By: Marilyn L. Davis
Actors Take on the Role: Positive or Negative
“If you want a quality, act as if you already have it. If you want to be courageous, act as if you were – and as you act and persevere in acting, so you tend to become.” ― Norman Vincent Peale
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
- All the money we squandered in our use
- We wouldn’t take the advice of friends and family
- How our fearful outlook prevented change
When Attitudes and Actions Conflict
In rare moments of honesty, we realize that we did not run the world well, and now we would like better outcomes and results. However, instead of following suggestions, we balk at the instructions from others about how to recover. Can you see the conflict in attitude and actions?
Sometimes our attitude becomes negative because we are not in charge. If you realize that you are angry that you aren’t in charge, remember, like me, how you mismanaged your life in your addiction.
This time, you can act differently and take advantage of an opportunity to let others give you better life solutions.
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 determines our attitude.
We often describe attitudes as positive or negative. If we view something or someone favorably, we have a positive attitude; if we dislike the person or subject, we probably have an adverse reaction to them, and this influences 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.
One attitude is positive and optimistic; the other is negative and pessimistic. How do optimistic and pessimistic attitudes influence our recovery?
Our attitudes show what we expect our recovery. For instance:
- If we have a belief that recovery is just hard work, it will be.
- If we are grateful for the opportunity to recover, then the work seems less daunting.
Beyond the positive and negative attitudes that we talk about, other attitudes will hinder or help your recovery.
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.
However, individual attitudes will prevent you from receiving help. They are:
All of these attitudes, considered as negative and pessimistic, will net adverse outcomes. If nothing else, these attitudes alienate people in a position to give help to you to recover. Frequently, they stop providing valuable solutions to someone disinclined to receive them.
I think we’re all the same, if someone rejects our advice, we stop giving it. After all, why should we offer help and guidance to someone who acts like our advice is wrong?
Besides rejecting our advice, it sets up fear in us that maybe we are wrong, so we’re not inclined to give directions or suggestions anymore.
Working with ACT – Becoming the ACTOR
Maybe it is time to start thinking more positively and acting differently. While we may stop giving directions or suggestions to one person because they’ve rejected our advice in the past, overcome your fears if you know the directions worked for you. Act confident and try to help someone else.
ACT, or Attitude Changes Things is helpful because 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 merely need to know a balancing or opposite reaction to have that will 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
- Prepared, cooperative, ready to change, as opposed to unwilling
Become More Positive
A better attitude to adopt in following directions is to be hopeful and trusting. People will not typically give instructions that have not worked before, so there is a confidence that these solutions have merit.
When people are hopeful, trusting, and confident, it is easy to be optimistic about successes in recovery, and those are positive attitudes to adopt.
ACTOR, Attitudes, and Actions
However, it’s not paying lip service or presenting a false front and not making an effort to transform our attitudes. It is making a genuine attempt to:
- Demonstrate interest in recovery
- Cooperate with people trying to help
- Make use of instructions to improve your life
Becoming the ACTOR
You might be surprised how changing your attitude, following suggestions that worked for others, and viewing life, and your recovery from a positive perspective gets you better results.
Writing, and recovery heals the heart.
When you’re ready to talk about your recovery from addiction, there’s someone who needs your words of wisdom. Your words will touch someone in ways that mine can’t, and that’s the benefit of a guest post. Think about submitting a post.