In life, as well as in business, bad things will happen. I’m not saying that to bring down your day; it’s simply a reality that we all must deal with. These negative events can make us feel beat down or even depressed, but today I’d like to encourage you to see things in a different light.
In a Facebook video earlier this summer, I contemplated about how, from the overwhelmingly sour lemon, you are able to create a refreshing, sweet glass of lemonade. Life is like that too. The phrase, which I’m sure you’ve heard, is “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” It reminds you that you have the power to take negative experiences and turn them into something positive. You don’t have to pucker up and swallow that lemon…just add a little sugar and water, and you can drink a delicious glass of lemonade instead.
Click play on the video below to hear my thoughts on this subject. I’ve also got some solid, actionable tips for you below.
5 Ways to Turn Life’s Lemons into Lemonade
When you face negative experiences in your life or business, try the following things:
1. Tune Into Your Mind
As we discussed in the past, your mindset impacts your ability to succeed. When negative things happen, you must first take notice of how you react. How are you interpreting the event? What story are you telling yourself about what happened? These are subjective thoughts, not objective facts. You can alter your mindset to a more positive direction, but only if you are first able to recognize your natural reactions to negative events.
2. Think About the Lessons
You can start to see negative experiences in a more positive light if you frame them as lessons for the future. Why did things turn out this way? What could you do differently? What can you take from this event to apply to future situations? When you do this task, make sure you are constructive about it. The point is not to dwell on your mistakes and shortcomings, but to think about how you can avoid them in the future and become a stronger, wiser person.
3. Focus on the Positive
Sure, something bad happened to you, but if you really look, you will see positives all around you. Revel in them! Find your passions, explore your hobbies, connect with others, and dive into what you love. Some specific things you can do to shift the focus to positive are to make a list of your strengths or to start a gratitude journal.
4. Reach Out for Support
When things don’t go right, you can always find comfort in those who love and care about you. Make sure to surround yourself with your happiest, most optimistic ‘support team.’ We often mirror what we see and experience, so you will likely see that optimism bouncing back to you.
5. Know That Negative Experiences Make You Stronger
Psychological research shows that if you approach negative events with strategies like those mentioned above, you can develop ‘hardiness’ which will make you even more resilient in the future. This hardiness “enhances performance, leadership, conduct, stamina, mood, and both physical and mental health by giving people the courage and capability to turn adversity to advantage.” Negative experiences may hurt, but they are contributing to an even better you!
Do you have any other tips for turning life’s lemons into lemonade? Comment on the video above and let me know about them.