In Gratitude, Life Management

Turn Negative Experiences into Positive Opportunities

It’s easy to be thankful for your partner, your kids, your house and your job.

But what about the rude client who demanded that you go the extra mile for him and work over the weekend to accommodate his last-minute demands, and then did not even say thank you for all that you did for him? What about that jerk of a boss who didn’t give you the raise you deserved? What about the co-worker who borrowed several hundred dollars and never paid you back?  And what about your cheating spouse who dragged you and the kids through an ugly divorce?

Are you grateful for these people and circumstances in your life?

For every negative experience, there is an equal and opposite positive “potential opportunity” waiting to be discovered.

Sometimes it’s not easy to identify, but it’s there.

I’ll demonstrate a positive flip side for each of the examples given above:

  • Even though your client was rude and ungrateful, you’re thankful for him because you now know what you don’t want to attract for a client in the future. You can discontinue your work with this client and move forward.
  • Although you didn’t get the raise you wanted, you’re grateful because now you realize how dissatisfied you are with your current job and  you can start looking for a place to work where you feel more valued. Had you received the raise you deserved, you would have been less motivated to look for a better opportunity elsewhere–one that honors and appreciates your talents, skills and passions.
  • You’re thankful that your co-worker didn’t pay you back because that taught you to be more careful with your money, which stopped you from making an even bigger mistake several months later.
  • Although your divorce was a painful and heartbreaking experience, you’re so grateful for the insights you’ve gained about relationships. You now know the qualities and values you want in a partner and what it takes to have a good marriage.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” –Wayne Dyer

A simple shift in your own perspective can turn an unpleasant experience into a positive force for necessary change in your life.

When you give thanks for every experience—whether it appears to be good or bad—this will help keep your focus on the positive things you want to attract into your life.

Gratitude Can Improve Physical, Mental and Relationship Health

According to research, practicing gratitude has a positive effect on our physical health. A gratitude practice leads to 23% lower levels of cortisol–the stress hormone. Lower stress levels can reduce the risk of heart disease, improve your immune function, lower blood sugar levels, reduce discomfort (headaches, pain, nausea), and shorten recovery time after surgery or a heart attack.

People who incorporate gratitude into their lives report enjoying better mental health, as well.  Gratitude increases happiness and optimism, reduces stress and depression, and increases the likelihood of accomplishing goals.

Gratitude enhances our relationship health.  Whether it’s a romantic, friendly, or professional relationship, expressing gratitude strengthens our connection with others.  Expressing gratitude helps us find new relationships and build on existing ones.

Three Tips to Shift Your Perspective

  1. Focus on the things you DO want instead of the things you DON’T want. A great way to do this is to keep a Gratitude Journal. Take five minutes at the end of each day to write down what you were grateful for that day.
  2. Do not allow negative circumstances or experiences from your past to define who you are today and in the future. (Check out my blog that includes tips about how to manage your fear of repeating the past.)
  3. It’s not what happens to you that causes you feel good or bad…it’s what you tell yourself about an experience that causes you feel however you feel. You choose your thoughts, which affect how you feel.

You Have a Choice!

If your life isn’t what you want it to be—whether that’s due to a cluttered schedule, disorganized space, or disempowering thoughts that hold you back—then I want you to know you have a choice. You can choose to create new surroundings, a new mindset and a new life. When you realize that you have a choice, you give yourself the power to create change and to direct your life.

Are you ready to make the choice, right now?

Let me help you. Let’s schedule a no-cost, no-pressure Discovery Call today!

What positive “potential opportunity” is waiting to be discovered that can come from a recent negative experience you’ve had? Please comment below.

Check out these additional resources:

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