Saturday, October 9, 2010

Staying Positive in Trying Times


How to maintain a positive attitude in troubled times.

The fact that these are depressing times does not mean that we have to feel depressed. This is important, as maintaining a positive attitude is a fundamental part of protecting personal relationships which are never more at risk than during difficult times. It's an old saying but true that when money goes out of the door, love goes out the window. Translate that in work terms to when the cash flow is in short supply, everyone and everything gets looked at with a magnifying glass.

What steps can we take to protect those all-important relationships, both at home and at work?

1.Recognise that times have changed and that we have to adapt to new circumstances and values. It may be that things will NEVER be the same again.

2. 20-20 hindsight is easy; forecasting the future correctly is not. Don't blame and beat up on yourself for getting things wrong: be forgiving of yourself, and, of course, your significant others, and accept that you (and they) have almost certainly done the best you can under the circumstances.

3. Instead of looking for what is wrong with others, look at what is right: it is so easy to find fault, but so much more rewarding and motivating to recognize and appreciate the good things other do, and equally important, to complement them for it. Everyone needs the following three things in their life: appreciation, affection and attention. Give those to your nearest and dearest and reap the results.

4. One negative individual can poison an entire family or team. Change the current from negative to positive: the smallest gestures can begin to defrost a cold, resentful relationship. Guru Max Kirsten says: "we have been conditioned into appreciating only the grand expensive gesture, but small acts of kindness can mean more." Practic random acts of kindness - it makes you feel so good about yourself, let alone what it does for the recipient.

5. Appreciate what you have rather than thinking about what you cannot get, if only at this time. This includes not only tangible things like money, a house, jewellery and other possessions, but intangibles such as health, family, friendships and respect. Accept that it is no disgrace to downgrade, if only as a temporary measure. It is better to be resilient and adaptable than to try to maintain an untenable status quo. Since everyone is doing it, it is far less painful and totally acceptable right now: frugality is the new buzzword.

6. Accept responsibility for what is wrong in your life rather than blaming others:
list the resentments that you carry around in that suitcase which goes wherever you go - and then think of what you have contributed to each of them. Then let them go - empty the suitcase and pack it away. You will feel so much lighter when you're not carrying that burden on your back.

7. Move out of the "I" mode and into "We". Instead of focusing on what you do for others, appreciate what others contribute to your life, and then see how, together, you are greater than the sum of your parts. Share your worries, dreams and plans - again it releases the pressure valve in you when you hear your thoughts in words and often they seem so much less dramatic than when they run around in your head.

8. You don't have to accept everything your partner/boss/employee says, but try accept their right to say it and to understand his/her experience. Again be less judgmental with people and aware that we are all flawed individuals. Once you accept this, your expectations will be lowered and you will be disappointed less often when people don't come up with what you were hoping for.

9. Stop comparing yourself or family members/co-workers with others: nothing hurts more than feeling or being told that someone else "does it better." That "someone else" is probably being told the same thing about you! Comparing is absolutely the worst thing you can ever do for your self-esteem. You are unique and special and different from everyone else.

10. What you think and what you feel matter, but what you do is what really counts. So perform positive, generous acts. Project enthusiasm, not pessimism: In fact, research has shown that maintaining a smile on one's face can actually make those around us feel happier. The converse is even more true: it is so easy to bring others down and make them soak up your anxiety and negativity. Nowhere is this more evident than in today's media - yes there is doom and gloom but spreading it doesn't help anyone.

So, why not think about what is good in your life; the job you still have, the family who love you, the co-workers who respect you, the friends who admire you, the good health that you enjoy, the beauty of nature, and the fact that spring follows winter as surely as day follows night.

For more help with seeing the sunny side of life contact Adrianne Morris, Success Coach on 07956 514714 To see Adrianne Morris's blog go to

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