Positives From Negatives
While we may not necessarily be able to control everything that happens in our world, we can always chose to make the best of it. If you think back to all the unfortunate times in your life, I bet you can come up with at least one positive thing that resulted from them.
Whether it was an important lesson you learned, a door that was opened to another pathway, or just something you can now look back on and laugh at how you handled it, it has made you who you are today.
Taking this mindset, being able to look at a situation and see what good could come from it, is one of the most important things. When you are able to do this you will find that your stress level will go way down as you no longer will be constantly worried about everything bad that can happen, and will be more focused on the good. And on top of that, when we focus on the positive, in some situations, the outcome will actually become positive.
The Energy Draining Friend
I'm sure you've experienced this in your own life. We all know someone who is constantly complaining about their life and everything they have to do. Are they any fun to be around?
Do you enjoy spending time with them or do you find that they just drain you of your energy? It's most likely the latter. Now think about how this person feels. They experience this ALL THE TIME.
If you find an hour with this person drains you, think of the lack of energy they probably experience all because of their mindset. Now imagine someone you know who always seems to be full of life and energy. Is their life perfect?
Have they not had to overcome some hardships as well? Chances are they are like any normal human being and have had to deal with their fair share of setbacks.
But rather than dwell on them, they have chosen to move on and make the most of the situation, and have become a stronger person because of it.
So what steps can you take when you are faced with a difficult situation?
1) Identify The Problem Or Obstacle & The Reason Behind It.
Recognizing that you are about to experience something that you may not have planned or hoped for is crucial to handling a situation. If you just go into denial about what is happening, you will definitely not learn from the experience and will more than likely have a hard time overcoming what is happening.
By identifying what is going on, you will be able to objectively think of a plan of action on how you will solve the situation.
For example, lets say that over the Christmas holiday you gain more weight than you had anticipated. If you refused to accept this fact, you would most likely just dwell on it with a box of cookies trying to make yourself feel better. Definitely not a solution to the problem.
On the other hand, if you accepted that you indulged a little too much and decided now was a great time to get on that exercise program you've been thinking about, you will find a renewed sense of energy towards your workout, as you will now have a goal to achieve. And, looking at the positive side of the situation, this weight gain will have prompted you to take up the exercise program that will have a whole host of other great benefits for your health other than weight loss.
2) Stepping Back From The Problem
The second step to creating a positive outlook is stepping back from the problem and looking at it from a distance. How big of an effect is this occurrence going to have on your life? Is it really as bad as it seems?
More times than not, this terrible thing that is happening to you will do no more than cause you to be uncomfortable for a short period of time.
By looking at the grand scheme of things, you will be less likely to exaggerate how much your life is going to end and how terrible things really are. This will allow you to more easily look on the positive side of things and quickly bounce back from the situation.
As an added benefit, by looking at the whole picture you can more easily see how you can learn from the situation and apply what has happened to other areas of your life for personal growth.
3) Never Forget The Experience
While you may wish you never had to experience what you just went through, forgetting about it and just putting it behind you would be a mistake. This event happened for a reason, and by taking the two previous steps you have now discovered just why it did.
By choosing to learn from it, you can prevent it from happening again in your life.
For example, if the setback was a pulled hip flexor, and after evaluating what happened you realize the reason you injured yourself was because you didn't take the time to warm-up before hand, take this as your cue to always make sure you are properly ready to exercise each time you enter the gym.
So next time you are faced with a setback, follow these three steps and try to look at it in a more positive light. Realize that if you step back from the problem and really assess how it will affect you in the long run, that it probably isn't that bad and you can probably derive some benefit from it. Identify the reasons behind the situation and remember them.
Come up with ways you can prevent their occurrence in the future, and hopefully, 20 years down the road you will be able to look at the situation and laugh about it, while realizing how it helped you get to where you are today.
Other Helpful Articles ...