Posts Tagged ‘positivity’

A Gritty Can-do Attitude

September 3rd, 2018

Are you a quitter?  I bet you aren’t!  But negative assumptions and attitudes can creep into your working life quite easily because negativity is catchy!

When you’re in the flow, you feel like you can do anything

So, have you been thinking any of the following lately:

  • I’m too stressed. Stress is getting me down.
  • There is no way to move forward.
  • I can’t get any new clients, let alone keep the old ones.
  • My products are so-so.
  • I’m so behind (name the company) and so it’s not worth trying to catch up.
  • I can’t do this until I have more (funds, people, etc…)
  • It’s not going to get better until (the economy, my team, or (x) changes.

Of course, there is probably some truth in all of the above, but there are no solutions, when they are put this way.  Your can-do attitudeis lost and negativity sets in like a plague.

You need to change the way you think about these situations- move to a place of self-efficacy; there is always something you can do.  You need a way to feel that you are in control – set some boundaries against helplessness and pessimism.  You don’t want to be a quitter, you want to be one that will find a way!  You can and will find a way!  Research shows that if you believe you will succeed, you will – eventually.

Teams that think of positive ways to deal with problems succeed- the optimists win!

So, first find out what the negative assumption/attitude is (in psychology, you are looking for a cognitive distortion) – write it down. Then examine the evidence to see if it is false, partially true or really totally true (very unlikely, as it may be).  Give yourself the benefit of the doubt when doing this and do not judge yourself too harshly.

Then put the statement into “can-do” language:

  • I’m very stressed and this is hard, but there will be a way through it, when I find it.First, though, I will treat myself to (your favorite nice reward is inserted here) because I have done so well, so far.  Then my plan will be….
  • There seems no way forward, but I’m sure if I sleep on it and ask for help from (mentor or boss or…), there will be a way, somehow.
  • I haven’t been able to get any clients for a while, and some of the present clients show signs of leaving. What are the reasons for this, and how can I change my products or sales to better reach the market and keep people on board?
  • My product is not so-so, but just not as cool sounding as x,so I have to change my product so it is better and at the moment I have to communicate my awesome value proposition to my clients and to the public.
  • I’m behind the competition, so I need to catch up and even surpass them as soon as possible by…
  • Let’s look at how to get (funds, people, etc) by this date so we can go forward as soon as possible; in the meantime, let’s…
  • Even though it’s not an optimal situation, how can I go forward with what I have?

Creativity is a great way of overcoming pessimism

I’m sure you get the point. Work on your thoughts and assumptions, and change them to workable positive assumptions that move you one step forward- not fake a happy-clappy, but gritty can-do attitude.

What’s your next positive assumption – and with that the next smallest step forward?

Have a very successful week!

Patricia Jehle

Thinking of My Heroes

January 20th, 2017

How are you doing today?

This morning I woke up early and angry, both of those things are not very common for me, so I pondered and asked myself why I was feeling this way and realized it is because today is January 20, 2017.

Then I gathered my will and wits and thought about positive people that I look up to, past and present and I was encouraged. My heroes.

Be encouraged today by your heroes.

Here are three of mine: my mother (surprise!), my father-in-law, and my friend, B. Although I have many more and could write a book about my unsung heroes, I will write a blog about these three.


My mother, Marge Christensen, became a widow when I was four and she was just over 40 years old. Having lived all her life with first her biological family and then with my dad and siblings, being single was a strange experience, and being a single mom in the 60s, put her in a place of discrimination and where we lived, not very high “on the totem pole”. Mom worked in a factory and had married before finishing high school, which in her time was quite the norm. Mom, a product of circumstances and her time, became a strong feminist and a very healthy positive independent woman and much of this transformation happened before my very eyes. She worked long hard hours, saved, was independent in so many ways- bought her own car, home and furniture, planned her – our – future (all for the first, and then many times) and lived a good life. Mom had a long, happy retirement and lived to be 92. She was healthy until just before she died in 2015. At the funeral my sibs made me say something and I think I said a version of this: my mother was a smart, strong and very sexy woman who was positive about life. Today I remember that positivity.


My father-in-law, Werner Jehle, was a highly trained watchmaker, the old fashioned kind who could actually make and fix really expensive hig-quality watches. He and his wife grew up in Germany near the Swiss border and one of their dreams, besides going to Canada, was moving to Switzerland, the land of watches. So they did move to Switzerland, first to Baden and then to Bern where my husband was born. But circumstances change and for Werner the issue was that digital watches had become the craze and he saw little future as a watchmaker, anymore. So Werner took an opportunity given him by the government and trained as an elementary school teacher. He was not so young anymore, but he saw an opportunity and took it. He and wife Elisabeth moved to the countryside with their family and Werner became the village teacher, which is also not an easy life for him as you are seen as a public figure of sorts; and Werner was a rather shy man. But he made the best of the situation, eventually moving back to Baden and then retiring there. He saw an opportunity and made the best of his situation. He took positive steps and benefitted from his good choices.


My friend, B, came to Switzerland with his wife and son as a political refugee. Because he is still a political refugee and because his homeland is still in a dangerous state, his name will remain a secret. B was a successful engineer at home and he and his family had had a middle class lifestyle in a place where there was a very small middle class. Then he moved here to Switzerland where he didn’t know the language and his work training and experience “didn’t count”. So, B learned German and got trained as a tradesman. B chose to continue forward and to think positively, even in a terrible situation. He and his wife and son have settled well here and Switzerland has become their new home, even though they still miss their first home. As someone who has moved to Switzerland under “easy” circumstances, I know transitions can be hard, and B was able to make that transition, and yet another hard transition: learning a new profession and then working in a foreign language. What a hero for me! He was positive even when his circumstances were bleak. B was strong, made hard changes and moved onwards and upwards.


I have other, more famous heroes. You probably do, too. This week I say goodbye to one hero who was my president, and I took a day to remember another: Martin Luther King Jr. Neither of those men had easy lives and yet they were positive and grace-full to the end. My hat goes off to both of them, too.

So, what can I do today? Remember my heroes and think positively and move forward, making good choices. One day, one step at a time. I suggest you do the same. Who are your heroes? Why?


Patricia Jehle