Today I want to talk about the impact our attitude has on our thinking, our decision making, and ultimately the actions we take. There is often a large emphasis on having a positive attitude. A positive attitude is a beautiful thing that benefits our lives in many ways, but first let’s talk about the disadvantages to thinking our only option is positivity.
When there is a strong emphasis on having a positive attitude, it often feels like everything else we may experience is bad. We become consumed with thinking we failed, because we don’t feel a certain way. We get stuck in the guilt versus moving forward.
Before we choose a positive attitude, we have to acknowledge what we are actually feeling, so we can work through it, and let it go. If not, all that negativity stays with us and drains us. We carry it as stress and tension, which influences the other parts of our lives.
For example, it’s before work, my kids aren’t listening to me, the traffic is backed up, and I have to go 45 mph on the highway. Now I’m 20 minutes late meeting my friend for coffee and have to cancel. Life in that moment stinks and I have every right to acknowledge that.
That example doesn’t even scratch the surface of really strong emotional pain we experience in life, but in that moment, it’s still important to acknowledge the disappointment. It stinks I couldn’t get my daughter to put her socks on. It stinks I wanted to meet a friend and now can’t because I’m late.
Remember, anger, sadness, frustration, and anxiety are secondary emotions. They are reactions to something more we are feeling.
There’s a helpful technique I want to share that helps you create more clarity on why those feelings exist and reframe your focus on possibility.
Be open and try it. For some of us this is new. Most of us know when something doesn’t feel good and we don’t like it, but we don’t always identify what those emotions really are and what causes them.
Step one, identify and write out each feeling you’re experiencing and ask yourself why. What uncertainty is it bringing up? What fear may it be triggering? Defining specifically what’s causing those emotions helps you gain perspective and reclaim control.
This leads to step two. Despite what we feel in this moment, what is one way we can still move forward and reframe how we approach our day? Write it, read it, say it out loud – whatever helps you feel it, understand it, and work through it.
For example, it’s exhausting getting my girls out of the house on time. It’s exhausting when they don’t listen and understand the value of putting their socks on. It’s exhausting when my expectations turn into anger, asking them, “Why aren’t you a better listener? Why can’t you be a better listener?” I feel guilty and hope these aren’t the memories my girls will have of me. It seems silly when you say it out loud, but there is a lot of truth in how much these thoughts impact our day.
However, despite how my morning went I can still make my day a good day. I can still approach my day in a positive way that’s going to allow me to be productive. External experiences shouldn’t dictate how we move forward in our life. You have the power to determine how you’re going to make your day and how you’ll achieve that outcome.
So give it a try. The next couple weeks focus on acknowledging what you actually feel instead of what you think you should feel. Those feelings exist for a reason. They’re telling you there is something you still need to work through.
Ask yourself, why am I scared, disappointed, angry? What uncertainty does it bring up for me? What is my choice moving forward? How can I shift how I’m seeing this?
Alright friends, thanks for visiting. If you found this post helpful please share it with your friends! Next week we’ll talk about how choosing a positive attitude impacts our thinking and the actions you take. See you then. Thanks!
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