Thursday Thought: Change Mindset

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Maya Angelou quote

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
–Maya Angelou

Sometimes it’s important to vent, to get something off your chest, to get it out of your system and make room for something new. But don’t let this venting session turn into a firehose and take over your way of life. When you do this you’re not venting, you’re complaining.

It’s fine to not like something going on in or around your life, be it someone else’s actions/behavior/energy or your own. It’s fine to express that. What’s not okay is expressing it over and over without doing anything about it. All you’re doing is putting negative energy into the room and not replacing it with anything positive.

Here’s what I try and do:

  • Create awareness around the fact that I don’t like it
    I hate the word “hate” … hey, I’m actually using the word I don’t like quite often.
  • Engage in mindfulness around what it is you don’t like about it.
    I’m using “hate” as a blanket comment to vent, but all I’m doing is complaining. Notice how often I’m doing that and think about how I can express myself differently.
  • Take action inspired by what you find in the previous two.
    When I find myself using the word “hate” I’m really saying I want something to change. Make a conscious effort to replace “I hate when…” with “I’d really like it if…”. And when it’s possible, make it happen

It’s not always possible to change that thing you don’t like (although it’s often more possible than we choose to believe; it just means making some decisions that might be hard to make).

So when you can’t make a physical change (or at least not right away) what you can change is your attitude.

Find something to like about the space you’re in or where you’re headed. You always have a choice to make a change.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
–Reinhold Niebuhr

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