You CAN Change: How to Change Your Attitude

Why people CAN change and how you can too

- | 29 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Self Improvement

How to Change Your Attitude

I was recently participating in a family gathering. It wasn’t that big, maybe 15 people, but it was big enough for groups of people to be formed and have different conversations.

As I was walking past one of the groups, I overheard someone saying: “well there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s her character, and people can’t change.

The fact the people believe that character and attitude is something that you are born with and can’t be changed always strikes me as surprising.

I hear this from people who by all social standards are considered educated and intelligent, yet with all that intelligence and university degrees, some very basic truths are missed.

Everything is either growing or disintegrating

Everything in our world is constantly changing. Everything is either growing or disintegrating, and this includes our bodies and minds as well.

From the day we are born until the day we leave our current body on this planet we are continuously changing.

A person’s character or attitude is continuously changing based on the thoughts he thinks.

The reason many people think that they (or other people) can’t change is because of habits. A habit is an action that requires no conscious effort.

This action is so ingrained in character that we don’t give it any thought of whether to perform or not perform it. For example, did you have to decide whether you would put your clothes on today? I bet you didn’t.

Since habits help us to manage the data load of our everyday lives, we are usually inclined to make more and more habits to help us along the way. We become so accustomed to our habits that we think they control our lives and our actions.

Because of that, most people think that they can’t change. They honestly believe that they wouldn’t be able to change their lives because their habits are stronger than they are.

The truth is that our habits are as strong as the power we give them over us.

In fact changing our habits (and thus our attitude) is something that requires a big enough reward to do so. If the reward for changing our behavior is big enough for us, then it would have more power than the habit we grew accustomed to.

If I tell you that you would get $1,000,000 if you start waking up at 5 am each day for two months, would you do it? Most people would gladly take me up on that offer, and set the alarm clock for 5 am (or even earlier) with pleasure.

How To Change Your Attitude

So if it’s possible to change our attitude, how do we go about doing this?

Here are three ways that will help you change yourself and your attitude towards the environment

1. Construct a New Habit

If habits are so ingrained in our behavior, it is just logical that changing them will change our attitude.

Choose a habit you wish to change, for example arriving late for meetings, and start working on it, in this case, plan to be there 20 minutes before the meeting, and then simply do it.

Now you might think that a new habit takes 21-30 days to form. This is probably not true and originates in a mix of study and folklore. The more recent studies show that habits take anywhere between 18-254 days to become fully automated.

I’m not saying this to discourage you from trying out a new habit, but rather to let you know that changing habits takes time, so if you slip up on adopting your new habit at first it’s completely okay, and you can stop beating yourself up for it.

Just stick to your decision and keep moving forward. Step by step you would feel the change coming, and you would start arriving at meetings on time.

2. Think Different Thoughts

This is actually easier than you think. Our mind is like a transmission station, and our thoughts are vibrations in certain frequencies we send out. Whatever we send out, the universe returns to us.

Just think of a radio station that is tuned to a certain station. Each station is a different frequency, and in order to receive a different broadcast, you simply change the frequency the radio is tuned to.

This is the same with our thoughts. Once we change the frequency of our thoughts, we would receive different results. So negative thoughts (low-frequency thoughts) will bring negative results, and high-frequency positive thoughts will bring positive results.

So we are interested in changing our frequency of thought to change ourselves and our attitude. How do we do that?

One simple exercise is the following. Choose any object. It could be a person or an inanimate object that has some relation to yourself.

For 5 minutes think about all the good things that this person/object brings into your life. How does that person help you? How does that object make your life easier or more enjoyable? Then focus on acknowledging that good and really give thanks for the fact that the person/object is in your life.

This exercise is great since it immediately switches the thinking you are currently on into a more positive one. It is actually possible to feel the change of mind that takes place when we start thinking about the good in our life and give thanks for it.

Practice this exercise every time you feel that you start acting in a way you don’t like, or start going on a negative mind path, and in a relatively short period of time, you would see that your behavior changes.

3. Adopt a New Perspective

The way we look at things affects our thoughts about them. Everything just is. We are the one that gives meaning to it based on the way we perceive it.

Two different people will look at the same thing and would act differently about it. So changing our behavior towards something can be achieved by simply changing the way we perceive it.

For example, let’s say you don’t manage to do everything you planned to do. You want to do more stuff, but things constantly get in your way.

One perspective could be that you just don’t have enough time on the day to do everything. This usually leads to hurry and stress.

However simply shifting the perspective could mean that we could look at the situation as if you are simply prolific and are engaged in many things. You are simply a very productive person in many different areas. Feels better, doesn’t it?

One exercise that could help you shift your perspective is write down whatever bothers you on a piece paper. Then sit a table where you can clearly see the paper spread on the table.

Choose 2-3 people which you respect and think highly of. They could be someone you personally know or even historical figures like Franklin or Edison (my favorite is Churchill).

Then seat at the table with the paper in front and just say out loud what bothers you about the subject which is written on the paper.

After you get everything out, move to a different place at the table and just think what one of the people you chose would have thought about the situation. What would he have to say? Would it be positive or negative? How would he look at this?

Do that a few times and each time switch chairs and people, so you could have a range of perspectives to choose from.

Then simply choose the perspective that fits you the most. Choosing a different way to look at something, will bring with it different thoughts and different actions towards it.

Final Words

Our attitude towards things is comprised of our thoughts, feelings, and actions. These three are inseparable in determining who we are and how we act.

Just as if you have a cake, which has many ingredients that construct the whole, so does our attitude is constructed of these three important parts.

The good thing to know is that we can change the minute we decide to. Our attitude is not set in stone, and it can change at every point in life.

It only requires us to decide we want to change, commit to our decision and keep trying to change until we see the shift happening. After that, if we keep repeating the new pattern of thought it becomes our new nature.

So next time you’re at an event, and you hear someone says that people can’t change, go ahead and tell them how you managed to do so.

Over to you –

Have you ever tried to change your attitude? How did you go about doing it? Share in the comments.



Show Comments

29 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Ben

    April 3, 2017 at 1:01 am

    Hi Ido. I agree that those are the best ways to change your attitude. I find that the best way to change my thoughts and perspective is by reading. I love to read personal development books. It is easiest for me to stay positive when I’m reading something positive.

  2. RajKumar Jonnala

    March 23, 2017 at 12:49 am

    Hello,

    This is indeed great yet informative post. I believe thoughts are the main thing which change our attitude. So we must work for our thoughts first.

    Thanks

    • Ido Barnoam

      April 2, 2017 at 1:26 am

      Thanks!
      I think our attitude is comprised of out thoughts feelings and actions.
      Each one alone is only part of how we act in the world.
      Out thoughts are indeed the trigger to our feelings and actions, but I believe that changing our thoughts alone is not sufficient if we want to change ourselves and the results we receive.

  3. Donna Merrill

    March 18, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Hi Ido,

    Changing your attitudes and habits really begins with a simple decision to make change, as you’ve pointed out.

    I think one of the big problems people having with making changes in their lives, or in their attitudes, is that they “want” to make the change… they really do… but they just can’t commit to making the decision to actually do it.

    Thanks for sharing your insights, and your really cool alternate perspectives exercise. Reminds me a bit of drama therapy.

    -Donna

    • Ido Barnoam

      March 18, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      Hey Donna,
      I think you’re right.
      One of the major roadblocks in change is that we want or wish a change but we don’t MAKE the decision to change and COMMIT to the change.

      I think that if we keep looking at the outcome of the change, and imagine and feel the way we would feel once we achieve the goal and change, it would help keep us motivated to follow through with our decision.

      Every time I slip with following through on a commitment to do something other than how I’m usually doing it, I visualize having the goal and that usually builds up the motivation to keep on changing.

  4. Cori Ramos

    March 18, 2017 at 2:14 am

    Hi Ido,

    It’s so nice to meet you and congratulations on being featured here on Harleena’s blog.

    Thanks for sharing your tips on how we can change our attitude. I struggled with changing my attitued for a long time. I learned how to change my mindset and once I did that, I noticed my attitude changing.

    I still have to exercise retraining my thoughts but I now know how to stop the negative thoughts and change it to positive ones.

    Thanks again for sharing. I hope you both have a lovely weekend.

    Cori

    • Ido Barnoam

      March 18, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      Thinking positive thoughts is a habit that we need to constantly work on and maintain just like any other habit.

      It’s easier to think negative thoughts simply because we are more accustomed to doing it from an early age (why we are used to doing it is a different subject, but it generally involves the fact that people around us think in some way, and we adopt that thinking pattern and then constantly repeat it – which only strneghten the habit)

      So I keep on thinking positive thoughts. It might feel strange and artificial at the beginning, but after a while of doing it, this too will become a habit which doesn’t require any effort of performing.

  5. Lorraine Reguly

    March 17, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I have used positive affirmations to become a more positive person and alter my beliefs.

    Have you ever used these? Try them. They WORK well! 🙂

    • Ido Barnoam

      March 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      Hi Lorraine,
      Thanks for pointing that out. Another very good way of changing mindset and attitude is indeed using affirmations. I really wanted to give something different when I wrote the post, so I didn’t include that method here.

      I am constantly using affirmations to have myself good days, and even a brighter future. They do work well, don’t they? 🙂

      I think that what I learned from using them is that it sometimes takes time until you really believe what is affirmed, but once it really sinks in, then it’s just fun seeing it taking shape in our reality.

  6. Ikechi Awazie

    March 16, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Hi Ido

    What a great post and attitude which we know determines one attitude.

    You did a good job revealing how we can change our Attitude and the tips you shared are so great.

    Thumbs up for this post. Take care

  7. Mi Muba

    March 16, 2017 at 10:37 am

    It’s life changing post Ido

    Francis Beacon rightly said nothing is permanent in this world, everything be changed but change is permanent.

    A little effort as you pointed out in your points could bring big change in someone’s attitude. A person simply has to make his mind to change and then nothing can stop him.

    You can change if you want; as the saying goes and if we just pretend to change then nothing could happen.

    Many thanks for sharing this lovely post on changing attitude and bringing good in our life.

    • Ido Barnoam

      March 16, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      First time I hear the quote by Francis Bacon, but it has so much truth to it.
      Like you said if we commit to making a change (and a large enough goal usually requires that) then as long as we work at it, it’s only a matter of time.

  8. Sathish Arumugam

    March 13, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Hi Ido,
    First of all, I Thank you for choosing this excellent topic. In this regular stuff routine, we have forgotten our original attitude. We pretend to act according to the society. After realising the reality, some try to rescue the original attitude. I think this article helps to achieve this. After reading the 3 main points, which you have mentioned above helps to recall all the basic and important qualities needed for good life.
    Thank you for sharing. Keep posting.

    • Ido Barnoam

      March 15, 2017 at 1:40 am

      Hi Satish,

      Yes, I guess many people don’t believe in themselves enough so they follow the crowd and do what other people do, and not what they actually want to do.

      It takes courage to really look into ourselves and decide we will do something differently. The thing is, it’s always possible to do that. Each of us has that courage and ability to decide for himself and do what he wants to do.

  9. Pankaj Dhawan

    March 13, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Hello Ido,

    I guess when things are not going right, we need to change the way we look at things. Life is too short to hold on to something for long. This is great post, specially the point “think different thoughts” – its like controlling your mind what to think and what not.

    • Ido Barnoam

      March 15, 2017 at 1:37 am

      Hi Pankaj,

      You totally got it!

      We have the power to choose how we look at things. Nothing is all bad or all good. People can see a beautiful thing and find the flaws in it, while others might see a bad situation as an opportunity. We do have the power and ability to change our perspective. And that is exactly how we can control our mind and thoughts.

  10. Vernon Layne

    March 10, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Hi Ido,
    Change is possible but it takes time like you said.
    The question we must ask ourselves is :are we willing to do whatever it takes to change?
    Our mind is a powerful tool.
    If we change our thoughts our feeling will follow.
    I’m in the process of making some positive changes in my life right now.
    And I’m seeing some positive result because I’m keeping it in the front of my mind every day.
    You gave me some good tool to help me change my bad habits.
    Thanks!

    • Ido Barnoam

      March 12, 2017 at 4:16 am

      Thank you for the kind words.
      Our mind is indeed powerful. As long as you keep the goal on your conscious mind, and act towards its achievement, it will be a part of your reality.

  11. Salauddin Bepari

    March 10, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Hi Ido,

    I lost my hard relationship. I don’t have a job right now. I think you know the pressure of unemployed person. I feel like everything conspiring against me and my life is forcing me to do something bad. Sometimes I think I should take alcohol for reducing pressure of my life. Plz advice me how ot change my attitude.
    regards,
    Salauddin

    • Ido Barnoam

      March 12, 2017 at 4:13 am

      Hi Salauddin,
      Changing attitude is completely possible and like with any other skill, it takes training.

      What you could do right are several things:

      1. Visualize the outcome you wish to have. If you want a new job, define exactly what it is you are looking for in that job, and every day take 5-10 minutes of visualizing and feeling what it would be like once you are on that new job. It won’t be easy at first, but stick to it (just like any new practice you start)

      2. If during the day you notice you start thinking negative thoughts, stop that trail of thought. Focus on a person or an object you have in your life and think of all the good it brings to your life. Then be grateful for it.

      For example, let’s take the computer you are using to write the comment with. It’s good because it gives you the possibility to reach out to people and ask for help. It can also help you in finding a new job. focus on those things and after that be grateful for them. You could say it out loud and FEEL grateful for them. This will immediately switch the thinking pattern in your mind.

      3. perform the exercise listed as number 3 on this post. Write down one major thing that is troubling you, and adopt a new perspective on it. If that perspective doesn’t work, try out a different one, until you find a new one which fits you better and is POSITIVE

      If you need any further help, please feel free to contact me further

      • Salauddin Bepari

        March 13, 2017 at 11:11 am

        Dear Ido,
        Thank you so much for making my life little Happy.

  12. Shivkumar

    March 7, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Hi Ido,

    As always said, relevant changes is always good for oneself. As you have told about picking some habit can changes our attitudes. I would say most of the people just quit the habits because of one simple reason and that is ‘RESULT’.

    Yes! RESULT, people wants quick result which is not possible since good things takes time. You have really elaborate this statement in depth. Thanks for sharing such encouraging article.

    >SK Lohar

    • Ido Barnoam

      March 12, 2017 at 3:59 am

      Yes.
      People expect to see a difference in results in a relatively short period of time due to misconceptions and some urban legends. But like you said, things take time to unfold, and the bigger the goal, it would most likely take more time to be achieved.

      This is not to say that it can’t be achieved, but it’s important that we have FAITH in our ability and in the process to understand that even temporary defeats are only temporary, and are not failures. As long as we see the goal in our conscious mind, and nurture it (meaning take action to acheive it) it will become our reality!

  13. Sherman

    March 6, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Hey Ido,

    That is a myth that people can’t change. If you desire the change then you’ll put forth the energy to do so. Especially when there is a reward like the million dollar example you used.

    I look at it as a feeling I want to obtain. By doing this I’ve changed a couple of daily habits like saying “good morning” which gives others a feeling that I’m pleasant to be around. Habits or the core of changing your character. If you are serious and want better results in your life then changing your habits will do the trick!

    Great share Ido! Have a great week!

    • Ido Barnoam

      March 7, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Feeling now the feeling we would have when reaching our goal is a great method of keeping up the motivation to change our habits.

      We control how we feel, and how we act, so we can feel any way we want to whenever we want to. We may not have the physical evidence of the goal, but we can certainly feel like we do, right now!

      Thanks for pointing this out!

  14. Ravi Chahar

    March 6, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Hey Ido,

    When people consider others character and attitude without knowing is heartbreaking. I remember how one of my friends was judged just because of her attire.

    Adapting a new habit is a great way to change your character. People can change. I have had faced so many ups and downs and adapted many new habits.

    Thanks for this motivational post.
    ~Ravi

    • Ido Barnoam

      March 7, 2017 at 12:39 am

      Thank you for the kind words, Ravi.

      People change all of the time in body and in mind.
      All the cells of our body are constantly changing. As a matter of fact, we get a new body every 11 months.

      changing our mind is just a decision away. Once we decide to change, it’s easier to follow through and the new habit is easier to adopt.

  15. Vishal Kataria

    March 6, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Awesome post Ido. You’ve highlighted an important point – that life is always in a state of flux and we must change to keep up with it. James Altucher writes that lifelong learners change (read, evolve) every 6 months.

    I agree with every point for changing attitudes. Adopting new perspectives resonated with me the most. We first must intrinsically be motivated enough to change. Once we have that, it’s important to hang out with people who are doing what we want to, for changing our perspectives.

    • Ido Barnoam

      March 6, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks, Vishal.

      Yes, the prize of achieving the goal needs to be stronger than our nature to stay in our comfort zone and feel content.

      It’s important to feel happy with what we have in life, but not satisfied. If we are just satisfied with our current situation, we won’t have the motivation to keep evolving.

      Interestingly enough, once we start moving and build the desire to change, the right people would show up, and we would have the opportunity to learn from and with them.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



You CAN Change: How to Change Your Attitude

by Ido Barnoam time to read: 6 min