It happens even to the best of us: things don’t always work out the way we want.
And when nothing goes to plan, it can be really hard to stay positive.
As frustrating as it can be, I learned (the hard way, of course!) that sometimes, the harder you push to make things better, the worse it gets!
The Germans even have a word for that phenomenon: verschlimmbessern—when you honestly try to improve something but end up making it worse than it was before!
In my opinion, that happens because we’re not in the right mindset.
You probably know by now that like attracts like.
When life throws a curveball at us, we can’t always find the solution we’re seeking simply because we’re not in the right mindset.
If you’re feeling blah, you can’t expect to get a lot of wows.
Since having a positive mindset during hardship is easier said than done, here are a few techniques that have helped me—and hopefully help you too—to get your positive mindset back!
1. The Zoom Out Technique
We—myself included! —sometimes have the tendency to get so hyper-focused on a problem, that we can’t see the forest for the trees.
That’s where the Zoom Out Technique comes to help!
Think of it this way: you’re on a moving rock that cruises around the Sun year by year. There are almost 8 billion people on the planet. You’ve made it this far… you’re probably going to make it further along just fine.
The challenge you’re facing now is just a tiny fraction of your life—and it doesn’t define you or your worth… even if that’s how you feel right now.
Remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing. What’s your end goal? What’s your strategy to reach your goals? Thinkoutside the box, you’ll be surprised just how many solutions there are out there once you start thinking creatively.
Pro tip: Still struggling to detach from the situation? Look at yourself from a third-person perspective. What advice would you give to a friend in a similar situation?
2. The Next 5 Technique
When life gives you lemons, it’s tempting to think you must figure out the rest of your life right here and right now—but the truth is, you don’t. Actually, that’s a terrible thing to do when your mindset’s gone sour, as it doesn’t paint a realistic picture of your future!
Instead, ground yourself back to the present. Focus on the next five minutes, the next five hours, or the next five days. Even the next five weeks, if your inner control freak is freaking out! 😉
Of course, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t plan and prepare for the future—it’s just that right now, focus on getting back your energy and focus, and trust the rest will follow!
3. The So What? Technique
Our brains have this ability to come up with apocalyptic scenarios that don’t come true 99.9% of the time but nonetheless, take away our peace of mind.
To get back your mental serenity, deploy the So What? Technique.
Every time your brain thinks of a dark and twisted scenario, instead of resisting it and thus letting it grow in your subconscious, ask back: so what? If that really happened, what would you?
List actual, plausible solutions. For example, if my business fails, I’ll go back to working half-time while building something new from scratch! List out all your alternate plans down to Plan Z. Do you know what my Plan Z is? To be one of those sign holders on the side of the road… if ALL ELSE FAILS, at least I’ll get some sunshine, get my dance on, and will be able to listen to good tunes!!
Once you give your brain rational proof that yes, you’d be able to manage whatever life throws at you, you’ll notice how the overthinking stops and nicer, positive thoughts enter.
Don’t forget, your mindset is your most valuable asset in life – use it wisely!
Tell me, how do you get back up after a tough time in life?
Share with me in the comments and let me know, I’d love to hear from you!