Are you contagious?

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Medical experts are predicting this year’s flu season to be one of the worst in recent history. Yet, the flu isn’t the only thing that’s highly contagious right now. Your attitude can be just as infectious.

Like the flu, a bad attitude can suck your energy, increase your apathy, make you physically hurt and keep you from your best performance.

Unlike the flu, when it comes to our attitudes, we get to choose what we catch and what we spread. Contaminating our colleagues, friends and family with negativity is something we do knowingly. Also unlike the flu, when we realize we’re spreading a negative attitude, we have complete control to own it, deal with it, and get rid of it.

We know the most common flu symptoms, but what do we need to look out for when it comes to spreading bad attitudes? Here are four questions to consider:

  • Where do you look for help and support? Are you spending your time around others who feed your negativity or who encourage you to be positive and accountable?
  • What comes out of your mouth? Our words can slowly build others up or quickly tear them down.
  • Who do you spend your time with? Do you hang out with colleagues and friends who encourage and build up or gossip and tear down? What do you spend your time talking about when you’re together?
  • What are you feeding your mind? Just like our bodies need good food to stay healthy, our minds must be fed as well. What are you reading and what music are you listening to? It’s not a matter of if these things influence us – it’s how.

Make no mistake: You ARE contagious. What are others catching from you is the question.

For my faith-based friends: Our attitude is the number one attractor and detractor for being Christ-like examples for others because our attitudes and actions, not our words, reveal who we really are. Remember we are most contagious when we are going through difficult times. After all, anyone can smile through the happy times, right? While we can’t change the adversity of what’s happening around us, we are empowered to change what happens within us.

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