Monday, January 5, 2009

Change Your Attitude: Maya Angelou

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

I can't really get all holier-than-thou about this change thing.  I am one of the "fear of change" people and I am solidly working my way through it all.  

Take for example, Maya Angelou's quote.  "If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain."  I know this is true.  I know that every day, we have a choice - to be happy or to not be happy.  To feel gratitude or not.  To realize that the only real thing we can actually change is ourselves.  But it is easier said than done.

I know this is why New Year's Resolutions are so often broken - people get it in their heads that change is easy and they can bend the world to their will.  I know that this is not the case, but it isn't as hard as we make it either.  I think, for me, fear of failure is really the battle I fight - not fear of change.  Usually, I have to work my way through the fear of failure, the fear of making the "wrong" decision to get to the change place.  Once I make it there, the rest is pretty easy.  

Maybe it is the process of changing or the process of decision-making  that we are all so frightened about?...Oh, yeah, and that pesky little fear of failure is a big one...I know this because it is the biggest barrier for me.

Minor example:  In a 37Days post called "Every Day is Day One", Patti Digh talks about trying to be complaint-free for 37 days.  I REALLY want to try this, but I KNOW I will struggle.  I think I keep putting it off because I don't want to fail at it.  But if I never even try, isn't that its own failure?  (Hey, when I went back to get the linking info, I reread something that I need to put here...She says in her post, "Not a failure to start over, but a gift." I always forget that part.)

In fact, I am going to post the Artist Trading Card here (there is permission here.)

My other example goes back to the last post on Education - I keep putting off finishing my degree...I'm not sure I'm afraid of failure, exactly, but I keep putting it off until I can keep my full focus on it. If I had just started 10 years ago, a class at a time, I could have had a Ph.D. by now.

Change #5: Change my attitude. It doesn't have to be perfect, or all-at-once, or even successful. Trying something new, trying to change is part of the process.

1 comment:

  1. change is so hard...i think, in part, our brains seek out the familiar, even when its unhealthy! *sigh*

    also, just read your profile and you remind me of a close friend (sign language interpreter) and my sister-in-law (Director of American Association of Nurses in AIDS Care), not just for these reasons alone, there are other similarities. Anyway, just saying I'm adding you to my list o' blogs b/c you seem like someone who will keep me thinking!



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