Do you ever wonder how some people who are faced with adversity seem to find the bright side while others fall victim to self-pity? Not gonna lie, I have hosted the pity party on more than one occasion. Chips didn’t fall where I expected and there was hell to pay. But there comes a time when you have to put on your big girl pants and realize that things happen and you have to roll with the punches. You can’t spend a lot of time being mad about what didn’t go according to plan. All you can really do is CHOOSE to learn from the experience and move on or CHOOSE not to learn and stay stuck.
It starts with a decision.
When you decide to change the way you think about things you CHOOSE to change your mindset. What does that mean? Well, speaking from my own experience and process of learning how to basically change my mind, there was a point that I simply got tired of being angry when things did not go as planned. I started doing things like taking a deep breath, stepping back and saying things like, “Will becoming angry change this situation at all?” or “Will becoming angry make this situation worse?” or “ What are the consequences for no response at all?” and most importantly, “What can I learn from this experience?”. I found that when I took a step back and tried to look at bad situations objectively, it made it that much easier to cope with the adversity that I was faced with. Is there any opportunity that could arise out of the adversity? Sometimes when you take a deep breath and think about it for half a minute, you are likely to see the “bright side” of a bad situation. For example, at the last minute you could be asked to work a double but you had plans that night. The person that you would be working for is always calling out of work, you don’t like them, you don’t think they have much integrity and this would be a serious inconvenience. There is absolutely no one else who can do it and if you don’t, this could mean a serious detriment to your company. So you’re not happy about it but you do it. You work the double. Now you have a decision to make. Do you spend the entire shift upset because you couldn’t do what you planned to do? Do you spend the shift scowling at everyone in sight? Or do you decide to make the best of it and look at the bright side. Will you say to yourself, “You know what, his loss is my gain. He may have given up a day’s pay but I’m getting paid time and a half”. Or will you spend the time at work being so angry that you are no service to yourself or anyone else? It starts with a decision.
Make the best out of every situation
You have to make the best of every situation no matter how terrible it is. By no means am I suggesting that this will be easy. What I am suggesting is that you take a step back and ask yourself some key questions before you lose your cool over a situation that very well may be beyond your control. Ask yourself: Will becoming angry (or succumbing to any other negative emotion) change the circumstances I am faced with right now? Will becoming angry make this situation worse? Is there any opportunity that could arise out of this bad situation?
The power of positive thinking
The power of positive thinking is a real phenomenon that works wonders to allowing us to cope with bad circumstances. This is not just a cliché. Thinking positively did not come easy but when I made the decision to change my mindset and CHOOSE to look at the good in even the most troubling situations, I was much happier. The truth is there is very little we actually have control of. So if we look at things from a positive perspective, usually we can find opportunity in adversity and CHOOSE to make lemonade from lemons. In the end, it’s all about CHOICE.