I was driving home from picking my daughter up when I heard a loud pop followed by a long hiss. As soon as it registered in my brain what happened, my back tire was completely flat. I began crying. It had already been a day; you know, the kind when you find yourself repeating, “Not today, Satan.” And then this. I had never changed a tire before, nor do I know how (note to self: add to list of things to learn).
I complained to my mom about what happened, expecting her to grovel with me about my hard day. Instead, she hit me with one of those “positive outlook” phrases. I’m gonna be honest; these types of phrases make me cringe and I always have the same gut reaction: “It’s not that easy!” I stand by that statement—it truly isn’t easy to change your outlook in the middle of a crappy situation. Nevertheless, she was right. No one was hurt, my tire was fixed, and life continued as normal. So I’ve put a few phrases of my own (that I think have more substance and truth than my mom’s phrases) in my back pocket. If you want to know how to change your outlook, feel free to give them a try. They are easy to remember because they work to change your attitude by simply changing one letter.
1. “Turn your ‘gets’ into ‘gots.’”
How often do we find ourselves worrying about all the things we need (or want) to get? We need to get groceries. We want to get a bigger vehicle. Sometimes it feels like we are constantly working to get something. It’s exhausting. It’s unfulfilling. Next time you find yourself worrying about all the things there are to get, pause and focus instead on all that you’ve already got. We’ve got the means to shop for food. We’ve got a reliable car to take us places.Next time you find yourself worrying about all the things there are to get, pause and focus instead on all that you’ve already got. Click To Tweet
2. “Don’t get bitter; get better.”
When things don’t go as we planned, it’s easy to become bitter. I especially find this true in my relationships, like when I went out of my way to make a friend’s birthday special and she didn’t even acknowledge mine. I found myself answering her texts slower than usual and making excuses to avoid getting together. I often defend my bitterness with disgruntled statements like, “Well, I tried 🤷.” And then I leave it at that. Unfortunately, we do ourselves a disservice when we adopt this “it’s whatever” attitude anytime something doesn’t work the way we want it to or an expectation we have goes unmet. Instead, we should use the opportunity to find a way to be better through it. Did I communicate well? Did I pray over it? Did I truly give my best effort? Was my expectation realistic?
3. “When you want to quit, get quiet.”
I’m not saying we should never quit something. When you’re trying to figure out how to change your outlook, there are circumstances where quitting is the healthiest option. However, when you find yourself wanting to quit on something good due to feelings of fear, anxiety, defeat, or inadequacy, it is best not to react in the midst of emotion. Instead of immediately calling it quits, give yourself time to be quiet. Whether it’s time to think, pray, or just breathe, this small grace period of stillness can bring peace and help keep us from making rash decisions.
What are three things you’ve got that you’re grateful for?