How often do you get stuck in negative thoughts? It can happen to any of us, but when it does, we stop being productive. Sometimes all it takes is a change in perspective.
If you are frustrated at how things are going, take a step back. Maybe several steps back.
Try to look at the issue from another perspective, maybe several other perspectives.
Things we can’t change
We can’t change what others say or do. The weather is beyond our control. What’s in the past is already done.
We can change none of those things. But that doesn’t mean we need to stay stuck in the rut of accepting those things as they are.
Things we can control
There are a lot of things we can learn to control.
Sometimes it’s as simple as learning to take a few breaths to allow our brain to sort through things before we say something we regret. Collect thoughts and then plan what to say.
Choose your reaction
If you don’t like what someone’s saying, you can choose to react one way or another. That choice will help determine what that person says in response.
If you show anger, belittle them, or respond in any negative way, the situation will probably spiral downward.
When you take a few big breaths and carefully choose words that help show your perspective without putting theirs down, it can help.
Humor often helps, as long as you don’t belittle others in the joke.
Try it on
An even better response is one that you acknowledge their perspective, step back and try it on.
If their idea or angle might work, even though you initially didn’t like it, then stay open to it.
What can you both agree upon to make their idea work for you? Or to make your idea work for them?
Of course if you are not okay with something because it’s not safe or doesn’t align with your morals, you shouldn’t cower back and accept it.
Have an open dialog and come to an agreement.
Look for what you can control
We certainly can’t make a rainy day sunny, but we can dress for the weather appropriately and make alternative plans if the weather prevents our original plan from happening.
Stop reliving the past
Too often we dwell in past mistakes.
We can’t change what’s already done, but we can learn from those mistakes.
Don’t miss the opportunity to use experiences to help you grow.
Regrets only cause insecurities and sadness.
Stop regretting things that have happened in your life.
It won’t change the fact that they happened.
What can you do to grow from the experience? How can you make that situation better in the future?
Blame is never productive.
Whether you blame yourself or someone else for something that happened, it doesn’t change what happened.
What can you do to make something good out of the situation? Is there something you can do to prevent something similar from happening again? What needs to be done to set things right?
Regretting and pointing fingers both keep us from learning about our mistakes.
Take ownership and accept consequences when appropriate. Then use this as a part of the learning experience, grow, and move on.
Another perspective on mistakes
If you never open yourself up for failure and play it too safe, you’ll never grow. Taking chances is the only way to stretch ourselves to aim higher than we ever felt possible.
This does not mean I want you to take unsafe chances. It’s not okay to put your life or someone else’s life in danger.
Racing a motorcycle without a helmet in the rain is just stupid. Vaping is dangerous to your health. Getting drunk can have serious consequences. These are not the type of risks taking I’m talking about.
Take a risk by trying a new sport or audition for a play.
Step outside your comfort zone.
Start a conversation with someone new.
Challenge yourself to learn something you’ve never tried before, like a new language or about a different culture.
These are great opportunities to mess up or feel insecure initially. But they offer a chance to grow and learn.
Get help analyzing
Sometimes we’re so set in our way of thinking that it’s hard to change our perspective.
Ask friends and family for help.
Listen to other’s opinions with an open mind. How does their view of the issue differ from your own? Does this change your opinion at all?
Take the time to rewind and rethink a situation that didn’t end well.
At what points (if any) could you have said or done something differently?
How could that have changed the outcome?
Although you can’t change the past, you certainly can use this experience to change how you approach similar situations in the future.
After taking the time to reflect and learn, you must move on.
You cannot dwell on any one situation indefinitely.
Learn from your mistake and use that knowledge for life.