Staying Positive in the Face of Adversity by Brook Noel

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.”

Jamie Paolinetti

Over the past week I came into contact with quite a few people who were facing the same challenge… “How do I stay positive and focused when everything seems to be falling apart or challenging?” Some of the women I talked to were battling with unsupportive husbands or family members. Other women were struggling with gossip and negativity. Some women were fighting illness and others depression. Other were plagued by so many “minor” issues it had become a “major” weight on their shoulders.

I have been “at that place” where choosing old patterns and turning away seemed easier than turning toward challenging life to be the best it can be. Here are some of the tips and tools I have used to stay positive regardless of what is going on in my life at the moment.

Let go “of fair”: Sometimes when we “get down” it is because we don’t feel things are going “as they should,” or that we are getting the help we deserve. We can easily focus on the injustice of the situation or what is wrong with people or the situation around us. Focusing on the external won’t help you internally. Instead, focus on what you can control and how you can positively influence others.

Remember that a lot can happen in a day: Just because this moment isn’t ideal doesn’t mean the next moment can’t be. Instead of focusing on what isn’t working, be open to the idea that something great can happen today.

Count your blessings: When our surroundings or situation gets us down it is easy to count the many things wrong with our life. Switch perspectives by counting your blessings. Like attracts like. Count how many things are wrong with your life and surely the list will multiply. Count the many things that are positive in your life and they will multiply instead.

Take a break: When we are tired (either emotionally or physically) staying positive can be an uphill battle that leaves us frustrated. Instead of forcing it, take a break to recharge. Whether it is 10 minutes or a day, find some space to relax and nurture yourself. Enjoy lunch or coffee with a positive friend. If you don’t have a positive friend, have lunch or coffee with a positive book or inspirational audio.

Get a cheerleader: A community of like-minded positive women can do wonders! Consider joining our Make Today Matter Online Group for a wonderful community of positive women to turn to for ideas and support.

Change your perspective: “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” Although I don’t know who said it, it remains one of my favorite quotes. Sometimes stepping back from a situation and looking at it through the perspective of others involved offers valuable new insight.

Smile…. and smile again: Smile at everyone you meet (especially strangers.) Watch how they smile back at you. Realize that regardless of what is happening right now, you still have the ability to start a chain of happiness.

I will survive: (I love that song!) Create a CD of music that is uplifting to you and listen to it when the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Recall other situations you have overcome and realize that you have the power to overcome whatever you are currently facing.

Make a plan… and move: Action is one of the greatest ways to conquer fear, worry or sadness. Choose one area that needs improvement right now and make improvement a priority in your life. Make a list of 7 action steps you can take this week so that by next week the situation will be different.

Find a role model: Take a break and browse biographies online or at your local bookstore. Almost every notable person you find in the biography section has overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Gather strength from the stories of others.

Help someone else: When we take the focus off of our own situation and use that energy to reach out and help others, we experience warmth and reward. Check with a local church or your community center for a short- or long-term volunteer idea. If you are unsure about approaching a local volunteer opportunity, search online for “support the military” and put together a care package or write a letter than will brighten someone’s day.

Your Turn:

Review the list of ideas shared this week and choose one or two to implement and create a more positive perspective in your life.


Staying Positive in the Face of Adversity by Brook Noel — 1 Comment

  1. Thanks Brook! For the past several months life has seemed harder and optimism diminishing, not just for me but for most all the people I know (who are usually optimistic/positive also). So I headed for your reading room to get an “uplift”. This article is great and I am going to send the link to everyone I know who might find it helpful also. I am looking forward to joining the MTM soon, and also for your new book!

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