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Three Attitudes We All Must Put In Their Place

There are three attitudes that we all must put in their place.  And the place we must put them is anywhere but in the forefront of our minds and emotions.

Preferably the place to dispose of them is to relegate them to a past that we must decide will no longer have control over us.

We all have pasts that to some degree or another may continue to be holding some type of control, albeit subtle, over our present lives.  Negative feelings regarding the past become most intrusive during times where life just doesn’t seem to be going the way we’d hoped in spite of our doing everything we can think of to make a fulfilling life happen.

the past
The past has to be put in the past, if we want to have a healthy present.

Not all experiences can easily be sent to the trash heap of days long gone.  When a person has some extreme traumas or a history of repetitive negative input in their past these should be dealt with by gaining the assistance of a trusted friend, clergy or professional counselor.  It may not be easy, it may no be quick, but it’s necessary for you to do because no one else will come on the scene to do it for you, nor could they.

Some unintended consequences that play out in our present lives are the result of us willfully playing the same record over again.  This usually happens at a time when there is something that just isn’t going correctly and the situation may tend for us to start the same merry-go-round of old self doubts that far too many of us continue to climb aboard.

All of us are subject to our own negative thoughts and feelings and as we’ve learned, eventually the feelings go away at least to some degree and we continue on.  That’s why they’re called feelings and not truth, two very different words, because they will come and go. But a difficulty exists when we encounter a negative life situation and we automatically and sometimes immediately let ourselves play the record  or CD of self-doubt over again.  It’s tiring and draining and yet too many of us willingly sit down and put it on and listen to it again.

There are three attitudes that must consciously and aggressively not be allowed to automatically and on command sing their song in our heads because they’ll move their destructive influence from just our mind then into our emotions resulting in behavior changes that can be very negative and depressing and then there goes our day which can turn into weeks or months.

The first attitude  we must deal with is:

I will never be able to (fill in the blank here for yourself.)

That word never is the culprit.  None of us at any given time can be or do exactly what we want to be or do.  Times change, situations change, we’re short on money, we may have to deal with a lot more things than usual for a period, and so there are simply times in which can’t operate the way we would like.

The real problem arises when this situation of replaying the song I will never be able to…, becomes a pattern.  And it’s in the accepting of the pattern that we become incapable of productive emotions and behaviors.

It’s when we decide to internalize what for most people are just momentary and periodic speed bumps on life’s highway.  That’s when we decide, and though it may have over time become quite stealth in how this mindset present itself to us based on certain stimuli, but it’s when we decide in one way or another that the emotion and resultant behaviors are acceptable enough to be allowed to remain that we get into trouble.

And the trouble is that we embrace the sense of low worth based on feelings and not reality.  A mistake or even a series of the same types of mistakes are not an eternal declaration on your value and inherent worth as a human being.  It’s just a product of living in a fast paced world with a lot to do and a lot of people with whom we’ve become either dependent upon, responsible for or involved with.

The only way to not make a mistake is to do nothing and thereby become nothing.  Mistakes when accurately understood have taught more people great lessons than all the universities in the world.

Many of us have a string of supposed failures where we made the same general mistakes over and over and naturally as sensitive human beings many times the negatives are what we remember instead of the many positive traits we have.  Or maybe at a critical time when we didn’t handle a situation as we should the learned response has been to embrace and keep hold of automatic negative messages that arise when all we’ve done is merely be human.  It’s interesting to me how many of us also, and usually at the same time, forget the multitude of nice things, the many good things we’ve done and the proper attitudes that we’ve had, many times through very trying circumstances, and allow the negative to control us.

It’s a learned behavior and it must be, and can be unlearned.

We mustn’t allow the same message to continue to replay and thus the impact that the word never has and how it slowly erodes any hope what we might, in our more lucid moments, hold on to.  In any case it’s our decision and it takes active and willful participation for our to control and deny the learned automatic response to certain situation and we must learn to say to ourselves with force, “No, I’m not going to let that thinking stay.”

The second attitude is:

I just can’t be like [ this person or that group].

Of course you can’t be just like someone else.  That’s why you have your own name, you’re your own person.  When I hear a person say something like that to me what I actually hear them saying is, “My life doesn’t have the same value as this person’s or this certain group of people so I need to be more like them but it’s just not working.”

We all have good examples that we look to and would like to emulate at least to a degree, but far too many times we manufacture what we feel others think of us because we feel that they are inherently superior in some or many manners and it’s that hidden automatic thinking that is usually the real problem.  And the curious thing is that most of the time we’re completely off base.  But nevertheless we buy into the thinking and then we try to over-compensate for our perception of inequality and we come to find that we just can’t be like them.  And there’s a good reason for that; we’re not that person.  But even that simple truth doesn’t change the fact that we want to be like them because we’ve come to feel that anyone but us is the acceptable standard.

Many times we don’t react in life based on how we think of ourselves; We don’t react in life in response to what others think of us; We react to life based on what we think others think of us.  And it’s usually not the truth.

And if the truth be known, that other person probably isn’t even that person.  Many of our heroes wear disguises and costumes to fit the situation they’re in at any given time, so we really can’t be sure of who it is we’re so in awe of.

We’re all in some form of transition and unless we’ve just totally checked out of any hope of a productive life, we’re all at some different level in the maturation process, a process that is continually evolving and changing.  And what accompanies that process are typically some self doubts along with periods of self reassessment.  And it’s a good process if we don’t take ourselves too seriously.  Because again, the very people you’re emulating aren’t probably that firm in some of their own convictions.

We’re all changing so just have confidence in the fact that you’re considering all things in your life and are trying to make the adjustments you feel are necessary.

feelings
Continually recycling old    feelings is a waste of time.

You’d be surprised how many of our “heroes” are extremely vulnerable and if things don’t go exactly as planned, their emotional life and image suffers as a result.  We’re all vulnerable to the same self questioning.

So we have to consciously and willfully think of all the good things that we want to do, that we hope to do.  And if we need a hero or example pick one that you know for a fact that is solid and stable, or better yet pick the you that you want to become and keep him or her in the forefront of your mind.

Think of the times when you’ve been there for someone else, when you’ve “come to the rescue” and interceded.  People like that don’t need to be “like” anyone else they simply need to be more like that.  Do you enjoy being happy and making others happy?  Then do it.  Do you like times of solitude where you gain insight and clarity?  Then allow yourselves those times without any guilt feelings.  Do you have a general idea of where you want to be, of the  type of person you want to mature into?  Then stay focused.

You were made with these desires for a reason, you’re not an accident, and the world is in sore need of your uniqueness.  Focus on those traits that come naturally to you and work to increase them.  But do so only in competition with yourself and not with others.

The third attitude to deal with is:

I’ll never have any good relationships, because though I try my hardest, something always happens to mess them up.

The phrase that is most troubling here is “though I try my hardest.”    Too many of us try too hard to be natural and automatically liked by others.  And behavior becomes most unnatural and being accepted by others is anything but automatic.

relationships
Even the loneliest road has an end.

We all want and  need healthy relationships.  We’re built to be inclusive, but we can’t do so just to “get our numbers up.”  There’s no value in quantity when it comes to relationships, it’s about quality.  It’s about being like minded and fitting together well and not about just getting together.

Now there’s a lot of variations of the phrase and attitude mentioned above, but the underlying truth for many of us is that we really would love to have a few close friends, but a trusting, non-judgmental relationship seems so elusive.

And good, trustworthy relationships are elusive, they truly are.  But they eve become more so when when we try our hardestWhat we actually mean when we behave in that manner is that we do our best to try to be something and someone another person needs or values but mainly  because we feel we need them, and the person we’re attempting to be may likely be someone we’re really not but we keep playing the role, trying to insert ourselves into their lives.  Vicariously we need their sense of self satisfaction to flow over onto us, but that just doesn’t happen.   And friendship just doesn’t work that way.

When we try to make friends, instead of just being friendly and being ourselves, we are automatically operating on a basis of self-doubt and self-deception.  We don’t see a value within ourselves that is attractive enough for someone else to want, so we work at it and force it.  And disaster usually results.  Being friendly is one thing, being helpful and accommodating is another and being useful is yet another good quality, but forcing these traits to be based on a hidden emotional need will not produce the results any of us truly want.

We all take a chance in letting ourselves come onto the scene.  It’s required to be noticed and to be able to interact with others.  But what we don’t want to do is try to hard to sell ourselves.  Each of us is so very unique and has so many desirable qualities and we simply need to enhance those qualities and let others decide if they want to get closer to us.

When we work on the person on the inside and when we find ourselves in social situations we should do so without expecting or demanding a specific outcome and we’ll come to find that the right relationships will come to us.

There is only one thing worse than being alone and that’s being surrounded by the wrong people or being with the wrong person.  Trust me, it’s like an unending prison sentence.

unique person
You’re you for a reason.

You’re good enough and like anyone good enough you can become better and improve yourself.  We all try to become better whether we have low self esteem or not, it’s just something inherent in the human psyche to improve oneself.  There’s no need to force it but rather the only thing we need to be about is increasing our core set of values, becoming more firm in our moral and ethical convictions and deciding that each of us is uniquely and wonderfully made and we’re made this way for a purpose.

Set out to increase your inherent skills, tendencies, heartfelt desires and core value system and just go live your life as friendly as you can.  You’ll find that you won’t need to go find a life, life will come to you.  Learn to love the solitude of being alone without allowing a sense of loneliness to invade.

Personal development is about you becoming who you’re supposed to become.  So go about your own growth process with a focus on your core values and  remembering your good traits and in time you’ll come together with others of like mind and standards.  And if some relationships that seem hopeful don’t work out, oh well.  There’s still a world of people out there that you haven’t even met yet.

Go be yourself, be good to yourself and let the world see you.

Author:  Tony Hensley

#attitude #selfesteem #personal development

 

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