While you can’t always control what happens to you, you CAN control how you deal with the lemons life keeps rolling your way. Instead of giving into feelings of negativity and powerlessness, take responsibility and use these time-tested strategies to help you manage both how you act and react toward the challenges you face.
Nurture an Attitude of Positive Expectancy
Growing up, one of my great-aunt Allie´s favorite quotes was “this, too, shall pass.” She had breast cancer twice, a debilitating broken hip and blindness from end-stage macular degeneration in both eyes. She was an artist, a seamstress and a loving wife and mother until she died with (not from) Alzheimer’s disease at age 85. She is one of my heroes!
Take Charge of What You CAN Change…and Forget the Rest
Lemons are bitter, lemonade is sweet. What we do with adverse situations makes the difference in how we let life treat us. A good friend of mine also has end-stage macular degeneration. She loves to write and has published several children’s books about her dog. Despite her poor eyesight, she loves going to the movies because her hearing is great. She even helps her husband put together furniture because her hands are so small and her sense of feel so astute, she has no problem feeling where to place the cams or pins into the right pre-drilled holes.
Feed your Brain with Positive Messages
I grew up with a lot of “why me” and “I can’t see” messages from some very close family members. Early on, I pledged to myself that I would not fall into that habit if life handed me inherited lemons.
Well, it did, and I don’t!
I am quick to try doing things that challenge me. I refuse to complain. Every day, I make a conscious effort not to let the bumps and hurdles of life break my stride. When the going gets rough, I remind myself just how blessed I truly am. I have an adoring husband, a wonderful family and am able to follow my passion for writing while connecting with and inspiring so many positive people online. Life may not always be easy but it is most definitely GOOD!
Have a Plan
When you take on a project for business, charity or your family, you generally come up with a plan to follow. Use the same idea when it comes to planning your life. Choose a personal goal, write down the big steps you´ll need to get you there then break those steps down into smaller, more manageable tasks you can follow, day by day. Build momentum by taking continual action and you will be amazed at how quickly you are able to achieve the goals you set!
Celebrate your Successes…No Matter How Small
As you complete each step in your plan, celebrate it and bask in your accomplishments! Taking the time to enjoy the positive energy you feel as you move from one phase to the next is a great way to stay motivated and inspired to set new, more challenging goals for the future.
See Life´s Failures as Feedback…and Learn From Them
Believe me, it´s much more constructive to equate failure with feedback.
Instead of wasting your time and energy trying to avoid failure – as if it were something bad – put a more positive spin on it…When your plan isn´t progressing the way you want it to (or think it should), take another look at the situation, evaluate it and change what you´re doing to get the results you´re after.
When Life Gets You Down…Ask for Help
It can be hard trying to go it alone all the time. Just know that you really don´t have to.
Look around you. Who are the people who encourage you no matter what you may be into? Get those friends and family members on board by sharing your plan and letting them know exactly what you need.
My best friend of 32 years sends me atta-girl messages when I send her a link to my writing. Another daughter sends me interesting quotes and articles to help keep my writing inspired. My husband acts as my sounding board (and massages my shoulders after long hours spent hunching over my laptop!). My Facebook “family” offers me valuable feedback based on the motivational thoughts, images and blog posts I share with them on a daily basis.
And lastly – not to mention, perhaps the most important suggestion I have for you…
When life is at its sourest, take a moment to recall all the good and positive things in your life. Remember the thanks and praise you´ve received for past successes. Be grateful for the little things.
In the end, it´s your attitude that will determine the tangy, sweetness of the lemons life sends your way.
Author Bio: Jan Marie Mueller is the founder and CEO of ThinkBrilliantly.com. As a firm believer in personal growth and development for a better, more productive life, she´s passionate about helping people recognize the power they have to define and direct their lives through the choices they make. Jan is also a successful business owner, author, community volunteer and co-founder of the German non-profit Helping Hands for Children in Tanzania.
For more information on tips, strategies and resources on living your best life, visit http://www.ThinkBrilliantly.com. While you´re there be sure to download the FREE Developing Self-Awareness Guide & Workbook she´s put together for you: http://www.ThinkBrilliantly.com/Free-Guide. Discover just what you need to do to start knock down the barriers and start living the life you´ve always dreamed of.