Author Dr. Noelle Nelson on Attitude

Is your glass half-full or half-empty? If it's the latter, you're putting your goals in jeopardy.

By April Y. Pennington

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With theever-present bumps and hurdles challenging you in your business,attitude might be the last thing on your priority list. Clinicalpsychologist and consultant Dr. Noelle Nelson, however,asserts it should be at the top. As the author of six books-herlatest is Winner Takes All: The Eight Keys to Developing aWinner's Attitude-Nelson is a testament to the poweryour positive attitude has in overcoming the unexpected and walkingaway a winner. Whether you're a new graduate, aspiringentrepreneur or recently laid-off employee, having a winningattitude can help you weather the rough spots and get on with yourlife.

In her book, Dr. Nelson reveals eight skills all winners use intheir daily lives to achieve their goals, along with numerous"Winner's Circle" accounts of people who haveovercome adversity through perseverance, courage and, above all,the right attitude. Dr. Nelson shares how entrepreneurs can benefitfrom the proper frame of mind. Why is itso important to develop a winning attitude?

Dr. Noelle Nelson: In oureconomy and current financial times, unpredictability rules theday. Technology is changing at a rate so fast, it's almostimpossible to keep up with. Entrepreneurs can get very scared,because it seems like something you've developed, which feltlike a sure thing, is going to have to be changed. These constantlychanging external factors mean that your security, confidence andability to succeed have to rely on something other than a provenskill. Skill is important, but that's not where your sense ofcompetence can be generated anymore.

"If there's anything that'schangeable, it's oneself."

What I learned in my work as a trial consultant and psychologistwas that people who were successful (all of whom were in some kindof abruptly changed situation) had some very pretty predictabletraits. The very first of those is belief in a positive future. Oneway to stand steady when the entire world seems to be going [wrong]is to steadfastly believe that your future is a positive one. Ifyou choose to focus on positive probabilities, you'll seeopportunities, advantages you may have otherwise not have seen. Manyaspiring entrepreneurs want to do something, but aren't surewhat. How do they realize their dream?

Nelson: When you don'tknow what it is that you want to do, there are two ways to approachit. One is to go back into your past and [think about] what youloved to do as a child. For some it was taking things apart; forothers it was staring at the shape of clouds. Daydream about wherethis fits in [your] adult life, then pick one [thing] and go forit. The only way you genuinely discover what it is you want to dois by doing something and letting it lead to the next thing. So forinstance, if you loved to take things apart, you could now be asystems analyst. But if you find out later that you really like toanalyze communication, then maybe you become a managementconsultant. It's rarely the right thing the first time, butthat's OK. What usually happens is people give up or staystagnant, just because it doesn't work out the first time. Youshould be constantly pulled forward by intrigue and desire. You listseveral types of negative attitudes that hold one back from movingforward to a successful future. How can someone change their way ofthinking?

Nelson: Everything aboutyourself is moldable. Let's take self-pity. You may never turninto a "everybody loves me" person, but you can certainlystart to work on counteracting your own negativity. Just think ofone client who appreciates you. You will then start to loosen upthe hold the negativity has on you. Prove to yourself that you arewrong. If there's anything that's changeable, it'soneself.

Read some inspirationalreal-life success stories in Young Millionaires by Rieva Lesonsky andGayle Sato Stodder.

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