Character Chats

Choosing a Positive Attitude

How can we choose a positive attitude over a negative one?

Here at True Balance Karate, we have a social emotional learning program called True Character.

I’m Master H, owner and chief instructor here at the studio. I have two master’s degrees in education, and I have taken what I’ve learned over 15 years of classroom and applied it here at the studio so that we meet the needs of every student that walks through our door, whether they’re three or 83.

And this month, we’re talking about having a positive attitude.

And this week, we’re talking about how we can choose a positive attitude over a negative one.


Now, earlier in the month, I talked with you guys briefly about a leadership book that we take our leadership students through called What To Say When You Talk To Yourself. It’s by Shad Helmstetter, and we take them through this book.

And it’s all about choosing a positive attitude over a negative one.

What do I mean by that?

Let’s take it from the perspective of a six or seven year old child.

You have asked them to clean their room and they have a very negative attitude. “It is going to take forever. I don’t really want to. I can’t. It’s too big of a mess.”

And so they’ve given you all of these negative reasons as to why they can’t pick up their toys.

Make It Fun

And we can help them change that and choose that positive attitude with simple things like do you think you could do it if I set a timer? How fast do you think it’ll take you to clean up this room?

Now, it’s a game and now a choice.

And they’re like, “I think I could get most of it done in five minutes.”

And now they have that positive attitude because they have something to go for.

Make It Rewarding

Maybe it’s based off of rewards.

“You know, if you finish cleaning up that room, we could go outside and play soccer.”

Or whatever it is that they really, really enjoy/ based off of that helps grow their positive attitude.

And now, the task that was so big and daunting, and there’s no way they could do it has become something that they can do.

And it’s something that they’re capable of doing.

And now, they have the positive attitude towards that task.

I often joke around here about how, as an adult, we all need gold stars because there’s just some tasks as adults that we don’t like to do.

For me, it’s laundry. I don’t like to do laundry, but I also set a timer, mostly so that I know when off I can flip it over to the next machine.

And then when I know that it goes off, it gets put away and it helps keep me on task.

So at the end of the night, I’m not having that negative attitude of I didn’t finish.

And now I have to stay up later or do it the next day or something like that.

So that timer has a positive impact on me.

And I joke that we should all get a gold star when we’re doing those things as grownups, because we also like those positive reinforcements.

We also like to choose positives over negatives.

The Bright Side

Earlier, we talked about how your thoughts and your feelings were impacted by your attitude.

And I had recommended having a gratitude journal.

And so, one of the things that I would encourage as well is before going to sleep at night or in the next morning, coming up with things that you’re grateful for.

Taking a minute and recognizing what went well for the day or taking a minute and recognizing three things that you’re going to accomplish that day, so that you have that positive attitude, so that you have that sense of I can do this.

Because when we choose the positive attitude over the negative one, we are also choosing problem solving.

We are also choosing a sunnier outlook.


We are also choosing patience.

When I have a positive attitude, I have a lot more patience for my own children and my husband.

Yes. I have a lot more patience for everyone around me when I’ve chosen that positive attitude.

A couple weeks ago, we had a tournament.

And knowing that some things were going to go wrong, there were going to be some things that we would have to problem-solve.

I made sure that we sat down and figured out what would be our solutions before we started, because then walking into that weekend, we already had a couple solutions so that we didn’t have to scramble.

We didn’t have to feel like we couldn’t accomplish something.

So even taking a moment and thinking through solutions gives you that opportunity to choose positivity, because now you’re being proactive. Now, you are choosing how you wish to solve the problem rather than feeling scrambled or stressed over it all.

Choosing Positivity

And the more we can put ourselves in those positive positions, the more we can choose positivity over negativity.

And helping our own young students see that as they’re doing chores, as they’re taking care of tasks, as they’re learning and growing into young adults helps them see that they are capable, that they can have skills and strategies already in their pocket to be able to address what they need to address as they get older.

And so every two time we can teach them how to choose positivity, it gives them that ability to then be proactive in their own way, even if it’s something as simple as a timer.

Thanks. And we’ll see you on the mat!

True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon.

We offer kids karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up. These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Our adult martial arts training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 630-663-2000. You can also contact us here.