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The No. 1 Killer of Your Career (and How to Beat It)

What you need to beat this career killer are simple strategies to throw up a ring of steel around your attitude and repel all negativity from whatever source.
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Can you name your most precious asset?

The one that guarantees you the best chance of success? Of career advancement?

Well, according to research and Seth Godin, it's not your grades, skills or previous work history... it's your attitude.

And not just any attitude -- a positive one.

A positive attitude is the single biggest determinant to your career advancement. It embodies the growth mindset -- open-minded, optimistic, flexible, solution-oriented and fostering strong relationships.

That's the ideal candidate for greater responsibility and recognition every time.

But without that awesomely positive attitude your career will falter and die.

Yet, not all co-workers share your mindset. Or appreciate it. The cynics and doom merchants amongst them seem to have one sole purpose -- dragging your attitude down, and your career with it.

Sure, they may not be aware of the effect their negativity is having, but the fact remains, your most valuable asset is under daily attack.

Continually staying positive in such a negative environment is a terrific drain on your mental energy and physical well-being, one that you and your future career cannot afford.
What you need to beat this career killer are simple strategies to throw up a ring of steel around your attitude and repel all negativity from whatever source.

Prepare Your Defenses Before Work

1. Insufficient sleep leads to irritability, lack of concentration and adversely impacts your own positive mood. Get enough quality sleep for a running start on safeguarding your precious frame of mind.

2. Once out of bed, start with an affirmation that strengthens your positive attitude. For example "My positivity is way stronger than any negativity it might encounter today" or "My positive attitude will crush any negativity I encounter today."

3. Over breakfast, feed your attitude as well as your stomach. Fill up on a diet of positive news or other uplifting input for a healthy, non-toxic start to the day.

4. Devise a simple mood boosting bonus before work. Grab a fresh slice of the outdoors with a gentle jog or short walk, two natural mood-enhancers in one. Getting up earlier will be worth every minute.

5. Once back, change for work. Your clothes have a significant effect on your psychological mood: choose the best-fitting, most confidence-boosting outfit each morning to step out in.

6. Studies have shown that smells spark memories associated with events, often unconsciously. If you wear one, be sure it's a scent that lifts your mood.

Ring-Fence Your Attitude At Work.

7. Once at work, what you let into your head is as important as what's already in there. Be proactive and always have positive topics of conversation to lead with.

8. If you find a co-worker has started a conversation in a negative manner, the best approach is to walk away as politely as you can.

9. If you find you can't escape a negative conversation, then try to turn it around at the earliest moment by leading it in a positive angle or making a positive observation that changes the mood.

10. Gossiping is surely one of the quickest ways to destroy a positive culture, even in the most upbeat environments. Avoid talking about someone behind their back as this will slowly destroy your positive attitude by attacking your own self-esteem.

11. Even corrosively negative co-workers are often just struggling in their work and life. This kind of behavior often masks issues of low self-esteem and confidence. Understanding this, while still keeping their negativity at arm's length, will allow you to feel more positive towards them and in turn, towards yourself.

12. However, the reality is the negative vibe some co-workers put out is truly corrosive. You need to limit your interactions with them as much as possible. Learn to say no politely to anything that would increase your involvement with them beyond your minimum work commitments (find out how here).

13. Sometimes a moaning co-worker has just been sucked into a temporary negative vibe. Make them an ally by offering help: "Hey, __ you clearly feel quite negative about this subject. Let's see if together, we can find some positives."

14. Another effective method to win co-workers over from the "dark side" of negativity is to encourage a culture of sharing positive, inspirational material: quotes, wallpapers and upbeat articles

15. Defend your positive attitude not just with your words and thoughts, but also with your body. How you sit, stand and approach people affects not only how others react to you, but how you react to yourself. Use "power poses" to maintain that all-important attitude.

16. If all around you are gloomy faces, then don't reflect that mood back. Instead smile, laugh and refuse to take their doom and gloom seriously. Go for a walk or jog in your break with some uplifting music or audio to keep you smiling.

Ramp Up Your Defenses

17. Sometimes you can't afford to be subtle. There's a war on for your attitude, remember? Make your stance crystal clear with a sign at your workstation that reads: "If you have nothing good to say, then say it somewhere else."

18. You can reinforce this for yourself as well, by having a notice above your wastebasket: "Negative trash here please!"

19. Get accountable. Make sure you have the best chance of maintaining your winning attitude by getting trusted co-workers to "call you out" if you slip into negative ways.

And if all else fails...

20. Tell your negative co-workers that you have an allergic reaction to negativity that manifests itself with symptoms of a bulging neck, rolling eyes and shortage of temper.

Protect That Awesome Attitude To The Max.

Don't let the negativity mongers among your co-workers kill your chance of career success by eroding your positive attitude.

Use the simple steps above to beat their negativity and build an impregnable fortress around your all-important attitude.

Life's tough. Either you defend your upbeat mood and optimistic perspective on life or surrender your career chances.

It's your choice.

Choose wisely. Choose positively.

Laura Tong is on a mission to help you gain control of your life and happiness at work and at home. Download her free cheat sheet: 5 Guilt Free Ways To Say No Without Offending Anyone (Even If You Hate Conflict).

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