The attitude we have affects everything…..yes everything. I can’t remember all the times as a kid someone commented about how my attitude needed to be adjusted – and they seemed to want to help. Thinking back I guess it needed to be adjusted in some way. Now that I am adult I am not sure if my attitude is better or if I have just gotten better and hiding it from others.
I wanted to share some of what I have learned about attitude. A positive healthy attitude is the first thing you need to develop to reach your greatest or highest potential in life.
I have written several posts about resilience. How Do You Handle The Roller Coaster? and Resilience. Look back over them to get a good definition of resilience. In case you don’t have time to look over the posts here is a good working definition of resilience. It is the ability to bounce back or recover from problems. Resilience is vital to our ability to learn grow and not repeat the past. Attitude and resilience go hand in hand. It is very difficult to bounce back and recover from problems if you attitude is negative.
1st What is Attitude?
Attitude is a part of how we think and feel but it always comes out in behavior. The best working definition is a settled way of thinking. We get a thought about something that we like or don’t like and we lock into it. Unwilling to look at other options. We close off to other perspectives and are no longer open or flexible. Attitude can be formed from a person’s past and present. A negative attitude always make you closed and rigid and a positive attitude makes you open and flexible. Which attitude would you want to be around?
Parents will scold a child, “don’t give me that attitude.” They are not talking about what is hidden in their thoughts it is the cocked head, roll of the eyes and the slam of the door that reveals the attitude. Attitude is not just a kid thing. As adults we may not be as dramatic. We get better at hiding our feelings, but we are still closed and inflexible. Sadley many people are unwilling to change or grow, they are unteachable. A positive attitude looks for ways to change. It is open and flexible and willing to explore new ideas.
Three parts make up attitudes.
- Emotions: How an object, person, issue or event makes you feel.
- Cognitive or thoughts: Your thoughts and beliefs about an object, person, issue or event.
- Behaviors: How your thoughts and emotions influence your behavior.
What does the Bible say about attitude:
Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Colossians 3:23 ESV
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
These are just a few of the many scriptures I could list, but I hope you can see that your attitude is vital to your ability to learn and develop resiliency. The key to these verses is not something you muster up but a vibrant outlook on life that God gives you. This hopeful attitude determines whether you are teachable. When we face the struggles that life presents you have to focus on what you can change. You can only change yourself. Many times pain looks for the cause in places we can not change.
What is the Correct attitude?
- Focus on the positive – redirect your mind and only allow positive words to come out.
- Teachable – a heart that is willing to learn first before it wants its way.
- Recognize that God is with you and He is always working
- Pause and focus on what God wants, not just what you want. Hint: start with love God and love your neighbor.
- Trust that God will care for you and be your advocate.
- You are not alone – You can have hope.
Life will always include problems, stress and tragedies. I know that my life has included many times when my negative attitude and lack of skills has caused me to become stuck. When I was willing to be teachable and learn a new way energy came back. The energy to hope and try. Learn to walk with Christ and He will develop a resilient character in you.