Remaining positive in the face of setbacks and disappointment allows you to bounce back and keep going in the face of things not quite turning out as planned. These tips can help you maintain your positivity even when everything that is happening around you is encouraging you to do the exact opposite.
Take Time to Wallow
It might sound like a contradiction, but the first step in making positivity work for you is giving yourself time be angry, grieve or feel frustrated about what has gone wrong. The problem with having these kinds of understandable reactions to a letdown is not the reactions themselves but the tendency to wallow in them or to let them undermine you. Many people find giving themselves a time limit works. Maybe you’ll give yourself an hour to feel bad about something, or maybe you’ll give yourself a week. You might stretch it out, telling yourself you can spend 15 minutes a day feeling angry about a job interview you flubbed but after that you have to move on. This will help ensure you keep applying to other jobs and don’t let allow your confidence to be crippled by one rejection.
Let Go of What You Can’t Control
In many situations, you can control the amount of preparation you do, but you might have little control over the outcome. Even in situations in which you normally would have a great deal of control, something outside of your power could negatively affect what happens. For example, you might not have gotten that job you wanted simply because a far more qualified candidate applied. In other cases, your past actions might have an effect. For example, perhaps you are struggling to get a private student loan approved to invest in your future because you have a poor credit record as a result of being irresponsible with money in the past. You can’t undo the past, but you can change your actions going forward. Some private lenders will look at more unconventional measures of creditworthiness, such as whether you consistently pay your cell phone bill or utilities on time. Others may approve you if you have a cosigner. Instead of being angry about what you cannot control, focus on how you might fix the situation.
You may have heard people talk about writing in a daily gratitude journal or doing affirmations to remind themselves of what they are grateful for. This can work great for some people, but maybe gratitude journals and affirmations just aren’t your thing. Perhaps the journal feels like just one more chore and the affirmations seem insincere. If this sounds like you, you can still make yourself aware of what you have to be grateful for just by stopping and noticing more in your day to day life. That might be the way the barista at your local coffee shop always knows your order when you walk in the door, or it might be taking a few minutes to watch the birds at the feeder outside your window. Maybe you love purchasing a new game or reading your child a story at night. The idea behind gratitude is simply to notice the positive moments in your life even when times are rough.