control over our attitude, emotions, and reactions may not always be easy, it is possible–and it’s key to creating a life and a work environment that avoids stress, drama, and anxiety as much as possible.

To leave work with a smile on your face, it’s important to get ourselves out of a static mindset and into a growth mindset. A static mindset is one that assumes stagnation–we believe that our physical, social, and emotional environment is unchangeable so we throw up our hands and dig our heels in whenever progress is suggested or implied.

On the other hand, a growth mindset is quite the opposite. We embrace new challenges as opportunities to learn and improve. We roll with the punches and adapt to the environment at-hand, recognizing changes and working effectively to make the most of any situation.

Here are just 4 tips for Choosing an Attitude of growth, rather than staying in a static mindset that keeps us from living our best lives:

Plan ahead to stay in control 

When we’re in the middle of a stressful situation, managing our emotional reactions becomes exponentially more difficult–this is why so many people don’t believe it’s even possible. But Choose Your Attitude isn’t something we practice in the heat of the moment; it’s something we practice in the calm before the storm.

When we know that stress is upcoming–when we anticipate a conflict with a coworker, see a tight deadline, or hear about a big upcoming workload–we can make a plan to stay in emotional control. We can analyze how we usually react in a similar past situation and work to avoid any of the negative behavior in the future.

“Prior planning prevents poor performance” may be a favorite adage of bosses everywhere, but it just as readily applies to our emotions as well: the more we can anticipate our own reactions in advance, the more likely we are to be able to display the attitude we want in the moment.

Set a goal and commit to it

Planning ahead is a great way to practice Choose Your Attitude for a discrete single upcoming event, but how do we stick with this practice in the long term? One way to cultivate and maintain the attitude you want is by setting goals for yourself–then sticking with them.

When it comes to attitude, the best goals are those that force you to Choose Your Attitude to succeed. Showing affection to those you care about, creating a positive and nurturing work environment for your direct reports, giving back to your community, these are all the sorts of goals that require you to adapt your attitude in order to achieve.

And of course, once you have a goal in mind, that goal needs to stay dead center and earn your full commitment. When you keep this goal front-of-mind for anything you do, you constantly have to re-evaluate your attitude and focus on maintaining that growth mindset, which is a difficult skill–but one that’s crucial to learn and practice.

Stay curious and Play with new ideas

Maintaining that growth mindset isn’t just about playing offense; you need to focus on defense as well. That means staving off the desire or inertia to return to a static mindset, and one of the best ways to do this is by practicing another FISH! Philosophy skill–the concept of Play.

Play is the way we engage with new and novel ideas. Play means creating an environment where “out there” ideas can be shared without fear of judgment or pushback, sharing those ideas without guilt or shame, and listening to them with an open mind.

Not every idea will be a winner, but by letting yourself and your team toy with them rather than shutting them down immediately, you foster an environment (and an attitude within yourself) that values innovation rather than stagnation, excitement over fear, and mutual respect over automatic judgment.

Visualize your victories 

Goals are important, but often they’re insufficient if they just remain as words on paper or thoughts in your head. To really help manifest achievement, you need to practice visualizing your victory. Yes, for some people that might sound a bit silly, but it’s important: you need to take the time to imagine what it’ll look like when you succeed.

Our emotions really don’t distinguish between our imagination and reality–for evidence, just think back to the last time you watched a scary movie then had to go to bed with the lights on. And the same effect is true with positive emotions as well. When you imagine yourself succeeding, you can actually feel the emotions associated with that moment of celebration or joy. And when you feel those emotions, you bring them forward with you into the challenges ahead, which make you more likely to end up actually succeeding.

Ideas to Reflect On:

  • Think ahead to an upcoming challenging situation. How would you normally act? Is that how you want to act? Is there a way you’d prefer to behave or to be perceived by those around you?
  • Pick one attitude-improving goal you can work towards. How can your behavior in any given situation further that goal?
  • Next time you have a goal to achieve, spend 3 minutes visualizing what it would look like to achieve it–then note how you feel. Do you feel more confident and capable?

Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and avoid the symptoms of impending burnout. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or info@charthouse.com to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

Want to Implement FISH! in your organization?

Are you a leader?  Do you train others?  Do you want others to be leaders?

Charthouse Learning, the creator of the world-famous, award-winning, FISH! film is offering an in-person, 2-day workshop, interactive Train-the-Trainer lead by our Senior Trainer.

During our time together you’ll learn how to:

  • Share the motivation and foundation of FISH!
  • Introduce the FISH! film with the four practices.
  • Present the invitation to apply the practices in everyday interaction with others.
  • Build a sustainability and reinforcement program to transform the culture.
  • Pick up tips from other FISH! Philosophers and develop a strategy to embed the practices into the DNA of your culture.
  • Create an energized organization that is the “first choice” for employees, faculty, staff, leaders, and customers.

Plus, you will learn how to create a workplace where people choose to “be and bring” their best self everywhere, every day.

At the FISH! Train the Trainer you will:

  • Dive Deep: Discover The FISH! Philosophy – full of “A-ha!” takeaways and perspective-shifting realizations.
  • Transform: Make the four FISH! practices – Play, Be There, Make Their Day and Choose Your Attitude – an essential part of your professional and personal skill set.
  • Discover: Learn practical ways to apply the FISH! practices to improve teamwork, service, leadership, retention and performance.
  • Develop: Brainstorm strategies to embed The FISH! Philosophy into the DNA of your culture, strengthening your mission, vision and values.
  • Collaborate: Learn and laugh with like-minded folks from across the globe.

Click Here for More FISH! Train the Trainer Information

FISH! Executive Briefing

You have probably heard about the Culture Shift in the news. Organizations are struggling to find talent, employee morale is low, retention is a common goal and customers are dissatisfied with buying experiences.

These are all symptoms of an underlying challenge leadership is faced with every day, regardless of the industry. You can look for temporary relief or an overall, long-term cure.

Join us for a 60-minute webinar on the world-famous, award-winning FISH! practices.

Click Here for More FISH! Executive Briefing Information


Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and introduce Play into your organization. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or info@charthouse.com to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

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