Change Your Thoughts

“If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”

 Mary Engelbreit


This quote resonates with me because having been in prison for so long, I am faced with a lot of things that I don’t like and can’t change. It took me YEARS to realize that instead of having an emotional reaction to something, which only causes suffering for me, I can instead make a choice to think about it differently – and you can do the same. This is an important aspect of building resiliency!

It is empowering to have the mental capacity and awareness to change your perspective about something. FIND a positive or look for what you can learn, which can be a painful process sometimes. However, this is how true growth occurs. There will be other times that just choosing to let it go altogether is the answer.

This brings to mind one of the concepts I love so much from Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” book: the circle of influence and the circle of concern. If you can do something about it, it’s in your circle of influence and you have no excuse not to do something to change it. If it’s completely out of your control, this puts it in your circle of concern.

We should always be focused on increasing the size of our circle of influence because focus on the circle of concern gets us nowhere. Mentally, we must remind ourselves that if we can do nothing to change it, we must switch gears mentally to cope and move forward.

These concepts are all about how we put one foot in front of the other and choose to plant our energy in our lives. Every thought planted has energy within it, so be mindful of what kind of energy you’re emanating.


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