There is more attitude around than the 'traditional' positive / negative attitude. This article will expose you to the other kind of attitude. You will also learn about the significant components of attitude and how can use these to have an attitude that serves you.

Okay, let's take an in-depth look at attitude.

What is it?
It is a way of responding to our environment that is derived mostly from our generalizations about others and the system. We adopt and express a certain attitude in order to preserve ourselves from "harm" or to maintain a preferred personal status quo.
Attitude is always expressed in relations to others (others, goals, system ) outside of oneself

What you may not have known is that your attitude says a lot about your self-esteem, self-acceptance and self-affirmation. More than it says anything about others! Your attitude tells the world about your self-esteem, self-acceptance as well as your self-affirmation.

  • Self-esteem is judgement of self-worth, resulting in peace or lack there of with self and others! It presents as the presence or absence of enthusiasm and sense of purpose.
  • Self-acceptance is reconciliation with self refusing to be in an adversarial relationship with self.
  • Self-affirmation is saying yes to yourself! Refusing to berate yourself unnecessarily without being haughty or pompous and self-deceived.

When these three are congruent and aligned, you have an attitude that serves you well! And it shows.

At any given time your attitude is a result of an interaction between your outcomes expectancies and your efficacy beliefs. These two determine what kind of attitude you express to wards others (others, goals,system). What are they?

  • Outcomes expectancies are expectations of a specific result, which influence the choice of action to be taken.
  • Efficacy beliefs are beliefs about your capabilities to organize & execute courses required to produce certain results.

There are four ways in which an interaction between efficacy beliefs and outcomes expectancies can take place:

  • High Outcomes Expectancies lead to an attitude that spurs you to do something to get a result.
  • Low Outcomes Expectancies leads to avoiding certain tasks/actions or chalenges
  • High Efficacy Beliefs lead to being prepared to take on a challenge.
  • Low Efficacy Beliefs lead to an "I won't be able to do it" attitude.

This interaction can be graphically presented as follows: INTERACTIONS ATTITUDE POSSIBLE ACTION Low OE High EB Possibility is there, but:

  • "I'm undermined"
  • "There are no opportunities"

Demand for milieu change
Social activism High OE High EB

I love this challenge
I can do it
Isn't life wonderful Productive engagement
Personal Satisfaction Low OE Low EB "So what, I don't give a hoot!"
"Who cares" Resignation
Gevrek High OE Low EB Negative self-talk
"I'm in wrong place"
"I'm wrong person" Self-devaluation
Shame Changing your attitude starts with an understanding of those four interactions.
Lets use an example to demonstrate how it works for you. Let's suppose you are faced with a situation or challenge.

  • your feeling is that you are not equipped to deal with it (low efficacy belief)
  • but it is something that can be done (high outcomes expectancy)
  • your assessment: "I'm wrong person" (self-pity, low efficacy belief), despondency and self-devaluation (negative self-talk)

Can you see how you develop your attitude?

But, you want to know how to change your attitude, right?

Easy! You begin by asking:

  • Does the present attitude serve me well?
  • What is the source of this attitude:
    1. Low OE High EB
    2. High OE High EB
    3. Low OE Low EB
    4. High OE Low EB
  • Where do I need to make changes?
    1. Efficacy Beliefs
    2. Outcome Expectancies
  • Do I have the appropriate resources to effect the change?

Four questions are all you need if you want to change your attitude.

If, while you're reading this you find yourself thinking:"So what, I don't give a hoot!", ask yourself the above questions. And do the right thing.

Remember, your attitude says something about your self-esteem, self-acceptance and self-affirmation!

Ke o agile has been publishing In TheZone, an ezine
for capacity builders in the personal and professional
development areas since November 2001. Currently In TheZone
has 8 800 readers. Ke o agile can be contacted at:
+27 82 349 9360

Author's Bio: 

Ke o agile is NLP Coach resident in South Africa. He is also an editor of In Thezone, an ezine for capacity builders in the personal and professional development areas. Currently In TheZone boasts 8 800 readers. Ke o agile can be contacted at: , or +27 82 349 9360