Track 6 – Attitude Modification

We need to get our thought life in order through emotion management and attitude modification.

Our thought life needs to be synchronized with our life goals and personal intentions.

There are two myths concerning attitude, the first is attitude is everything. Well, attitude is not everything, its only one of empowerment fundamentals. People have filed bankruptcy with a positive attitude, have gotten divorced with a positive attitude, have not spoken to their adult children in five years, but they have a positive attitude about it.

So you can have a positive attitude and still not get positive results. So obviously attitude is not everything, but it is important.

A few of the benefits of having a positive attitude are;

1) It reduces stress

2) It improves our creativity

3) A positive attitude attracts positive people.

A negative attitude deflects people, except others with a negative attitude. There is something to that misery loves company theory.

So it is important to obtain and maintain the right attitude. So how do you know when it is necessary to modify an attitude? That relates back to crystallized thinking.

Our priorities and personal values work as channel makers for our life. Being clear of what they are offers the opportunity to reflect them against desired action steps.

Having conscious awareness of personal values and priorities makes sure the choices you make compliments who you are and what you are intending on achieving. After careful consideration, if a positive action step is met with a negative attitude, then it’s time to seriously consider adjusting the attitude.

Now there’s a second myth concerning attitudes and that is the expectation of “just get a positive attitude”. There are plenty of circumstances where the actions we need to take complement our priorities. They complement our value system, but they are at first uncomfortable to do.

Cold calling would be an example for sales people. When some people say “just get a positive attitude” somehow we are to magically transform our whole demeanor from “I can’t stand doing this” to “ooh I can’t wait to get started”.

This is another time when you may possibly feel everyone else can make that proverbial leap or transition but you. There is a much more realistic stepping stone to adjusting attitudes; it’s a half way point that in most cases will get the job done. It’s called an attitude of acceptance.

When the action step that needs to be taken compliments our priorities and values, but the thought of doing it makes you irritable and uncomfortable its time to deal with it professionally.

It’s been said, “In life we can’t avoid pain, but misery is a personal choice”. The secret of having an attitude of acceptance is to remove the misery. Remove the part that is keeping you from actually performing the task.

A good example is shaving; most people shave something, but yet, to my knowledge, I haven’t yet met anyone that actually looks forward to the process. Why we do it is because the benefits outweigh the inconvenience or the discomfort. So we get over it and just do it. We don’t need to love it, but as long as we can accept it, we can do it with very little stress.

It’s the ability to overcome negative feelings we sometimes possess towards positive actions. By doing that you remove the barrier to taking the action. Learning to accept what needs to be done enables us to do it more effectively and consistently.

We can also use affirmations – also called positive self-talk. They help us with the development of new thought power and creates more positive beliefs. We become what we think about. These are positive statements that create positive images in our mind.

Our subconscious mind can’t take a joke. Whatever statement and pictures we feed it most often it believes. Our mind, also, can’t hold two opposite thoughts at the same time.

Through the repetition of new, personal images and expectations our mind will start to perpetuate them on its own until they are the dominate belief. The old saying “I’ll believe it when ill see it” is actually the opposite from what is true.

The reality is you will see it when you believe it. Another aspect of getting our thought life in order is a process called Effective Thinking. Psychologists have an equation that says; event + perception = reality. As events happen in our life it’s our responsibility to create the right mental framework or perceptions so we can move forward towards positive results.

Producing the right mental framework creates a movement of heading towards a solution rather than being stuck in the problem.

Studies have shown that effective thinkers stop themselves at least seven times a day to check to make sure the way they are framing their thoughts is synchronized with their best intentions. For example, if you are going to take time out of your day to attend a business to business networking event and when you arrive you find that it is poorly attended a reactive attitude may be, “I know this is going to be a big waste of my time”. A proactive, much more effective attitude would be “I’m disappointed, but sometimes the best business contacts happen at more intimate events”. This activates a mental process called perceptual set.

In perceptual set, we magnetize to ourselves the things we see for ourselves. An example would be buying a new car; it could be a five year old model, but the day we get that car we start to notice all the other cars that look just like the one we just purchased. They were there the whole time, but once your mind wraps around and frames an idea it thinks its job is to attract that idea into your life.

Now the opposite of a perceptual set is called a paradoxical intention. A paradoxical intention is where we actually mentally frame the event or situation we are looking to avoid. An example would be a baseball player hoping not to strike out, is picturing himself striking out, and therefore sabotaging his actions. The solution is to concentrate on hitting a home run.

So keep in mind we think in pictures. Go for the visual solution, not avoiding the visual problem. The mind will look to attract what picture it is given. So going back to my original example; if you are thinking this networking event is going to be a big waste of my time, rather than consciously choosing to approach the meeting with positive expectations, you may actually create blind spots to any opportunity that may present itself.

To reiterate a previous statement, we move in the direction of our thoughts.