by Todd Mitchem
Me Mad, Me Mad, Me Mad
The only thing we can completely control is ourselves. We can’t control any other person the slightest bit, but we can control how we feel and the attitude we have about life. There is an illusion we don’t have this control; in fact, we are the only ones who do have control over ourselves. The phrases, “You made me mad,” “You are causing me to be upset,” and so on, are all phrases that give away our power to others. We live in a world of instant reactions, lack of impulse control, and blaming others when we don’t see life unfolding in a perfect way. If you will practice the exercise below, your life will change for the better and you will regain power over yourself. It’s a simple attitude adjustment exercise and it will transform the way you own your attitude. You may feel a bit silly while doing this exercise the first few times, but you have to let go of certain beliefs in order to make room for new ones.
“You are making me mad!”
If we view one of the most common statements of negative attitude, we can see just how insane our thinking is and how out of control our attitudes are. As we look at the above statement, “You are making me mad,” I want you to ask yourself which words stand out to you? Mad? Me? You? Making? If you said You, then you would be correct. The first word I want to examine is You. When you utter the phrase “You are making me mad,” you have made the statement someone else is in control of you. Instead of being accountable to the feelings, actions, and attitude inside your own mind, you have granted another person ultimate control over you. We all complain about privacy being taken from us or the government controlling our lives, yet we quickly give up control over ourselves. We do this even faster when faced with a difficult person or situation.
Let’s look at the statement again, “You are MAKING me mad,” and notice I have brought the next problem to your attention. To make someone do something with the power of your mind is a trick stolen from the Jedi in Star Wars movies. If you have ever uttered the words, “You are MAKING me mad,” you must be the victim of some Jedi mind trick. How else can you explain someone gaining access to your mind and making you do something? You can’t, because the ONLY way for someone to have this power over you is for you to allow them to have power over you. The truth is NO ONE can “make” you mentally do anything without your permission. What you do when you use the above statement is you take the easy way out of attitude adjustment. You give up and blame the other person or circumstance. “You are MAKING me mad.” “This car is MAKING me mad.” “THE TRAFFIC IS MAKING ME MAD!!!” These statements, and those like it, are simply your attempt to deflect your negativity and lack of ability to change your attitude onto something else.
What is the real truth of the statement, “You are making me mad!”? Think about it. If you said, “Me mad!”, then you are on your way to your positive attitude adjustment. The truth of the statement and your attitude, is YOU are MAD, and you alone control this feeling. To become a true disruptor of your own life, you need to—and I mean today—take control of your feelings, including being mad. Have you ever been mad at someone who does not care in the slightest about your anger? Sure you have. Every day you most likely are mad at the guy in traffic, the politician of the day, the news story and the closest people in your life whom you allow to drive you to madness. Most people have the attitude they are victimized by all these outside circumstances, because it’s harder to admit the simple truth of “ME MAD!” So take action: immediately take ownership over your personal feelings, because you, and you alone, can control them.
Make the shift, you crying baby!
Now, for the exercise. The next time you are faced with a negative attitude, which will happen at some point in your day, I want you to start rebooting yourself with an attitude shift. When you say or think, “You are making me mad!” or “He/She is making me mad,” scream out loud, “ME MAD ME MAD ME MAD.” Stomp your feet like a crying two-year-old, because you are mad indeed. By mad, I mean, crazy mad. If, at first, you are not ready to take the leap to screaming “ME MAD” out loud, then, at the very least, do it internally. You will find it hard to have a negative attitude when you are stomping and yelling “ME MAD!” By doing this, you are putting ownership of your emotions on the one person responsible for them: you. You have started down the path of taking control of your emotional state.
It’s just that simple.
After I teach this exercise to my audiences, some people say to me, “Well, Todd, life is not simple. I am not mad all the time.” I understand you are not mad all the time, but the real reason for this exercise is to make a point: you give control of your positive attitude to others, to outside circumstances, and to things you have zero control over. Here are some more examples of how you give others power over you and your positive attitude. When you say:
· “The kids are driving me crazy.” You allow your kids to control your sanity.
· “This traffic is causing me to be late.” You allow traffic and the driving actions of others to cause you to be angry you are late.
· “My work is stressing me out.” No. You are stressing you out and the work is your excuse.
· “This weather is causing me to be depressed.” Not really. You are depressed and, rather than find a way to feel better, you blame the weather.
Every negative word you speak is a virus eating at your disruptive spirit like a cancer. It’s time to shift, stop complaining and bitching, and move toward a life where you take ownership over your actions.
What will you today to overcome your petty anger?
Watch the video below to see this in practice.