Isn’t it true, when we have the least time to fix problems, that is when we have problems! Last week I couldn’t believe how much I had to get through, and when problems arose they made me feel very down, because I felt that I didn’t have the mental space to cope.
Of course, this is exactly the time I need to reframe the negatives to the positives. If we are feeling negative, our brain builds on this by looking out for more problems, just to confirm the emotion that it is feeling.
We must be deliberate in breaking this prevailing pattern, otherwise the vicious circle continues to build. When we are feeling positive, we are able to cope with more information, we are more able to connect and compare the information to trigger new ideas and we are less quick to judge and more able to trust, making us open to the support of others.
These are some of my deliberate changes in perspective:
- New and long term roadworks on the way to work led me to identify three benefits:
- I forced me to find a new route to work, therefore learning something new and helpful for the future
- It encouraged me to get to work earlier when the traffic is less, making me more productive in the mornings
- Getting up earlier means there is less traffic and fewer dogs being walked, giving my nervous St. Bernard a calmer, more enjoyable walk
I screwed up access to my webinar, as I had it as a meeting, not a webinar so only the first 100 could get in, with lots of disappointed people annoyed at me. The positive view of this is:
- By replying to all the emails from people who couldn’t get in I had a chance to talk one to one to people I hadn’t spoken to in a long time
- It has meant I am re-running the webinar which means I will hear more questions from attendees and be able to share more about the subject I love
- I have learnt something important about how Zoom works
- I am able to demonstrate that everyone makes mistakes, and in this world of positive influencers across social media and hybrid working, younger staff can get the impression they are the only ones who make mistakes – so putting a little reality back into the world
This doesn’t diminish my initial annoyance or disappointment or even anger at bad things happening, but I don’t dwell on the negatives, because I ask myself “what good can come from this?”
Give it a go when you get stressed this week, and challenge yourself to find at least one good thing to say about something that goes wrong for you.