Each moment of every day, we are choosing how we respond to life's challenges and joys, and attitude is the indicator of what direction we go in. It reveals how we cope and respond to the issues and challenges of daily living.
Attitude is everything. It governs both our perceptions of the world and the world's perceptions of us. Sporting a positive one can make an incredible difference in all areas of our life, including happiness, health, family, finances, success, career and social activities. Even our level of self-confidence and self-esteem come into play.
So, what is it that affects and directs our attitude?
Our inner dialogue. This ongoing conversation is programming our attitude and determining how we appear and present our self to the world, so getting acquainted with it is key to controlling its behaviour.
We cannot attract what we are not resonating in our energy signature. It's really that simple. We must take conscious control of our inner conversations if we wish to rid ourselves of any unneeded and destructive dialogue, salvage our self-esteem and avoid attracting negative conditions.
We can think of ourselves and our inner dialogue as a computer that can be reprogrammed. The key to this reprogramming is knowing that we are in charge. We are both the operator and programmer of our personal computer.
We are the ones empowered to embrace an inner dialogue that encourages and motivates us to success or one that embraces self-pity and leads to defeat. An optimistic dialogue becomes our greatest cheer-leader, while a pessimistic one is destructive, becomes our worst enemy, hinders growth and generates failure.
Because of that, it's important to recognise these repeating, self-defeating phrases as quickly as they surface and put them to rest, by replacing them with new, fresh creative, positive ones.
Think about it, if you had a more positive attitude how would you conduct yourself differently than you do now?
Try these exercises to strengthen your positive inner dialogue and build positive attitudes:
Use Attitude Talk
The voice that you listen to daily (your internal dialogue) is programming your brain and affecting how you act. You must stop and pay attention to what you are saying and affirming if you want to master this powerful habitual dialogue and shift your negative statements to positive ones. You must intentionally override any negative programming, erase it completely and replace it with conscious positive commands that take you in a new fresh direction and you can only do this if you are paying attention.
Enthusiasm helps breed a positive attitude. It is one of the most attractive and empowering characteristics you can develop and grow. It communicates determination and commitment and empowers and motivates you to act. It breathes life into your desires and gives you the steam to reach them. For example: when you make the decision to adopt a challenging exercise programme, it's enthusiasm that keeps you motivated and going to the gym. Without enthusiasm, your goal soon loses its appeal, and your goal becomes a chore. Once you perceive your goals as chores, your motivation dies, and you lose the will or desire to reach them.
Embrace Humour and Laughter
More humour means less stress. So, lighten up. Humour generates positive energy and feeds your positive attitude. It just makes you feel good and even offers extensive health benefits. It's hard to assume a negative attitude when you are caught up in laughter.
Affirmations are positive statements/words that are charged with power and conviction. They are repeated over and over and serve to reprogramme our thinking. They trigger positive feelings that result in positive actions. Done correctly, they are empowered to shift negative statements into positive ones, elevate our self-esteem and change our lives.
Engage in Exercise
Exercise provides us the benefits of turning on our "feel-good" hormones. It offers so much when it comes to developing positive reinforcement and feedback and provides us with a sense of doing something good for ourselves. This, in return, boosts and feeds our positive attitude. Visual proof like muscle development and weight loss as the result of exercising, also provide motivating, positive feedback.
The Bottom Line
The experiences and events we've experienced have shaped our attitudes and perceptions about life and created our daily habits. If we are unhappy with how our life is manifesting then we need look no further than our thoughts, which begin with our attitudes.
Life rewards us the most when we sport a positive attitude. It takes commitment and serious, conscious attention to our thoughts and noisy "mind-chatter" to rid ourselves of destructive attitudes and play in the positive playground of life. However, the benefits and rewards can last a lifetime.
■ Carolyn Hansen is co-owner of Anytime Fitness.