By: Marilyn L. Davis
Regret Your Actions? Then Act Differently
For many of us, when we look back on our life before recovery, we regret many of our attitudes and actions like:
- How arrogant we were about our way of doing things
- How much money we squandered in our use
- How often we disappointed our family
- How dismissive we were of help
- How our fearful outlook prevented change
Attitudes Influence Actions
If attitude and actions are critical to our outcomes, then what is an attitude? An attitude is what we think and feel about a person, subject or circumstances. It is these thoughts and feelings about a person, object, or situation that determine our attitude.
Optimistic and Pessimistic Attitudes
Opposite opinions and attitudes are both correct. For instance, one person believes that recovery is possible; another believes that it is impossible. Both of these attitudes will reinforce the anticipated outcomes for two reasons.
- Believing that something is possible, people plan actions to support this possibility.
- Believing that something is impossible, people find excuses to prove this conclusion.
- If we have an attitude that recovery is just hard work, it will be.
- If we are grateful for the opportunity to recover, then the work seems less daunting.
The Most Difficult Attitudes to Change
While my attitudes hold me back, the most difficult attitude to change is the one that holds you back from receiving help.
Only you can decide which negative or pessimistic attitudes you have that hold you back. I would urge you to explore your internal attitudes that create the barriers to recovery. However, there are certain attitudes that will prevent you from receiving help. They are:
Working with ACT – Becoming the ACTOR
Maybe it is time to start thinking more positively and acting differently. ACT, or Attitude Changes Things is helpful for two reasons.
- It reinforces what we have the most control over in our lives – our attitude about people and situations.
- We can “act as if.”
What do I mean by that? How would I choose to ACT differently from the typical negative attitudes? I simply need to know a balancing or opposite attitude to adopt to possibly change the outcomes. For instance:
- Humility, unassuming nature, humbleness as opposed to arrogance
- Modesty, reserved, realistic appraisal of self as opposed to conceit
- Neither less than nor better than, not privileged, on par with others vs. entitlement
- Open-minded, willing to listen, unguarded as opposed to close-minded
- Willing, cooperative, ready to change, as opposed to unwilling
Become an ACTOR
A better attitude to adopt in following directions is to be hopeful and trusting. People will not typically give directions that have not worked before, so there is confidence that these solutions have merit.
- Demonstrate interest in recovery
- Cooperate with people trying to help
- Make use of instructions to improve your life
- Becoming the ACTOR
Writing, and recovery heals the heart