Attitude is the single most important item in any change work. It is such an important factor that a  
significant amount of time needs to be spent on setting up the right attitude.  

Forget about your previous efforts at making a change. Forget about whether you know how to  
change or what you even want to change into. None of this is important at the moment. All you  
need to think about for the next few minutes is the word and concept of "attitude."  

The right attitude is the elixir of success. The wrong attitude is your quicksand trap which lands  
you in the abyss. It leads you to your own personal hell where you will be mercilessly and  
relentlessly tortured for all eternity or until you decide you've had enough and then decide to  
change it.  The way out of any abyss is always going to be a change of perspective.  

Attitude is your conscious focus of attention. It is your decision on how you want to feel about  
yourself and your chosen direction. It doesn't matter whether you actually feel the way you want to  
feel - set up the right attitude properly - and then result will come.  

I'm sure that you want your attitude to be positive and geared towards success in what ever goal  
you decide to pursue. After all, why would you want to have a bad attitude and one that is geared  
towards failure?  

What are the rules of a positive attitude? What are the ingredients of a successful attitude?  

Rules for a Positive Attitude

Think about what you want instead of what you don't want. Remember the mind always goes  
towards what you are thinking about so think about what you want.

Substitute the "don't want to" for the word "can't".  It changes meaning by putting things in a more  
truthful perspective.  

Consider your options.  Quitting may be an option but so may be finding another approach. When  
you come up against an obstacle instead of quitting - ask yourself: How can I do this? What are my  

Treat to yourself (and others) with respect. That means - no more negative self talk. Never again  
will you call yourself names such as stupid, ugly, fat, useless or worthless or anything else hurtful.  
It doesn't matter if anyone else calls you names; this is about how you treat yourself. It doesn't  
matter if you believe you are stupid or ugly or fat etc.  You will from now on avoid calling yourself  
hurtful names and you will from now on avoid speaking to yourself in a cruel manner. If you find  
yourself slipping, use Thought Stopping (Say: STOP) and Thought Redirection (Example: I  
deserve to treat myself with kindness and respect. I am smart enough to figure this out or I refuse  
to poison my body with junk food. I deserve better).

Surround yourself with positive people whenever possible. Any negative people in your life? Avoid  
them, ignore them, get rid of them or change how you interpret their behavior. If you decide that  
you don't want to end the relationship with them, you can always change your perspective about  
them and what they are saying. For example, your boss is yelling again. Look at it from the  
perspective that's/he must be really unhappy with their life for them to act out this way. Choose to  
feel compassion instead of anger. Respond to them with kindness instead of anger - it may  
actually defuse the situation. There are always options. You always have a choice on how you  
want to interpret any message.

Rules for a Successful Attitude

Perseverance. If what I'm doing isn't getting me the results I want. I will try something else.  
Persistence. I will continue to work towards my goal until I achieve the result I want.  

So you've decided to follow the attitude rules but you are not sure how to invoke that positive state  
of mind. The more things that you connect to the attitude you want, the easier it will be to get in  
that frame of mind or stay in that frame of mind.

Anchoring Attitude - Using Symbols for Success

Think of a role model. Think of someone you know (or a fictional character on a TV show or movie)  
who has the attitude you want to acquire. Imagine you are that person for a few moments. How  
does that person think? What would they be saying to themselves? What action would they take?  
How would they hold their body? What tone of voice would they use? What would their beliefs be  
about the subject? ("I don't know" is not an acceptable answer, use your imagination and come up  
with something).  

What music goes with this attitude? Create your own soundtrack. You can make your own cd or  
tape that contains a series of songs that inspire you, calm you, make you happy etc.  

What pictures inspire you? Create a scrapbook of photos or pictures or drawings that represent  
the attitude you want. If you don't want to create a scrapbook, then buy a few pictures to hang on  
the wall that you can look at when you need inspiration.

Create a motto. A motto is a personal statement about who you are or who you aspire to be.  
Choose your motto carefully and make it meaningful to yourself. You can have fun with your motto  
and make an anagram out of it or write it in another language (i.e. Latin or Greek). Put it on a "post  
it" and tape it to your computer screen or somewhere where you will look at it ever day.

What symbols represent your desired attitude? Symbols are really powerful tools. Find symbols  
that have a meaning for you. For example: a person may choose a religious symbol to remind  
them to keep faith. A symbol can be in the form of a god from mythology, a religious symbol, an  
animal, a tarot card, a star or geometric design, a logo etc. Use your imagination.  Create  
something where you can have your symbol close to you (example: making a medicine bag, the  
designing of a ring, getting a tattoo, creating a stamp or stencil, buying a statue or action figure,  
making something). The key is: attach meaning to the symbol - anchor it.

Design a ritual to invoke the attitude.  Rituals are designed to create a state of mind. You can either  
create an elaborate ritual or a simple ritual such as saying a key word to yourself and making a  
small gesture. A ritual can contain affirmations, prayers, poems, songs, sayings, quotes or self-
hypnosis statements.  

Things you can use to create symbolism of your chosen attitude:  
Rings, stamps, pictures, statues, books, music, mottos, models, animals, smells, tastes, body  
postures, incense, songs, sayings, poems, quotes, books, invocations, colors, tarot cards, runes  
any "Magick" or religious items, designs, tattoos, jewelry, talismans, toys, gestures, fire, food,  
chants, words . Anything can become a symbol.

©2006, Broughton, Marisa
Using Symbolism as a Behavior Modification Tool
by Marisa Broughton, MPNLP, CMH
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