Many personal development experts say maintaining a positive attitude is the cornerstone of success. Great advice! But do you think anyone, even those who spout that platitude about attitude, ever have off moments? Of course they do!

Having off moments is an inevitable part of living. Being human includes feeling sad, depressed, upset, frustrated, angry, distraught, and all other kinds of negative mindsets at one time or another. One can’t always simply or easily turn off a negative attitude.

Allowing yourself to feel the negativity is acceptable. You are allowed to experience a normal human feeling, even though it’s a negative one. Look at it this way: it would be inhuman of you NOT to feel it!

If you try to hold in what you feel, bury it, or ignore it in an effort to control it, you might be setting yourself up to release a more intense and irrational outburst later. So let yourself feel what you feel. You’re human.

When you allow yourself to feel the negativity, realize that the feeling will not last. If you recognize that the off moment you are in will pass away, while you are in the middle of it, you will be better able to deal with the negative feelings you are experiencing. It will help you to know that you will not always feel "bad," and it will also help you know that you have another time for the opportunity to feel "better."

Of course, allowing yourself to feel negativity is not the same as acting it out in a negative way. That would benefit no one. But you may choose to act on negative feelings in a practical, nonviolent way.

Sometimes just a good crying jag will do the trick. Go ahead and let it out that way. Tears aren’t just for removing specks from your eyes!

Or suppose you’re angry at your spouse or child and feel like bang-zooming him/her right in the kisser. Will you? If so, you need to get professional help immediately. A more constructive outlet might be to put on your favorite CD and dance off your anger, or go to the gym and pump it out--these steps will not only help improve your state of mind but also your physical well-being.

To summarize, here’s what you can do when you’re having an off moment:

* realize that your negative feeling is a normal human feeling
* allow yourself to feel it
* know that the feeling will not last
* act out the feeling in a constructive, nonviolent manner

Your off moments will become less intense and more infrequent. And if you think about it, the steps you’ll be taking WILL be steps for maintaining a positive attitude.

Author's Bio: 

Sheila Cohill (
is a freelance writer and editor who contributes biweekly to the Personal Development
topic (
at Suite 101 (