Could you use an attitude boost? It all starts with you and how you speak to yourself and others!
It was tax season and Sara, a divorced artist, was visibly excited. She said to me, “I’ve finally earned enough money that I to get to pay taxes!” Attitude boost!
We were having a cup of coffee when John looked at his watch and said, “Gotta’ go.” “Do you have to go to work today?” I asked. With a smile he replied, “No, I get to go to work today.” Attitude boost!
I had always thought of myself as a “cheerful pessimist.” John’s comment was a turning point in my thinking about my own attitudes. From that day forward I would say, ”I get to . . .” instead of “I have to . . .”
I get to go to the dentist. I get to take my car in for repairs. I get to wear glasses. I get to have a colonoscopy. Well, maybe not that one. But, why not? It’s a privilege to have good medical care.
Saying “I get to” instead of “I have to” reclaims your responsibility, control and freedom. More importantly, it takes you out of the victim mindset.
Attitudes are habits of the mind. In general, if we expect things to turn out well, we have positive attitudes. On the other hand, if we expect things to turn out poorly, we have negative attitudes.
And like any habits, these attitudes can be changed.
Here are 6 steps to consider:
1. Listen in on your self-talk.
We talk to ourselves 70% of the time. What are you saying? Train yourself to listen to the conversations in your head. What is the tone? Positive? Negative? Is it, “This is never going to work” or, “This is exciting. Let’s see how it turns out.”
2. Eliminate negative self-talk.
When you make a negative statement, contradict yourself. Say, “No, that’s not true anymore.” Then substitute a statement that reflects what you want to happen.
3. Refuse to say anything to yourself that you do not sincerely desire to come true.
It is detrimental to say, “I don’t have a chance of making that sale.” “I can’t lose weight.” “I have a terrible memory.” “I’m too old to go back to school.” “I am such a loser!”
4. Our subconscious has no way to self-correct negative talk.
It just makes note of your negative comments and moves in that direction. Your life will follow the trajectory of your thoughts. Up or down? You choose.
5. Stop. Snap. Substitute.
Use some re-programming techniques to change habit patterns. Practice the Rubber Band method. Wear a loose rubber band around your wrist. When you hear yourself saying or thinking something negative say, “Stop!” Then give yourself a slight Snap* of the band and Substitute a positive or neutral statement. (*This snap is a wake-up call to the brain. It is not punishment and shouldn’t be painful. Just an attention getter.)
6. Remember that those who expect the best very often get it!
If you want to change the results in your life . . . Change your attitude!
Want to see more from Carolyn? Check out her recent article When Helping Isn’t Helpful.