Life throws curveballs at each and every one of us. In those moments, it’s easy to feel demoralized and unworthy. You may whine for a while and ultimately give up on your heart’s desires or you may choose to reframe your thoughts, learn from the situation, and forge ahead.
In business and everyday life, challenges are inevitable; and, believe it or not, essential for growth and progress.
Difficult circumstances and unexpected events present you with the opportunity to innovate, discover new paths, test your strengths, realize your potential, and stretch your limits. However, the same circumstances and unexpected events could also break you. It all depends on your attitudes, flexibility, and level of confidence.
When things get complicated or simply go wrong, you may find yourself thinking in a certain way. This article lists some of those prevalent thoughts and proffers positive alternatives that will help boost your confidence and put you on an upward trajectory.
“What have I done to deserve this?” or “Why is this happening to me?”
Alternative thinking: “What must I learn from this?”
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Never set yourself up as a victim of circumstance. That’s a dark pit you don’t want to jump into. Rather, try to find the lessons in an unpleasant experience, and then build from there. You give yourself permission to grow and become wiser when you quit lamenting.
“I can’t do it”
Alternative thinking: “Let me give it a shot”
Saying “I can’t” automatically closes you off from any possibility of succeeding. You give up without trying. If something appears tough or insurmountable, or maybe you feel you lack the skills to get it done, proclaiming that you’ll try gives you the chance to step out of your comfort zone and apply yourself. In the end, it’s either you learn something new or you discover that you are capable after all.
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“I failed” or “I am a failure”
Alternative thinking: “My efforts weren’t sufficient this time”
Something you tried your hands on didn’t work out the way you had hoped. Don’t declare that you are a failure. Confident and successful people know for a fact that every NO only gets you closer to a YES. All you have to do is keep moving. Keep improving.
“I wish I had done X and Y”
Alternative thinking: “How do I proceed from here?”
“If only… “If only I had done this. If only I had done that.” It’s during such moments that you yearn to possess the power to turn back the hands of time. However, there’s nothing you can do to change the past. And the more you hold on to it, the greater the danger of missing out on new opportunities.
“I never should have done X”
Alternative thinking: “Because I did X, I will now do Y”
When it seems your actions or inaction has made a mess of things, the way forward is not to beat yourself up about it. Instead, see if there’s something you can do to salvage the situation. Such forward thinking puts you in control once more. You might eventually be able to make sweet lemonade out of those sour lemons.
“I have to do this”
Alternative thinking: “I get to do this”
Rather than view responsibility as a burden you have to bear, think of it as a fortunate opportunity instead. Having a mindset of gratitude has a way of making a seemingly unpleasant task satisfying.
“This is so unfair!”
Alternative thinking: “How best do I work with the hand I’ve been dealt?”
Not everyone has an equal footing. Some people are more fortunate than others. But that doesn’t mean you have no talent to exploit. You begin to find solutions when you keep an open mind.
Always try to make the best of your circumstances. You can only go as far as you allow yourself to.
When you practice and internalize these mindset shifts, you take back the reigns and stop letting external influences and unpleasant circumstances rule you. You become better able to navigate tough times.