For the Economy and Individuals Alike: Attitude Is Everything

By , Columnist

This week I read an opinion piece published in The Washington Post, which concludes that "The greatest barrier to [economic] recovery now could be psychology--stubborn gloom."  It posits that because we've now been conditioned not to expect upswings in all financial realms, we're actually preventing them from happening to their full potential.

Well, since I'm neither an economist nor a sociologist, it's no surprise that when reading some of this author's conclusions I couldn't help but be reminded of not of my bank account but of something completely different: my outlook after graduation.

Coming out of college, I felt like I was standing against the world - stuck in a tanking relationship, looking with increasing desperation for a job, and living with the dreaded parents. I felt like I'd never escape and that I was completely stuck and lost beyond belief.

But being lost didn't curb my drive to make a real life for myself after college; I was determined to make it happen. After sending out multiple (fruitless) resumes, I happened to stumble across a job in marketing and PR that, from reading the description, I was positive I could do well.

The interview gave me a fit of nerves, though; after all, I'd never studied communications or marketing or advertising - I was an English Lit major who'd worked in retail sales for most of her life!

However, I knew I had a stellar resume, great recommendations, and the ability to talk my way through anything, so I put on my best fake-it-'til-you-make-it smile, buried my gloominess, and made myself actually believe I had what it took. The job was offered to me the next day.

Field of Dreams said that "If you build it, they will come," and that opinion writer for WashPost said "reflexive pessimism weakens growth by ignoring good news or believing it can't last." These are just two different ways to say the same thing: attitude is everything. Whether it be in your personal life or in the stunted growth of a nation's economy, no matter how much work you put in, positivity tends to attract positive outcomes, and negativity, negative ones.

And if you just don't feel positive, well then, baby, dig deep and fake it 'til you make it, because when you're feeling like you're stuck in a "stubborn gloom,"  lost and unhappy, know that if you look like you know where you're going, people will believe you and they'll help take you where you want to be. 

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Emmie Scott is an English major-turned-marketing exec, with a passion for writing, humor, sharing knowledge, and "pink drinks." After hours, she started Are Toe Rings Professional Attire?, a blog for college grads and twenty-somethings looking to find their way through that daunting labyrinth called…

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