When things don’t go the way we planned, it is very easy to start dwelling on negative emotions. We are not able to see anything positive in a situation and this just generates more bad feelings, because we focus on the negative side of things only.
If we would just stop for a second, we would realize that in most cases, there is also the positive side of things – even in miserable events. Once we understand this, (minor) setbacks won’t ruin our day the same way as they did before.
Obviously, there are situations when it is very difficult to see anything positive in it. When I think of my past, this could be for example a death of a close relative.
In the middle of the grief and sorrow, it is very hard to have any positive thoughts. You should just let the time pass and let it heal the wounds. On the other hand, you should feel grateful that you had a change to know that person and appreciate the time you spent together.
“Please note! After publishing the post, I decided to change the title to reflect the information better that I present here. If you were wondering what happened to the post about negative thoughts and how to get rid of them – this is the same post. Just the title is changed :)
7 benefits of seeing positive sides in negative events
There are many benefits of seeing the positive side of things in difficulties we encounter.
1. There are more options available
When you have a positive outlook on things, you start to see possibilities that are impossible to realize for a person with a negative mindset.
Negative person just thinks that there is nothing that can be done related to that situation. However, a positive persons sees options that courage him/her to move on.
2. You are in control of your life
This is one of the biggest reasons to seek for positive sides in everyday events: You realize that you are in control of your life and you don’t feel like you are a victim, floating around aimlessly.
You give up on being helpless and you are seeking solutions to problems instead of worrying.
3. You don’t worry about something which you can’t control
Even if you feel that you are in control of things, you also realize that it is useless to worry about something that you can’t control.
You also understand that this is a waste of your energy and you can focus on something more helpful instead.
4. You are able to see the bigger picture
Are you focusing on a single negative point that takes all your attention or are you still seeing the whole picture?
When you see events the positive way, you acknowledge that some negative events are just a small piece of the big picture and they belong to the journey when reaching your goals.
5. You get stuff done
When you worry and see only the negative side of things, you stop taking action. This in turn stops your efforts to move closer to your goals.
On the other hand, when taking action – no matter what the situation is – you get stuff done, move forward and don’t let the setback control you (and halt your progress completely).
6. You know that setbacks are temporary
Even when the situation seems to be bad and in normal circumstances you would start worrying about it, you realize that this is only a temporary situation.
Although things may not be good right now, the situation will change at some point.
7. You learn and appreciate a valuable lesson
When a person has a positive view of things, he/she knows that in every difficulty there is also a lesson to be learned.
A person with a positive outlook is always looking for ways to learn from difficulties. This in turn means that the person can improve him/herself and the actions he/she takes the next time.
“A person with a positive outlook is always looking for ways to learn from difficulties.
How to keep yourself positive when facing setbacks
Tips that are listed here are something that I have used personally to make me feel better when I have went through challenging times.
- Read inspirational books
I love reading inspirational books (mostly on personal development). They can really improve your mood quite a bit and make you feel good (for example Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway or The Magic of Thinking Big).
- Listen to music
Other great way to take your mind away from negative thoughts is to listen to music. Obviously, listening uplifting tunes works better for me than listening to some aggressive and dark songs.
- Talk to a friend
When you are feeling down, you can talk to your friend – he/she will listen to you and he/she is trying to cheer you up. At the same time, when you get the negative thought out of your chest, you will feel better.
I have also learned that when I have shared some negative thoughts with a friend of mine, he/she can propose a new perspective to the topic, thus turning it into a positive one.
- Have a hobby
Spending time with a hobby will help you to take your mind out of negative thoughts. Especially, if the hobby is very physical one (like running), you feel much better after exercising.
- Find confirmed information to clear the misconceptions and rumors
Sometimes we have negative feelings, because there is a rumor of some sort floating around.
Instead of letting a rumor to affect our views towards a certain topic, it is easier to actually find out the true facts of that matter. Once you get more information related to the issue, doubts will clear out and you can change your views from negative ones to positive.
“Instead of letting a rumor to affect our views towards a certain topic, it is easier to actually find out the true facts of that matter.
- Live one day at a time
It is useless to try to handle the whole negative event at once. Instead, it helps to get over the negative feeling by moving forward in bit-sized pieces – for example one day at a time.
Once you are capable of doing this, you can see that the issue that is causing the negativity may not be that big to handle, since it is broken down to smaller pieces.
- Remember that you are not alone
Sometimes you may be thinking that you are the only one in this world who sees a certain thing in negative way. However, it is worth remembering, that quite often you may share the same experience with others too.
This has helped me to change my views on something – perhaps because I realized I’m not alone feeling the negative feelings. Instead, when others are going through the same feelings than me, it calms me down.
- Reflect the past (what happened earlier), but don’t dwell on it
Sometimes an issue which causes negativity may not be something new to you and a similar event has perhaps happened already in the past.
Reflect those earlier experiences and try to remember the ways you used then to cope with the issue. Sometimes this helps to understand the causes of negative views and you may even know a way to change the view to positive one instead.
- Sleep on it
Sometimes when I see only the negative side of things, I have been very tired. Maybe I didn’t sleep well the night before or I didn’t take a nap during the afternoon hours.
Sleep works wonders to your mind and many times my negative views have changed to positive, when getting proper sleep or when taking a nap.
One way to handle negative emotions is just to relax and take it easy. There are many ways to relax, but the ones that work for me the best are going to sauna or perhaps just a massage by my wife.
When I get relaxed, my tensions disappear and I’m feeling much better than earlier. Also, many times the matter that made me feel negative does not exist anymore and I’m seeing the positive side of things instead.
How to apply all this in your online business?
As an online entrepreneur, you need to have a positive and optimistic view of your current actions and your future. Otherwise, things will turn too difficult to handle, if you are only seeing the negative side of things.
When you have a positive mindset, you understand what actions to take and when it is time to take them, when facing a challenge. Keeping the ball rolling and not standing still is the only way to see which actions have desirable results and which don’t.
“When you have a positive mindset, you understand what actions to take and when it is time to take them, when facing a challenge.
For example, if you have received feedback related to your product or to your services, it is time to stop for a moment and see, what is going on – and how you can improve your actions for the next time.
Another example is from running my own blog. Just some days ago, I took the statistics of the traffic and exposure my blog is getting and I wasn’t too happy about it. I was put down and if I had just negative views on things, it would have been very easy to blame myself and others for the situation – and do nothing about it.
Instead, I sat down, run through the operations that I do related to my blog on weekly basis and decided, that I need to focus more on certain traffic sources thus giving up some parts of traffic.
I also decided that in order to handle the workload, I’ll investigate, if hiring a virtual assistant would be a good thing to do, at least for part-time. There were other actions I decided to take too (like install a ShareBar for easier content sharing, study more conversion techniques and implement a better SEO optimization according to blog audit report).
Making all these changes would help me to:
a) Focus more on “epic shit content creation” (blog posts, e-books)
b) Focus on creating relationships (by blog commenting, writing guest posts, podcast interviews, e-mail list)
c) Focus on certain traffic sources only (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, BizSugar, BizyMoms)
d) Focus on my English language skills (both written and oral)
e) Free-up my and my wife’s time (proofreading part, blog post preparation)
As you can see, there were quite a few of things I could improve and try. It made me feel just wonderful, because I knew that I’m in control of things and I have a choice.
I know that if I had just moaned and complained, I still would be feeling negative and I wouldn’t have an action plan to follow.
Having a positive view on things is a much more powerful way of living than seeking only the negative sides of things.
By bringing some positivity in your life, you can see many new doors opening for you and you realize that you are in control of things.
Obviously, having a positive outlook is equally important in online business too, since you can understand that you have ways to change your outcome – especially if something is not working out the way you expected.
“How do you deal with setbacks and challenges? Do you have any tips for feeling better and more positive when difficulties occurs?
Please share this information in the comments area.
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Additional insight video
Here is another great tip you can use to make yourself feel better. Sorry about the lack of light in this video.