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  • Writer's pictureBob Prentice


Every time I make a commitment to do something, I go through four phases of attitude. At first, I am really EXCITED about the commitment I have made, but the excitement often lasts for only a short while. It may take three minutes, three hours, three weeks, three months, or maybe even three years, but at some point I move into the second phase of attitude, which is FRUSTRATION.

While in the frustration phase, I go through a whole range of emotions:

  • Shock – Wow, this is tough; I didn't know it would be like this.

  • Denial – This can't be happening to me or It's not my fault things aren't going well.

  • Fear – What will people think? or What if I fail?

  • Anger – How could you do this to me? or How could I let this happen?

  • Justification – I need to find something or someone else to get excited about.

It's at this point that I move into the third phase of attitude and start LOOKING around for something new to which I can commit. Why? Because I don't like to blame myself for failure and I need to feel good about myself. Some people I know never get to the fourth phase of attitude. They keep looking until they find something new to get excited about, thus starting the cycle all over again and ending up right back in frustration and pretty soon they're looking again.

I've found that moving on to the fourth phase of attitude, which is RECOMMITMENT, is the key to success. I ask myself these two questions, "What do I want from this commitment?" and "Why is this important to me?" A new and stronger attitude emerges out of the frustration and actually becomes a more positive commitment than before. The next time you find yourself grappling with your attitude, ask yourself these two questions and see what happens.

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