Dr. Judith Wright | September 25, 2018

How to Attract
Positive Attention

We all love compliments and accolades! Most of us want to attract positive attention and more praise.

Would you like to attract positive attention? Here’s how to let go of negative self-talk and start attracting more confidence-boosting compliments.


While yes, some of us may feel a little shy or embarrassed when we’re “called out” for our good behavior and efforts, we all enjoy it (at least a little).

But of course, if you’re anything like me, you were probably taught that “seeking attention” is a negative behavior, right? Asking (or “fishing”) for compliments is taboo and even tacky, right?

In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. We all deserve praise and positive attention. There’s no reason why we should avoid it or shy away from it. While we may want to be humble, there’s also nothing wrong with getting praise, especially for a job well done. You deserve it!

How to Let Go of the Negative

Sometimes we may feel that our efforts go unnoticed. We may feel as though no one appreciates us or that everyone’s a critic.

While there are times when our good behaviors and performance may go under the radar, some of us fall into patterns where we only hear and focus on the bad rather than the good. Why is that? Because for many of us, it’s easier to believe the negative comments or fixate on them than it is to believe the positive.

When we make a mistake, often we feel down on ourselves. We may start into stinking thinking: believing that we’re “always” screwing up, or that we “never” do anything right. We may believe the cards are stacked against us and there’s no use even trying because we’ll never succeed. When we start experiencing stinking thinking it can often become a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Negative self-talk gives us an excuse to continue to underperform. After all, why try, especially if everyone is against you?


Instead, drop the excuses and put a stop to your stinking thinking! Realize that for every critic, you’re probably ignoring five compliments. If you do experience a bump in the road, shake it off, view it as a lesson, and move on. Start viewing mistakes not as missteps, but as opportunities to learn and grow.

When we hear a negative comment, it’s easy to take it to heart. Oftentimes it may even affirm limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves. We may feel invalidated and insecure. It’s important instead to remember that comments come and go. While some criticisms may be more personal (like words from our boss or our spouse) others are simply a sign that the other party is having a bad day.

It’s perfectly valid to feel hurt or put off by negative comments. It’s important that you acknowledge this hurt and let yourself feel it. At the same time, extract the lesson from the experience and move forward. If your boss criticizes your work, look for lessons to learn, apply your new knowledge in the future and keep moving forward. If a friend makes a comment that hurts your feelings, let them know. Bring the situation to light and work through it.

On the flip side, soak up the compliments! Instead of fixating on the harsh comments, fixate on the positive affirmations. This is a little tougher at first, especially if you aren’t used to focusing on accolades. If we want to attract positive attention, we should acknowledge and be open to the positive attention we’re already bringing in!

Go for Effort Over Luck

If you want to attract positive attention, it’s important to put forth the effort. When we’re trying our best and really engaging in activities, we’ll often attract positive attention without even trying.

Yet, sometimes we all opt to “phone it in.” Often this is a move spurred on by our fears. After all, when we try our hardest, it puts us in a vulnerable position which can be frightening. What if our best still isn’t good enough?

It’s important to remember to go for the gold anyway! Mistakes and setbacks are a key part of learning and growth. If you make mistakes, it’s a good sign that you’re putting forth effort!


“Learning by doing” is how we really acquire knowledge and skills, according to a growing body of scientific evidence. It posits that action builds new capabilities for the implicit memory to draw upon and that it is implicit memory—that which is not consciously available—that governs most of what we do. Russian psychologist and educational theorist Lev Vygotsky, in fact, suggested that all learning is based on engagement. He proposed that we learn by actually doing things before we know how to do them, and that—contrary to common belief—learning is not something that happens in our heads unaccompanied by action.
Current neuroscience research shows that neurons are continually wiring together and that we must repeatedly fail before we establish the new neural pathways of a new desired behavior.
Now ask yourself these questions:
Can you recall how many times you failed before consistently learning to tie your shoes?
How about learning to ride a bike? Did thinking really help much? You may have reassured yourself, but you still needed to “get the feel of” riding.
How about learning a foreign language? You can’t just read it to speak it.
We do not learn and grow by analysis alone. Developing new neural pathways requires engagement, and engagement requires making mistakes until behavior becomes automatic. Salespeople will tell you the same thing—you have to keep at it until you begin to hit your stride and maintain rapport. Consulting firms bring in analysts as assistants and keep them away from the client until they have seen enough and made enough basic, safe mistakes to deliver consistent results in work product as well as client relationships.
In one study, Carol Dweck illustrated the cause-and-effect relationships between effort and success. She notes that the test scores of children in the study who were praised for engaging and trying hard improved by 30 percent while those of children praised just for being smart declined by 20 percent Dweck explains that rewarding effort and sense of self-efficacy—our belief in our capabilities—and helps us develop the growth mindset necessary for a great life.
-Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living!

Many of us feel frustrated when we put our full effort into our activities and they still go unnoticed. But it’s important to realize that that effort is key to growth. While we might not attract positive attention for every action, we will become stronger, more adept, and experience greater growth when we put forth our very best effort in every case.

Accentuate the Positive

The other piece of attracting positive attention is learning to accentuate our positive traits. This, of course, doesn’t mean only doing what you’re good at or putting on a false front. It means practicing self-care and self-compassion.

When we feel good—when we’re exercising, dressing with extra polish, being mindful, eating healthy—we perform better. We feel better and we feel more confident.

There’s a lot of truth to the old adage “dress for your next promotion.” When you take the time to look your best, it shifts your mindset. You will fill polished and together. You’re more professional and will project confidence.


Similarly, when you put in the effort you will often experience more confidence in your gains and successes. You’ll experience a greater satisfaction in your work and personal life and consequently, you’ll draw in positive attention from those around you too.


Vibrancy stems from our aliveness and what we call “flow.” When you’re experiencing flow, it’s almost like a happy hum or a little buzz. The pieces are falling into place. You have a positive rapport with others. Your needs are being met and most importantly, you’re not slacking off or numbing yourself with soft addictions. Instead, you’re engaged.

To truly engage means to be turned on and tuned in. Engagement doesn’t mean passing conversations about the weekend, sports, or the weather. Engagement requires a deeper connection and awareness of both the self and those around us.

A wonderful thing happens when we’re engaged: we light up! Suddenly all that positive attention—that energy and those “good vibrations”—are like moths to the flame. When we engage with others, we’ll get noticed more often. We’ll receive positive attention and compliments.

For more ways to live a vibrant life visit the Wright Foundation. Join us for a networking event where you can connect with others who are growing and learning. Many of our courses are now available for download. Don’t miss this great opportunity to check them out at a special introductory price!


 About the Author

Judith Wright receives the Visionary Leader Award from Chicago NAWBO.

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach.
She is a co-founder of The Wright Foundation and the Wright Graduate University.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

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