One of the most significant steps you can take toward achieving your greatest potential and to literally change the conditions of your life is to learn to monitor your outlook and its impact on your personal performance, relationships, and everyone around you. To be clear, your outlook is largely responsible for the way you see life and is driven, in large part, by the attitudes you develop along the way. Far too many people fail to recognize the critical role that attitude plays in the construct and quality of their life experiences.
“We are not defined by our circumstances, but rather by the choices we make despite our circumstances.” ~ G. Westfal
I typically begin most of my speaking presentations and coaching encounters by asking a fundamental question:
What attitude did you bring in to this meeting?
Quite often, this question comes as a surprise to most people. In truth, people generally don’t have a high level of awareness when it comes to their attitude. It’s something they have become so accustom to that they have unknowingly adopted their “default attitude” as part of who they are. They’ll know if they’re hungry or if they’re uncomfortable, but they usually don’t have a good grasp on the state of their attitude or the manner in which it affects virtually every area of their life.
Attitude is Everything
Attitude governs the way you perceive the world and, perhaps even more profound, the way the world perceives you. So, if attitude is so important, how do we manage it?
The good news is that we can manage it through the one power no one can ever take from us—the power of choice. We can either choose an inner dialogue of self-encouragement, determination, and self-motivation or we can choose one of defeat and self-pity. Choice is a power we all possess.
Admittedly, we all experience difficult times, disappointments, rejection, heartache, and physical and emotional pain. The key is to realize it’s not what happens to you; it’s how you choose to respond to what happens that matters most.
We are blessed with an amazing mind that can be programmed to accomplish nearly anything we desire in life, to include the outlook or attitude we possess. Don’t care for the hand you’ve been dealt? Take action to re-configure the default outlook you currently have on life. Your efforts to reprogram will have a profound, life-altering effect on the way you see things. Following this course offers far more assurances than the alternative.
Our inner dialogue is largely responsible for shaping our attitude, which, in turn, determines how we present ourselves to the world. Despite some opinions to the contrary, we have control over the narrative of that dialogue. That’s not to insinuate that changing or managing it will be easy. In fact, you may find it to be quite difficult at first. The question you must ask yourself however, is whether or not it will be worth it.
Whatever we program our minds with can and will be a reflection of what we see and experience as a result. CAUTION: This is a two-edged sword that works both ways. So be mindful to feed your mind with the thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors you intend to experience in life.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” ~ Anias Nin
Many of us have behavior patterns and beliefs today that were programmed into our brain during very delicate and vulnerable times of our lives. The information that was recorded and stored by our mind could have been completely accurate or inaccurate, traumatic or outright cruel. The sad reality of life is that we will continue to be exposed to things that are not conducive to a positive outlook, but we don’t have to allow that narrative to become part of who we are.
Awareness is Essential
The loudest and most influential voice you hear is your own inner voice. This inner voice is at the core of who you have decided to become. Yes, make no mistake, who you are is formed by the choices you have made over the years through the filter of your thoughts, beliefs, and actions. Each of these elements have been shaped by the things you have been exposed to as well the reactions and opinions you have formed over the years.
Every circumstance—good, not-so-good, or outright miserable is an opportunity for you to accept or reject as a part of who you will become. Your awareness on how this part of you is shaped is critical to understanding how to change the manner in which you view the world. Change the way you view the world and your world view changes.
Your inner voice can work for or against you, depending on the messages you have allowed or accepted over the years. It can be optimistic or pessimistic, constructive or destructive, apathetic or determined. It can exhaust you or invigorate you. Once you realize you have a choice, your life will change according to the very choices you make, but only if you consciously take responsibility for your inner conversation.
Pessimistic attitudes are often the product of painful past experiences, continual defeat, disappointment, and frustration. It takes serious work to examine and overcome the roots of a pessimistic attitude, but the rewards of ridding ourselves of this heavy burden can reinvigorate the soul and change so many aspects of life.
10 things you can do—right now—to shift your attitude, effectively changing everything, once and for all.
1. Create a Strong Vision
The psychology of peak performance has revealed that most achievers use visualizations to crystallize their goals and objectives to enhance and focus their skills. It has been said that if the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Nowhere else does this statement come to life more than in creating a burning desire to reach your goal through the creation of a crystal clear vision. Your vision should contain enough vivid detail that it is difficult for the subconscious mind to distinguish what is from what is yet to be.
2. Be Determined
While a crystal clear vision helps us to act on our goals, action itself must be sustained in order for us to create the momentum it takes to reach our goals and objectives.
Determination is the ingredient that is required as we encounter inevitable obstacles along the way. Every step we take toward our goal reinvigorates the drive and determination we develop. Progress fuels consistency and determination which, in turn, fuels results. Results make us happy and reinforce a positive attitude. A positive attitude is a game-changer in the reflection of an outlook that effects what we experience in life.
3. Master the Power of Your Words
Words, once spoken, cannot be unspoken. Therefore, it is wise to be mindful of our words. The words we speak reflect the condition of our hearts and are based upon all the things we have come to believe about ourselves. Speaking judgmentally or disparagingly about our circumstances or those around us serve as an indicator that the condition of our heart is in need of change.
You can create a direct path to success by what you say and how you say it. Positive self-talk and optimistic declarations are just a couple of ways to override past negative programming. These powerful habits replace old, worn-out narratives with a fresh, conscious, positive message that helps to create new and exciting life experiences. So take a closer look at what you are saying to yourself and the messages you have begun to accept as “ordinary” and know that you were never supposed to live an ordinary life. Indeed an extraordinary life awaits.
4. Display Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm is to attitude what breathing is to life. Genuine enthusiasm is difficult to contain. Enthusiasm enables you to apply your gifts more effectively and to attract goodness into your life. It is the genuine desire that communicates commitment, determination, and happiness. Enthusiasm evokes emotion, which is perpetuated by motion. It is driven by an internal spirit that speaks through your actions and your belief in what you are doing. Enthusiasm is one of the most empowering, attractive, and contagious characteristics you can have. Share it openly and often.
I quite often proudly proclaim that we can have, be, do, or become anything we want in life with one simple, powerful word…Ask. Next time you find yourself at odds with seemingly elusive questions or overwhelming frustration…just ask. Ask for insight, awareness, guidance, answers…
Unsure of what motivates you? Ask why, who, what, where, when, how. What motivates you to take action? Why do you want change your life? Questions—even those posed to our inner-self—invite contemplation and put into motion the answers that will inevitably find their way to us.
Until next time…
~ G ~
“Stop holding yourself back. If you aren’t happy, make a change.” ~ G. Westfal
Introspection is proud to announce its affiliation with writer ~ Elisabeth Auld ~
Check out her wise, knowledgeable, and often entertaining perspectives inside the edition of Gals in Blue.
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