Taking Ownership: Change your three-letter attitude

“We can let circumstances rule us, or we can take charge and rule our lives from within.” ~ Earl Nightingale

I’m a big fan of social media, both for keeping in touch with friends and for marketing my business. I love reading updates, seeing what silliness children have been up to, and learning cutting-edge fitness and health tips. However, I’m increasingly bothered by the prevalence of a three-letter attitude that indicates how people feel about their lives. In theory, this is “just an expression” but a negative message is a negative message, no matter how seemingly innocuous.

In the span of about a week, I saw this three-letter attitude written on no fewer than five status updates (this phrase, loosely translated, is “my life stinks.”) I felt a surge of sarcasm overcome me, and had to examine my judgement and lack of patience for that phrase and the attitude associated with it. What really bothered me was that there seemed to be an overwhelming feeling of not having control over life, or that one thing might make everything else disastrous. Generally speaking, I am not judgmental, but I have very little patience for the “nothing-I-can-do-about-it” attitude. Where does this come from? And more importantly, how can we change it?

I felt compelled to write a rebuttal in my own status update, reminding my friends that things could be much worse, and that changing the way you see things can change the direction of your life. If you find yourself going to the negative whenever something goes wrong or is difficult, then you have conditioned your brain to think negatively. If you find you are repeating the same patterns over and again, you might consider changing your perspective so that you can have a more attractive view. The challenge is how to change your perspective.

We tend, in our “all-or-nothing” culture, toward thought patterns and world views that take us to one extreme or another. Rather than try to dig all the way to the root of your “problems,” start very simply by choosing to make a change. Make a commitment to yourself to change your life. Take charge, be in control.

So, start by choosing another three-word phrase for yourself: CML – Command (of) My Life

You may not be able to control circumstances, but you can certainly control your reactions. You can use your energy and thoughts to move in the direction you wish to go. If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels or aren’t quite where you want or need to be, then in addition to “just doing it” and making things happen, you need to start by changing the thought pattern.

Break it down and simplify it:

  1. Change your life phrase to re-train your thoughts and reflect the positive: CML(Command [of] My Life.) Every time you catch yourself thinking negatively about your situation, stop, take a deep breath, and recite your new life phrase – Command (of) My Life. Say it until you can re-focus to the positive.
  2. Practice what you preach. Say your new life phrase to yourself, walk your talk, hold yourself accountable to it. Write it down, tape it to a mirror, the back of a cupboard, your dashboard, or wherever you think you’ll see it and read it enough to re-condition your brain to think positively about your life. Keep it taped where you need it until you are moving in the right direction.
  3. Take charge and make it happen! Decide what it is that you want to accomplish, set mini goals to get you there, and put it in motion. Start with something realistic and attainable. I started my business in July, so set the short-term goal to break even in October, and guess what? I did it! I decided on October’s goal in September when I started to worry about my finances. Rather than spiral into the negative and fearful place, I had faith that I would be able to reach that goal. I made a clear, simple and attainable goal, and worked hard to achieve it. Now I’m ready to set the next goal.

Take a little break and go back to Step 2: Practice what you preach. Think about it for a minute. If you talk the talk, you must walk the walk. This can be very challenging, so be realistic, and be kind to yourself. We all have our moments, but if you can say that overall you believe your new life phrase, and put positive thinking into practice, you will start to notice some changes.

You can allow yourself to get stuck in a frustrated place, or let your whole day be ruined by one event. If you spilled a drop of salsa on your white shirt, would you pour the whole bowl down your shirt? I doubt it, but if you did, I would applaud you for taking charge and just getting on with it already! The point is, life will always bring us difficult situations, disappointments and temporary setbacks. If you view these moments as insurmountable, then you will likely see your life as difficult and disappointing. If you take these moments as opportunities to move forward and to learn, look for the wisdom and keep on moving forward. Or, in my best west coast speak – I have lost some of it after all of these years –  Get over it, dude! Then, take charge and own it!

Blessings. Gratitude. Love.


About powerstrengthgrace

I lay out my intention for this blog: to share my experiences with others and direct my clients here for their personal growth. I hope to show the reader that one can be mindful without having to go to extremes. Balance and simplicity are key, and I have learned that valuable lesson time and again. About me: First, I am a mother. Secondary, but also very important: entrepreneur, fitness professional, business woman, writer, public speaker. I live in the DC metropolitan area and have created a fulfilling life for myself and my children. My career path has been interesting and varied. I have worked in research & management for a telecoms association, managed health clubs, consulted on housing market development in third world nations, and finally, have become self-employed in corporate wellness and private lifestyle management coaching. I hope that you take something with you every time you visit, and I thank you for sharing with friends, co-workers and family members.
This entry was posted in Exercise, family, fitness, life coaching, lifestyle management, meditation, energy, chanting, workout,, Money Management, personal growth, relaxation, spirituality, Uncategorized, women, Yoga. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Taking Ownership: Change your three-letter attitude

  1. Trish says:

    Well said!!!

  2. Alix JoyTree says:

    How funny !!!
    when i read simillar status updates [life sucks – bored …] i too want to just write back {how could anyone be bored !!!} there is so much to see, hear, know,…just at your fingertips … Search … don’t play games …
    and i wanted to share this great quote by a great being – ever watched [Into the Wild?]

    “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a person than a secure future. The very basic core of a person’s living spirit is their passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun” ~ C McCandless

    I truly enjoy reading your postings – you are not repeating most of the same old pointless [u know]!!!

    thanks for sharing your great insights – AJT

    • Thank you for the quote! Yes, I got frustrated with seeing things like, “had kitchen mis-hap. FML!” I thought, ‘really? REALLY? FML????’ It made me think about how easily negativity slips into our thoughts, even if it’s something so simple and silly as a 3-letter expression. I am reading “The Artist’s Way” and have started morning pages (writing 3 pages every morning before getting out of bed – a great way to start regular meditation) and found a lot of my own negativity was dominating my thoughts first thing in the morning. In getting it out on paper, I leave it there (and the negative voice of the “censor”) and then get on with my day – and life. 🙂

  3. Alix JoyTree says:

    when negativity [if ever] presents itself … I go outside and start digging [i do this anyway – it is one of my fav exercises – lol ].
    Writing things down is another venue – piles of notes from years of ‘reflection’.
    Earth is an amazing facilitator/absorber of neg.energi – It gives & it takes – intent is key – and 2 things are good to keep in mind – Change & Balance.
    I sense the movement of the Earth – just like a human body [rises and falls – breathing] – this isn’t a ‘Be.Lie.F(ear) anymore – It is a scientific fact.
    Humans don’t sit still for very long to begin to notice or even sense it. We all now know, that the Planet is a ‘Living Organism’.
    Your ‘positivity’ is uplifting and inspiring – not just as an ‘e.Motion’ of [hope and faith] that ‘things’ will get better – your approach is rather a ‘Motion’ focused on the challenge at hand. Very powerful 🙂

  4. Digging in the earth is such a positive and powerful way to reconnect with our source. The physical aspect, the rhythmic motions and creative energy put into gardening make such a change in my attitude if I’m having a tough day. My kids also enjoy it because they can see how pretty the garden looks with a little bit of love, not to mention that they love nibbling on the edibles.

  5. Alix JoyTree says:

    Earthwork is truly ‘Labor of Love’ … establishing a solid relationship with Earth takes time and patience – Nature doesn’t compromise to appease human [laziness].
    almost every tree, plant, flower, herb is edible here – from pine trees loaded with nuts – Juniper Berries – wild mint, watercress, sage, sunfloers, cactus, and many more – i don’t know their names – the abundance is amazing.
    By far the best exercise ever … and the health rewards when earth is touched, smelled & tasted [mud splashing] – it’s Heaven in Heaven .. 🙂

  6. Alix JoyTree says:

    😉 you got it … 🙂

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