The formula that will help us to check on our attitude is:
Thoughts become Feelings that show in Attitude that is displayed by Actions.
The good news is that we can choose and change our attitude simply by changing and choosing how we think, feel, speak and act.
Our thoughts may be spoken out loud or quietly to ourselves spurring a feeling about a given situation or person. Choosing different words, even changing our physiology (the way we sit, stand or walk) we begin to feel different about the situation. Our feelings are demonstrated in our attitude that is seen by others in our actions. Or we may take an action that previously we chose not to take because of how we felt about the person or situation.
Changing our attitude is not easy to do. One question I have found that helps in any situation that is discouraging, when we see our thoughts going negative and feel our attitude changing for the “dark side” is asking – What is good about this? Our immediate answer, the one we make before we think about it is almost always a very strong NOTHING!
But then ask yourself, “If there was something good, what would or could it be?” Make your brain search for the possible positive thoughts. Our brain, like Google, will find what we ask for and soon we will come up with a few answers. We are now on our way to changing our feelings, attitude, and actions.
A positive attitude can grow and spread quickly, but a negative attitude compounds faster. This is especially true when we are on a team. And our family is our most important team. A positive attitude brings about unity and creates a supportive atmosphere. A negative attitude creates discord and defensive actions and feelings. How do we know if we are someone else has a negative attitude? It can be difficult sometimes but here are some of the warning signs.
- Not able to admit being wrong. Thinking we are perfect and not able to admit we made a mistake is a difficult teammate. The inability to admit mistakes creates conflict.
- Holding a grudge and not able to forgive. Everyone likes to be given the opportunity to make amends, and if we constantly remind them of the mistakes they have made or refuse to forgive others, it hurts the team.
- Jealousy of others accomplishments. Everyone has different and unique talents they bring to the team. If one person is jealous of others who have received a reward instead of being happy for them, it brings a negative feeling on to the team.
- The disease of “Me’ism.” If one member of the team thinks more of themselves than others or is a hog for all the credit, it simply does not leave room for real teamwork.
- Always criticizing others. Being critical of others in a condescending manner never builds up. Criticism is when offered in an evil spirit can only tear down.
In the end, all negative attitudes are the result of selfishness. Our goal is to be positive and find ways of building others up and making our team work together for our vision and all that we value. Families that have that kind of respect for each other enjoy peacefulness on their team.
With each of us having 60,000 thoughts each day, about what do you spend your time thinking? On what do you focus? Do you focus on your dreams and goals or are your thoughts drawn toward your fears and worries? Do you feel angry much of the time or do you doubt what you can accomplish?
Have you ever noticed that when you smile at someone they almost always smile back? They simply cannot help it, even if they are not sure why you are smiling. What we put out into the Universe is what comes back to us. The same applies to our thoughts. If we fill ourselves with positive thoughts, we always get positive feelings back. When negative thoughts go out negative emotions, come back.
If we are not sure if we have negative thoughts, then just ask yourself how you are feeling. Your feelings give you immediate feedback on the type of thoughts you are choosing.
Negative thoughts = Negative feelings = Negative experiences
It is easy for us to get caught up in a pattern of negative thoughts as we have not only our personal self-talk but many say that our children hear seven times as many negative thoughts as they do positive ones about themselves. No wonder our kids experience anxiety, anger, disappointment and confusion.
Consider what you say to yourself and your children. Negative thoughts become habitual, like a video or recording playing over and over again in the mind, until we never question them. If we do not question them, it is impossible to change the results. The cure is to notice your thoughts, question if they are true, replace them with positive thoughts.
Positive thoughts = Positive feelings = Positive attitude.
When surrounded by positive attitudes, we all experience more peaceful feelings. I will be offering an Introduction to Speaking the Language of the Virtues in the coming months. Please look to attend, as there is no better way to awaken the positive gifts of character in each of us.
Having a positive attitude does not guarantee success. However, a negative attitude just about assures failure. Our attitude is the reflection of our beliefs and has the power to overcome even a certain amount of lack of talent to lead us to success.
Our attitude also affects others around us, especially team members like our family. Our edge in life and the family is in our positive attitude about ourselves and even our family members. When a parent is upbeat and believes in their children having gifts of character, children respond to the expectations in a positive manner. If a parent is negative about a child and puts them down with words or attitude, the child will most likely give up the effort to succeed.
The words we use with each other create beliefs that live with us for a long time – even forever. If a young child described by their parents to others as shy by saying, “Oh she’s just shy,” the child will soon be using that word as an excuse not to do something they do not want to do. Just like when a child described as “stupid” “lazy” or “mean”, will have those words ringing in their ears well into adulthood as a belief of who they are as a person.
It is so important for children and all of us to believe in themselves and be positive. Every virtue we have can be positive or negative – so let’s find the positive virtues in our children and ourselves. When we believe in our strong virtues, it makes it easier to work on those that are not as developed. We believe in our determination and perseverance to be our best.
Each month we will discuss one gift of character / life skill with all of our students. This month the word is Positive Attitude. This life skill will be defined in the following ways for our students.
Young students: Positive Attitude means: I look for the good in life!
Older students: Positive Attitude means: An optimistic way of thinking, feeling & acting in the face of everyday challenges.
We are not your typical after school activity, in fact, we are an education center, working with students on physical self-defense skills while empowering families to bring out the best in our children and ourselves – through the martial arts. We believe every child has 52 gifts in them already. They only need to be taught how to grow and use them in their life. Balanced Life Skills serves parents, teachers and students to reach that goal.
If you would like to see Joe Van Deuren and Balanced Life Skills at work, TRY CLASSES FOR FREE for 2 weeks.
When we change our thoughts and work on improving how we feel with how we talk to ourselves or changing our physiology we can shift our attitude from negative to a positive one. We may find though that no matter how much we are attempting to make these kind of changes that we are not getting the results we hoped for. There is one more aspect that may be one of the most influential on our attitude.
Who are we surrounding ourselves with? The people we surround ourselves with, spend our time with, affect our attitude and whether it is negative or positive. Negative people – those that are “looking” or “finding” all that is wrong or could be wrong, those that are angry at the world, complain constantly or tend to focus on the things that they do not like will affect us in a negative way.
We can be affected the same way by the media we watch on television, video games we play, books and magazines we read, anything that we feed our mind and souls. If what we feed ourselves is negative we soon begin to take on those same negative way, only being able to see what is wrong and negative about ourselves and situation.
Why is this true? I will post the reason this happens and it may surprise you, in a post tomorrow.