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3 Phrases I am Repeating to Have a Better Attitude

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

Y'all, I hate to admit it, but my attitude has not always been my natural strength. I am an enneagram six. I have a critical eye, and truthfully, I do not like to feel "fluffy". For example, when I get cut off in traffic, like most, I do not like it. My husband will say things like, "Maybe they are on the way to the hospital." You know, he is trying to view it through a more optimistic light, attempting to give them the benefit of the doubt. But for me, I logically say, "There is no way all of these people are on the way to the hospital." Truthfully, I struggle with this positive twist because it doesn't feel true. I guess that is how optimism and a positive attitude has felt to me in the past, not true. However, I don't want to be a Debbie Downer. I don't want to have a negative attitude. I have had to find some phrases that people like me can willingly accept. In the example above, I did find a way to frame it that actually does dissipate my frustration. I now say, "I do it sometimes too." For me, this statement is believable and I can empathize with being human. Everyone cuts someone off in traffic sometimes.

If you struggle to embrace everyday, positive cliches like I do then hopefully you can find some value in some phrases I have adopted to keep a more positive outlook on life.

This is a minor inconvenience.

Of all of the following phrases, this is the one I use the most. Maybe for you, your attitude does remain positive unless things are exceptionally bad, but I hate to admit, that is not the case for me. Mine are things like:

  • The baby took a really short nap so I can't get things done in the manner I was hoping to.

  • The baby woke up early in the morning.

  • My kids got sick.

  • The house feels really messy.

  • I got stuck in traffic due to a car accident.

Truly, I need to remember these are minor inconveniences. These are not tragedies. In light of all the bad things that could happen to me, they are truly minor. They mostly require me to be slightly flexible. People really do go through hard things, and some even do it with a positive outlook on life. I would hate to make my minor inconveniences feel weighty when they are not. More than anything, it is just learning to roll with it, which brings me to my next phrase.

I can figure this out.

This really connects to the minor inconvenience phrase for me, because generally, when one of these things happen, I usually am missing out on something I had hoped to do. What I am learning is that if I have a better outlook, I can still find time to get something done even if it is not in the way I had intend. For example, if I had hoped to blog during baby's naptime and he wakes early, I can still do it after bedtime or in the morning. There are solutions when we look for them.

Another way this phrase has helped me is by combatting my areas of insecurity. I can relate to self-doubt, but one thing that helps me along is knowing that I can be creative. I can problem-solve. I have good ideas. That may not sound like someone with self-doubt, but I am learning to trust that not only I, but all of us have greater inner resources than we give ourselves credit for.

I don't have to be perfect.

It is hard to have a good attitude if you feel that you are bad. I have a hard time believing that shame and a good attitude can mix. Because shame or deep insecurity is a bad attitude about yourself.

I am a very conscientious and self-aware person. What this mix looks like is having a strong desire to do the moral and right thing ALL. OF. THE. TIME. but I am also incredibly aware of when I don't even in the smallest way. If I am incrementally selfish, angry, lazy (and the list goes on), I am aware of it. I can hold myself to the harshest of standards at times, and a majority of my life I have known what it is like to have shame.

It wasn't until recently that I finally said it is okay to not be perfect. I do not necessarily have advice for how I got to this point, I think most of us get to a point of surrendering, a breaking point.

As a person of faith, there is point that I had to decide to believe that I am loved and enough despite missing the mark many times over. Jesus loves us all, and no one meets the perfection standard. I don't know how I finally got there, but I couldn't live under the bondage of my perfectionism anymore. The weight was too heavy. So I had to let go of the control I was trying to maintain by holding onto it and let people think what they want about me and let myself think what I wanted about me because at the end of the day, I (and you) am still loved and enough.

If you are like me and you have the desire for your "affirmations" or positive statements to sound and feel true to you, then I hope you find value in some of mine and find your own that resonate with you. I know what it is like to be turned off by phrases like, "Money flows freely to me." BUT there are better ways to look at things that are still true and feel true, and less "woo woo". I know none of us need reminded that having a good attitude is better than a bad one so I am rooting for you on this journey.

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