How to Change Negative Attitudes to Positive Ones
- Saturday, August 20, 2011
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Jan Coate's book, Attitude-inize:10 Secrets to a Positive You, (Beacon Hill Press, 2011).
A positive attitude contributes to success in life more than anything else, according to a Stanford Research Institute study that shows a full 87.5 percent of people’s success can be traced to their positive attitudes, while just 12.5 percent of their success comes from their aptitude, knowledge, or skills.
What can you do if your mind is weighed down by negative attitudes that limit your success? You can change your attitudes, with God’s help. Here’s how:
Understand the power of attitude. If you allow negative attitudes (such as anxiety, envy, anger, bitterness, or pride) to grab hold of your mind, those attitudes will lead you to make negative decisions that will affect your life in negative ways. But if you choose to develop and maintain positive attitudes, your life will become positive as a result. Even when you encounter the challenges and tragedies of living in a fallen world, you’ll be able to deal with them successfully when you choose to approach life with positive attitudes. But keep in mind that changing negative attitudes to positive ones isn’t an instant event; it’s a lifelong process that requires perseverance. Ask God to help you each day, and study Jesus’ life, since He is the ultimate example of how to live in a fallen world with positive attitudes.
Respond rather than react to unexpected change. Change will sometimes surprise you, and when that change is negative you may be drawn into a crisis. Whenever that happens, avoid reacting negatively and instead deliberately decide to respond positively. Keep in mind that you can’t control situations or people, but you can choose how you’ll respond to them. Ask God to give you four key gifts to help you respond to unexpected change in positive ways: hope, faith in Him, a clear vision of what He wants you to do next, and the energy to do what He wants you to do. Whenever it’s possible for you to change troubling circumstances or relationships, make the effort to do so. Whenever you can’t change them, ask God to give you the peace you need to deal with them.
Be accountable for your life. Let go of a victim’s attitude, since blaming others for what’s happened to you (from divorce to a job loss) won’t help make your life better. Avoid self-pity and excuses for not changing your life, too. Realize that no matter what has happened to you in the past, you do have the power to change, with God’s help. Focus on God’s promises to give you the strength you need to grow and move into a better future, and rely on that strength every day. Instead of looking inward, look outward to other people in need and obey God’s call to help them; in the process, you’ll start to feel better about your own life. Take responsibility for moving forward in the ways God leads you to move forward, and you’ll see your life becoming more positive.
Examine your soul. Ask God to help you take an honest look inside your soul to identify what specific types of negative attitudes are lurking inside, such as: pride, fear, anger, sadness, jealousy, doubt, resentment, bitterness, and low self-esteem. Then confess each of the negative attitudes to God and repent of them, inviting God to transform you from the inside out. Going forward, each time you become aware of an unhealthy, negative thought in your mind, give it to God in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind so you can think the way He wants you to think – which will help you develop positive attitudes to fill your soul regularly.
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