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iiwii - A Mantra for an Attitude Change

Have people ever told you that you have a bad attitude? Or maybe you're just feeling it yourself - just not as chipper as you used to be?

So often we tell ourselves - and others that's "there's nothing I can do." 

The Serenity Prayer

But, remember the serenity prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

The truth is, there's always something you can change about a situation, even it's just your attitude.

Ya, I know...it would be easier if others would change...especially when we think they are in the wrong.

But, have you ever tried to change someone? Even someone who really loves you? And, do they change just because you want them to?

No? Don't feel bad. It hasn't worked for me either.

Yet, let's face it, changing our attitude is tough for those of us (ya, me too) that like control and feel that whatever is happening is totally unfair. But, if it makes you feel better, healthier...isn't it worth a try?

How to Give Yourself an Attitude Change

It helps to find yourself a mantra or affirmation that you can use when things (usually) get you down. A mantra that's true and makes you feel just a little bit better.

The expression, "It is what it is" is a good one to practice for tough situations. It's in the same category as "Oh well".

Perhaps you're thinking...these are just words...they don't make me feel any different. But, I challenge you to try them on. Repeat out loud these expressions, while noticing how your body feels:

  • That sucks!
  • Oh well!
  • It is what it is!

Did you notice how tensed your body got with the first one, but not with the other two?

Positive affirmations work. What you say (out loud and to yourself) can make a big difference in how your body feels. Remember, the stress reaction is bad for our health.

In addition, when you stay calmer, the mind is more receptive to coming up with solutions or options, even if it's simply acceptance of the situation for the time being.

iiwii = It Is What It Is

Someone in my audience shared a similarly calming mantra: "iiwii". Short for "it is what it is", she found that it offered a more humorous way for others to share in the pain. Here's what she told me:

"A couple of years ago, while pregnant with my second child, we experienced a new management company who was implementing major changes (including layoffs and dropping insurance) without soliciting input from those who had been there a long time. "Life" became too much and I had to "give."

"Enter iiwii. Out of sheer frustration, exhaustion, and genuine divine intervention, I believe,.... iiwii entered our lives.

"It became ok to say it because there were so many of us feeling like we were about to snap. We really didn't know how else to handle the volume of feelings and stress! We've had a lot of fun with it. Speaking "iiwii" aloud was often followed by giggles by others. Maybe it will help someone else who finds themselves struggling with being that super person in charge of home life as well as in the outside work force. As much as I want to do it all (and I still believe I will again one day), right now 'iiwii'".

So next time you find yourself completely overwhelmed with a situation and feel totally out of control, go ahead and say "iiwii".

It just might put a smile back on your face.

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