Let’s face it, sometimes unpleasant unexpected things just happen through no fault of our own. This could be anything from a job loss, to a bad diagnosis from a doctor, to the unexpected death of a loved one. As challenging as these things may be, we still have the luxury to choose our attitude as we navigate scenarios like these. Here are 5 questions we can ask to help maintain a positive attitude through a difficult situation:
- What were the positive aspects of this scenario before I received the bad news?
It is so easy to let your mind think of all the negative aspects when we receive bad news. In fact, our minds seem to go there automatically, unless we decide to focus them elsewhere. With this in mind, choose to look back with an eye on the positive. Think about experiences gained or relationships formed. The positives are there, we just have to look for them.
- What can I learn from this?
This may sound cliché, but there is something to be learned from every situation. Think about what you have learned or what you can learn from this situation. At first, it may seem like there isn’t anything, but if we’re paying attention, we can learn some valuable lessons we might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn.
- What does this make possible?
This is my favorite question! There is something about an unexpected situation that alters what has been normal for us, be it temporary or permanent. In that alteration, that “new normal”, there are opportunities for us that didn’t exist before. Identify what they are and how you can take advantage of them to improve your future and your definition of “normal” moving forward.
- What am I thankful for?
Even in light of a bad situation, we have much to be thankful for. Don’t lose focus on what those things are.
- How can I use this experience to help others?
Life is more fun when we share the journey with others. No matter what you’re going through, someone else has gone through it before, or will be going through it after you. That’s cool on 2 different levels! First you can find others who have gone through a similar circumstance and seek guidance from them. Second, after you’ve gone through it, you will be poised to help someone else in the future who is going through a situation you’ve already been through. What a blessing to be a source of encouragement to someone during what is a dark hour for them.
Yes, unexpected and unpleasant situations really stink. We could go as far to say they really suck. But how we come through them, and how our future is impacted by them, is largely due to the attitude we have while were in them.
Let’s be mindful of this powerful choice we have and decide today, and every day, to keep an attitude that is positive instead of letting a negative attitude take root. The choice is ours. Let’s choose wisely.