I could feel it coming on, almost like a chill in the air making me want to pull my sweater closer. It wasn’t so much in what he said, it was in how he said it, with a side of poor pitiful me and a twinge of whining in his voice. That negativity crept in like cold air seeping through the cracks around the edges of the door.
It would have been easy to sink to that level – to start viewing my world through that negative lens. To try to outdo by retelling the awful things I had to deal with. But what does that accomplish? How does that help me get through what I need to?
If I give in to the negativity, doesn’t that just flavor everything? Instead of seeking solutions, it makes me more likely to give up. Doesn’t everything just look gray and hopeless through that lens?
When one thing goes wrong, I start thinking “what next?” Suddenly more things are wrong than right and that’s what I focus on. Each challenge becomes a roadblock – too high and wide to see around, let alone get past.
Now contrast that to a more positive outlook which approaches challenges as hurdles. Each challenge is in the way, no doubt, but it’s a matter of leaping over them, not letting them stop me.
Those hurdles might not be easy and might slow me down, but when I choose to be positive, I tend to see more solutions. I’m looking up and out instead of down and inside, so there are more possibilities.
Tuning out voices of negativity is the first step, along with surrounding yourself with positive people and voices. Having affirmations that are easy to pull out and read through helps tremendously too – that lets you refocus and grab a foothold if you start sliding toward negativity. I have a list of quotes and quick sayings that give me a boost when I’m having a rough time. Those have been invaluable in turning my focus back to the positive.
How can you approach challenges as hurdles instead of roadblocks?