"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude." - Maya Angelou

This chapter tells you what to do when you find yourself getting sucked into the Negative Intent Molecule, when your energy feels like it is dragging you down and you are in that downward spiral. In the simplest of terms, Checking Your Attitude at the Door is about giving people and yourself the benefit of the doubt. This entails pausing for a moment when something happens that normally would upset you, reflecting on what is happening in your mind, and then choosing a positive attitude to replace your negative thinking. The process of Checking Your Attitude requires that you create an observer's state of mind.  This means that you are able to watch your mind and how it functions, not necessarily to interfere with it at first, but simply to notice what you are thinking and how you are feeling. This takes practice.

Often when you encounter a negative thought or feeling you want to either indulge in it and intensify the feeling or destroy and eliminate the feeling. In the practice of Checking Your Attitude you will do neither. Instead, the goal is to establish an observer's neutrality. Ron Kurtz, author of Haikomi Therapy, refers to this state as mindful awareness. You act very much like the doctor that is observing a slide under the microscope. When a doctor looks in the microscope the intent is to observe, not change what is there. After a careful examination, the doctor can decide what to do about what is observed. You are seeing what is going on, noticing it, but not trying to change it without thoughtful consideration.  

There are five basic steps in making an attitude check and shifting from negative to positive intent. Checking your Attitude begins with awareness.
  1. Identify what triggers you into a negative state of mind.
  2. Identify which negative state of mind you go into.
  3. Move into a Choice Point to neutralize the negative impact and open your mind to making a clear choice.
  4. Choose Positive Intention as the basis for your thinking and feeling.
  5. Move into action based on Positive Intention.

Obviously, you will have to practice this process over and over again until it becomes your new way of responding. Don't expect it to become habit immediately, and don't be discouraged when you slip back into your old patterns. You will be course correcting. Know that you always have the choice to assume Negative or Positive Intention at any time in any situation. Once you get a good practice going, when those opportunities arise to "go south,d" you will bounce back.




© 2017 Jim Peal