Character Chats

How Our Attitude Affects Our Actions

How does your attitude affect your actions?

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 what that means is I’ve taken all of my knowledge of how things work in the classroom and applied it here at the studio, so that we can best meet the needs of all of our students, from as young as three to as old as 83.

This week, we’re talking about how our actions are affected by our attitude.


Earlier in the month, we talked about the difference between a positive and a negative attitude, being that good finder, finding those positive things.

Last week, we talked about your thoughts and your feelings and how they were affected by your attitude.

And this week, we’re talking about how your attitude affects your actions.

Bad Attitude

Let’s take, for example, a young student, seven years old, going to a new school for the first time.

If they think that it’s going to be awful, if they have a negative attitude or a poor attitude, if they don’t really see it for the opportunity that it could be, they’re going to walk into school grouchy, arms crossed, unwilling to make friends, unwilling to talk with people.

Maybe slightly angry, right?

Those are the kinds of actions that they’re going to exhibit.

Good Attitude

Let’s take the same student.

They’re walking into a new school, they have the idea that it’s going to be a positive thing, that they’re going to grow their friend base. That they’re going to really like their teacher.

Now they’re going to walk in and maybe their hands aren’t criss-crossed, their hands are down at their sides.

They have a smile on their face. They’ve made sure that they talk with people around them. They go bouncing up to somebody during recess to introduce themselves to a new friend.

So as they have the more positive attitude, their actions are going to be more positive.

Bad Attitude

Same type of situation, only it’s a birthday party.

The kid that doesn’t really want to go or has a negative attitude to going, they’re probably not going to have as much fun.

And when they get in the car, they’re going to be like, “It was awful. I didn’t enjoy it. Nobody played with me. It was just worse.”

Good Attitude

And the person who went, but had a positive attitude of how much fun it was going to be, gets in the car and then says, “It was great. I talked to so-and-so and we had a good time!”

And now their actions show two entirely different situations. It could even be the same birthday party, one child’s idea versus another child’s idea.

Black Belt Attitude

So, our attitude really affects our actions.

And here at the studio, we talk about having an attitude of a black belt.

We talk about black belt leadership, we talk about black belt focus, we talk about having black belt self-control. We have black belt effort, we put our attitude into black belt all the time.

And when we give kids challenges, black belt challenges, maybe it’s a jump spinning kick and we pre-frame them and we tell them that, “We want you to put forth your best, most positive attitude. If you fall down, you fall down. No worries. We get up. We try again.”

When we can teach that idea of, yes, we all make a mistake, it’s what you choose to do with that mistake that causes you to show your positive attitude, that’s how we grow that attitude, that’s how we foster that attitude and that’s how we foster those positive actions.

Try, Try Again

We’ve all learned how to ride a bike. We’ve all fallen as we’ve ridden that bike.

Are we going to have a negative attitude and throw the bike down and not get on it again?

Are we going to have a positive attitude and try one more time?

I remember when I was a little girl learning how to ride a bike, one of the things that I absolutely could not handle was if somebody told me I couldn’t do it.

I was allowed to say that about myself, absolutely, but if somebody else told me I couldn’t do it, I was going to make sure I could.

I remember learning how to ride my bike and I ran into a bush, and then a tree, and then I fell on the sidewalk and I fell again.

I must have fallen a dozen times that day, or ran into something a dozen times that day, and I, at the time, was having a very negative attitude.

I remember very vividly throwing the bike on the ground and saying to my mom, “I can’t do it. I will never learn. There’s no way I can do this.”

And she looked at me and she said, “You’re right. You can’t,” and walked away.

And like I said, if you tell me I can’t, I’m going to try again.

And sure enough, I got on that bike and I fell again, and I tried again, because now I was determined to not, not be able to do it.

I was determined to figure out how to ride that bike, and I turned that negative attitude into a positive one, and I turned that “I can’t” into “watch me.”

Teaching Perseverance

It’s teaching students how to take that same idea and apply it to what they’re doing, and one of the things that you can remind someone of is when you say you can’t, you definitely won’t, because you’ve already taken that action that you’re not going to be able to.

So your attitude is directly affecting the actions you take towards whatever that situation is, and the more we can teach a positive attitude, the more we will have positive actions.

Thanks, and I’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.