The Only Disability is a Bad Attitude

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” ~ Winston Churchill

The purpose of this post is to provide a few strategies that can help you maintain an optimistic attitude. The following strategies can help you obtain and maintain positive thoughts:

  • Maintain a Journal
  • Maintain a List of Affirmations
  • Change Your Attitude
  • Change Your Surroundings
  • Change Your Language

Maintain a Journal

Regardless of whether you call it a diary, journal, or list, maintaining a summary of your activities serves as a great reminder of your past. A written summary will reduce your frustration and enable you to maintain an optimistic attitude. The journal I keep is divided into letters of appreciation, certification, letters of completion, awards, and spotlights. I use the journal to remind myself of what I accomplished in the past and dream about what I can accomplish in the future. I bring the journal to every interview because evidence of my past helps recruiters estimate the value  I can provide in the future.

Maintain a List of Affirmations

When you need a little extra help maintaining an optimistic attitude, and you cannot find the help in your journal, you might find the help you need in a list of affirmations. Always be on the lookout for more positive quotes. The list of quotes that I keep covers a wide range of topics because I cannot predict the obstacles I will encounter in the future. There is nothing wrong with including similar quotes, opposing quotes, and quotes that have nothing to do with what you are experiencing and thinking at the moment. The list is simply a snapshot in time; you can update the list as frequently or infrequently as you see fit.

Change Your Attitude

Simply maintaining a journal and a list of affirmations is not enough to switch from pessimism to optimism. You must also consciously work to improve your attitude. One of the best ways to accomplish the required change is to ask a group of people who understand your situation to point out, in a friendly and non-threatening way, when you might consider a different attitude. One of the benefits of a group therapy program is you are surrounded by a people who understand your situation and may be able to offer positive feedback. Remember to thank the people who help you.

Change Your Surroundings

It’s possible that you have a very optimistic attitude, but your environment is tearing down your positive attitude. In this case, you might want to change the people with whom you interact, the places where you go, and even the way you live. Many people have difficulty with change, but change is sometimes necessary to achieve goals. If you are having difficulty with change, ask your friends, family, and social workers for help.

Change Your Language

Sometimes the words we use affect the way we think and the way other people think about us. Remember to use “please,” “thank you,” and “congratulations” when appropriate. People are more likely to help you when you use positive and thankful words. Using different words may significantly influence our attitudes. If you are having difficulty changing your language, ask your friends, family, and social workers for help.


What techniques do you use to maintain an optimistic attitude? What are the statements and stories that are most important in a journal? What are your favorite statements, quotes, or affirmations? How do you know if your attitude could benefit from a little change? How do your surroundings affect your attitude? What optimistic words could you use?

Click here to read another Beyond Adversity post.


  1. Scott great post! I have always heard that attitude is everything and it definitely makes a difference on how people live their life day to day. No matter what you are faced with if you just remember to remain positive even when it seems like the world is against you it will make all the difference and you find yourself developing a positive mindset.

    1. Jay, I believe a positive attitude is important during recovery, transition, and any activity that involves interaction with other people. I guess it is possible to succeed with a negative attitude, but a positive attitude would make a person even more successful.

  2. I think you have a fantastic attitude, and admire that. More people should be positive, although it is tough especially when faced with health issues. I try to tell myself “You can do it” to encourage myself. Then I try, try, and try again until I get it right. I have a disability, too, yet know others are worse off than me. I still believe what my parents instilled in me so many years ago: YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR MIND TO… and they were right!

    1. Lorraine, I definitely agree that a positive attitude is essential to progress. I also think that surrounding yourself with positive people makes a huge difference. I find it interesting that the subject not taught in school is the most important subject in life — building, maintaining, and sharing a positive attitude. Thanks for sharing your comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *