cowNot so long ago, I  read an amazing tweet by Lawrence Powell ‏@pastorlarryafwc which really spoke to me.

A land of milk & honey means the presence of cows and bees. To experience milk & honey means you will have to deal with “stuff & stings.”

“Stuff and stings”. Love it!

Doesn’t it  just sum up how tough or painful  it can get as we journey towards our goals?

We will be stung by setbacks and uncertainties and people who behave carelessly. We will have to sweep out a grubby cowshed in the dark and the rain. But we won’t all respond in the same way.

You’ll make a choice.

As Charles Swindoll famously said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” How we react can increase our self-esteem and self-efficacy (how we believe we handle situations) and this has an impact on how successful and resilient we are. Plus, research shows that a happy, positive attitude helps us succeed professionally, personally and socially.

Unhelpful Reactions

  • getting angry and have a tantrum
  • finding someone to blame
  • sulking
  • having a pity party [this used to be my favourite choice :(]
  • giving up

While these reactions might help you feel better in the moment, they won’t help in the long term:

  1. focusing on the negative makes it seems bigger than it is
  2. anger and blame foster resentment in colleagues and friends
  3. you can build a negative reputation for yourself
  4. self pity is dangerously addictive
  5. your progress stalls

Life Ebbs and Flows.

Sometimes,  everything flows easily and smoothly, Sometimes there’s a log jam that you need to deal with before you can move forward.  It’s all part of the journey. Part of the process.

sweeping How to Stay Positive at The Time

  1. look for the positives in the situation – there will be some – and learn from the negatives
  2. stay calm – panicking or losing your temper with others, or yourself, makes everything worse
  3. act – it defeats fear and panic. If necessary, get to work on finding as many facts as you can before taking decisions and action
  4. if appropriate,  admit, apologise and make amends

How to Be More Positive Everyday

  1. keep a gratitude journal – research shows that this positively changes the way we react to life
  2. do something good for someone – it will make you feel good too
  3. think long term – remind yourself of the benefits of what you are aiming for

Staying positive isn’t about being unrealistic when ‘stuff and stings’ happen – it’s about looking at a difficult situation realistically and finding the best way through it. Perseverance builds character (see Romans 5) and character is what defines you, underpins your decisions and creates the outcomes of your life.

One thought on “Be positive when it gets tough

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