Change Your Attitude

“We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” Charles R. Swindoll









Q &A

Next Month:

“I’m such a loser”, “I know I’ll never be any good”, “I’m so stupid”, “No one will ever love me”. How often do you tell yourself that you’re not good enough, or judge yourself that you’re inadequate? How you think about yourself reflects your behavior. So this year, resolve to act differently -- develop a new attitude for 2010 – this will not only be a gift to others, it’s a gift to yourself. That’s the topic of this month’s newsletter: developing a new attitude.

Beliefs: How we think about ourselves usually stems from childhood. Often a child hears adults comment “you’re so pretty” “you’re getting too fat” “you’re stupid” and similar remarks. Positive comments lead to confidence and esteem. But when you are told you’re not good enough, or you notice that you’re not measuring up to the others around you, you develop negative feelings about your capabilities. These judgments become automatic.


When you judge yourself harshly, your self-esteem and confidence takes a downward spiral. This doesn’t have to happen in all areas of your life, but if you lose confidence in a particular area, it can transfer to other areas and prevent you from taking risk. Personal growth comes from taking on new challenges.


When you stay in your comfort zone, you become fearful of getting out. This creates anxiety, when demands are made on you. You tell yourself, “I can’t”, “I don’t want to do this”, “I’ll make an idiot of myself” – that type of thing. These negative messages not only lead to anxiety, but you can actually make yourself sick with worry. This anxiety is self created, based on the your own judgments, not based on reality.


Just as you encourage others to be positive or take on new ventures, you also have to encourage yourself to do the same thing. I often use the example of a skier in an important race. Would skiers be thinking ‘I’m not as good as the other racers’, 'I know I’m going to lose'. You bet they’re not. They’re totally focused on winning the race – whether they’re capable of doing it or not.


Notice what you say to yourself and reframe it. Ex. If you tell yourself “ I’m so stupid, how could I forget my keys.” You don’t have to call yourself stupid. Everyone forgets occasionally (and if you forget more than most, develop a habit of putting things in the same place, or check before you leave the house). The keys won’t magically appear because you call yourself names. Frustration is a normal reaction, but what’s done is done, move on.


If you’re presented with a challenge, take it on. Don’t tell yourself anything negative – I can’t, I shouldn’t, I’ll never…. How do you know you can’t? If you want to change your attitude, take the challenge. We learn from experience and we also learn from failure.

Tips for Attitude Change

1) Notice when you judge yourself or others

2) Ask yourself when these judgments started

3) Encourage yourself with your successes

4) Shift from anger to trust

5) Give up being a victim of your own abuse

6) Don’t compare yourself with others

7) Don’t attribute what you believe others are thinking about you

8) Recognize your strengths and build on them

9) Don’t envy, be grateful for what you have

10) Don’t resist challenge, open yourself to the new experience.

Embrace change. Trying something new leads to change. If you don’t try anything new and you’ll stay the same, so do yourself a favor, make this year, your year of change and even a child. If you give any dysfunctional person an excuse for they're behavior, that's enabling.

Q & A

I have a 15 year old daughter and she steals from any one, anywhere. She has yet to be arrested, but she has come very close. She steals from family, friends, stores, you name it she’ll steal it. I am trying to figure out if she just can't help it, or if it is something else. We have been dealing with this since she was around 4 and I’m at the end of my rope. Please tell me what to do.


At 4 a child can take something from a store, not understanding that this is shoplifting but if they keep stealing and they know better, something else is going on.

Your daughter needs professional help to clear up what's bothering her and give her other strategies to handle her life in a more positive way.

I don't know what services are available in your area, but if you have access to psychological services, this would be the best route to follow. Your family doctor should be able to refer you.

Lectures and punishment are not working, so stop. It only upsets both of you even more. Do the homework. Make an appointment with the therapist, then tell your daughter there's no option -- she has to go.

Right now, you still have control of your 15 yr old daughter, because she lives with you. As she gets older, it may be too late, so get her help as soon as you can.


Next Month

Next month: A New Attitude for the New Year. This is a gift that keeps on giving.

Wishing all of you a peaceful holiday season!!

If you have a question or a suggestion

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