Attitude is a Choice

On a recent blog post there was a comment where the writer questioned the part of my bio where I said I was a ‘self-proclaimed struggler’. She felt that comment was negative. I, on the other hand, see it as an honest assessment of me. I struggle. I struggle to stay positive. I struggle to have positive self-talk. I struggle! Struggling to me it not a negative; struggling means that I am striving to achieve my goals in the face of resistance.

I want to walk around the world singing ‘It’s not easy being green’ with Kermit the frog! Except I want to sing” it’s not easy being me!” And I suspect many of you feel the same. I, like you, strive to live happy, to reach my goals and create an environment of positive self talk.

It’s not always easy. Just because your, or my, default isn’t always happy happy joy joy, does not mean we can’t get there! Last August I wrote a post on choosing happiness. The words are just as true this August. We CAN choose!

 

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Thank You

A few months ago I picked up the most recent Readers Digest (yes, I subscribe) and read a story about one man’s journey into gratitude. John Kralik tells the story of his venture into changing his life by saying thank you. His story has inspired me to invest in his book 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life (affiliate link).

Reading the book has inspired me to begin my own endeavor into gratitude. While I am not deciding to write a thank you note each day, I am sending a thank you note to someone each week. Fifty-two notes seem far less daunting that Three Hundred and Sixty-Five.

Here is my challenge to you. Become grateful! And think of who you need to thank. Write the note. Send a note once a day, once a week, or once a month whatever is most comfortable for you.  Try it and see the power of two amazing words….THANK YOU!

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How often does your willpower to change dissolve into more cookies?

In the July issue of Scientific American Mind, an article on “The Willpower Paradox” caught my attention.  The article is about surprising findings from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on the connection between willingness and willfulness.  In this  study the researchers  explore the structure of self talk.   The study involved two groups, one that framed their self talk in the form “I will” and the other that framed their self talk as “Will I?”  Surprisingly, in multiple scenarios the willful group underperformed.  “In other words, the people who kept their minds opened were more goal-directed and more motivated than those who declared their objective to themselves.”

One scenario dealt with the health and fitness of the study participants.  The group whose self talk contained phrases such as “I will go to the gym today.” and “I will eat healthy” did not fare as well as those who began their day with phrases like “Will I get to go to the gym today?”  The negative undertones present in the “I will” statements colored the entire day for them and resulted in poor performance.  By focusing entirely on the positive, the “Will I?” group was able to be more successful and take charge of their change.

The bottom line is you can’t guilt yourself into success.  By focusing on truly positive self talk, you can talk your way to a better you.

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You are exactly what you think

Want to know who you are? Tune in to the conversation inside your head. Your thoughts accurately reflect who you are. Yes, this is probably something you can blame your mommy for…but something you shouldn’t!

The minute we learned to form thoughts, we began to form thoughts about ourselves. These thoughts were a reflection of the world (and people) around us. We mirrored what and who they told us we were…to an extent.

No doubt, you learned, as I did, that the one thing your parents could not control were your thoughts. However, your pattern of self-talk was formed. Chances are it reflected the language you were being fed by your caregivers. The good news is, you can change. Sure, you learned a habit when you were a kid. But you are all grown up! Time to embrace the new and improved (i.e. positive) self; get off your kiester and be positive.

There are many methods to changing your self-talk. More about those in future posts. What I want to you start for this week is begin a regiment of saying good things to yourself.

Make sure they are positive statement, not negatives masquerading as positives. For example, ‘I won’t be negative’ is a negative statement masquerading as a positive. Ten times each day make a positive statement to yourself (and mean it). You will feel better about yourself by weeks end. Because you are what you think you are…think yourself into a more positive you!

Here are a few statements to get you started:

CHALLENGES BRING OPPORTUNITIES

I CAN CHOOSE A POSITIVE FRAME OF MIND

I CAN HANDLE WHATEVER COMES

TODAY HAS LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES

I CAN FIND BALANCE IN MY LIFE

I CAN FIND LOVE AND SUPPORT

I CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING

I am a big fan and user of recordings by Kelly Howell. Her Brain Wave Therapy products are based on the principals of Biofeedback. I began using these products over 12 years ago when a friend gave me her work-out tape. I’d never make it through a gym session without it. I also use her Positive Thinking CD. (both of these products use subliminal messages).

Here is a link to her products:

(affiliate link)

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