Do you ever feel you need an attitude adjustment? Day in and day out, attitudes are one thing that leaders, managers and individuals find themselves having to deal with. All of us have had situations where an attitude was not only the cause of frustration, but also turmoil within an organization. How many times have you seen an attitude dealt with, only to see it change for a short time and then return?
Let me offer you a philosophy: attitudes are not the illness, but the symptom.
Attitudes are not the problem, but a visual sign of a deeper fact. Attitudes are the visual projection of thoughts. When you see an attitude being expressed, you’re seeing the aftermath of the struggle. When the attitude is expressed, the war has already been fought. Attitudes are the visual projection of the thoughts you have already struggled with. If an attitude is to be changed, you have got to change the thoughts that created the attitude. If you deal with the attitude and not regulate the thought, change will not occur.
That leaves us with one important question: How do you change the thoughts? Let me offer you seven suggestions:
- You must understand that thoughts are internal feelings that find external expressions.
- You must be honest about your feelings and what they mean.
- Take an honest look at what created the feeling that caused the conflict.
- List the pros and cons of the feelings.
- What can you learn or have you learned from the experience?
- Why are you hanging on to the negative feelings that keep drawing you back to the same thoughts?
- What must you do to let go of your feelings?
Attitudes are the visual projection of thoughts. Until you can honestly deal with those feelings, attitudes will continue to be a source of frustration. I have found that most people spend more energy allowing the attitude to drain them, rather than working to understand and control the thoughts. Attitudes do not work themselves out; they take personal energy.
Attitudes can be changed, but only through changed thoughts. Remember, thoughts create feelings.