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Altering Attitudes

Choose the words that will point you in the direction of your goals ~ Jeff Keller

Several years ago I was taking a class to help me understand and better cope with my depression. One of the lessons we had asked us to think about our negative self-talk, and I remember thinking “I’m a positive person! This is going to be easy!” For one week I had to record my negative thoughts in a tiny notebook. Let me tell you, the results were a great awakening — I wasn’t a positive person like I thought!

Negative thought journal

Attitude is Everything was a good refresher course for me. This is a dynamite book — seems small but packs a charge! If you haven’t read it, I definitely recommend it. Here is my brief take-away review:

Chapter 1 begins with a reminder that our eyes are a window to our soul, and we need to keep that window clean. Chapter 2 reviewed the Law of Attraction and reinforced the idea that our dominant thought comes before we can take action. Chapter 3 talked about visualizing your goals. Reminded me of a great article I stumbled on while looking up a quote. WATCH your words, actions, thoughts, character, habits. Chapter 4 was a call to action with persistent action towards what you want for as long at it takes. Chapter 5 spoke to adversity and the seven ways problems are actually opportunities in disguise. Chapter 6 reinforced accountability partners, and gave permission to burn bridges to bad habits that hold you back. Chapter 7 gave me something to really think about — how I answer people when they ask how I am. Jeff says we should always respond positively since it will change the way we respond. I took a business class several years ago, and our professor used to sing a song about energize that we were supposed to sing morning to help put us in the correct mood for the day. I wish I could show it to you since it totally embodies this chapter. Chapter 8 encourages us to stop complaining and do something. This is a habit I have already. I figure if I have something negative to say, I need to be involved in a different level. If you have wondered how I get involved in so many committees, this is why. My next step is to learn what ones are majors and which ones are minors and to focus on the majors (I’m a work in progress). Chapter 9 encourages the fostering of relationships with positive people. Chapter 10 is all about facing fear and stepping out of comfort zones. If we really are committed to doing something, we won’t be held back from taking the next step. This is an area I’ve been asked to look into a few times this month. Must be something I need to work on in the near future. Chapter 11 gave the mantra persistence, repetition, enthusiasm, encouragement. This is the formula to being successful. Chapter 12 focused on authentically serving others to build your network. How can you help lift others is so much more important than how you can get ahead.

While reading the book, I noticed that I’m slipping into familiar, and bad, habits again. I’m not thinking or speaking as positively as I should, not focusing on helping others, and have let majors slide into a minor position. Toby Mac’s song, Speak Life, has been a great reminder this month as I’ve worked on my goal:

I will intentionally teach the kids about positive attitudes using 2 concepts discovered in the book Attitude is Everything.  As a family, we will set down a What if . . . Chart for rewards and consequences of having a negative attitude by March 31, 2019.

The two things I want to work with the kids on are vision boards and re-framing our thoughts. I had grand visions of us sitting around and painting our vision boards — ones that I can showcase when I finally get my classes up and running. I was going to be able to take pictures of them to post here. Instead, life happened. We did talk about the What If . . . Chart and have a temporary one in place. I have talked to them about re-framing our thoughts, but haven’t had the time to actually do the activity. And the vision boards? Well, they are standing around the house in random places because Baby has used them as guns or guitars while I have been busy learning new ways of parenting a child with some emotional issues that are manifesting in new ways. I’m going to have to mark this goal half complete for now. This summer I will make it a priority to paint and decorate our vision boards. Sometimes priorities need to be shifted and goals adjusted to fit the reality. This was one of those times. What I’m doing is important. We are doing enough.

See how I’m reframing my thoughts!

Challenge: Carry a small notebook with you for a week. Every time you catch yourself thinking “I can’t”, “I’m not good”, “It’s impossible” (or something similar), make a tally mark in your notebook. Let me know what your results are, and what you decided to replace them with. See the Write About It page for instructions and examples of replacing thoughts.

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