Winston Churchill once said “a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” When difficult circumstances arise in our lives, we often lose sight of our ability to choose our perspective. After the initial shock of our circumstance passes, we should assess the facts of our situation.
• What is actually taking place?
• What can I do about it?
• Should I ask for help from others?
• If I don’t have the solution, is there someone else who might?
When we take inventory of what is actually happening, rather than what we fear might happen, we can formulate a strategy to move forward. It is when we start to focus on the “what ifs” that we get into trouble.
Being an optimist is typically not a gift granted to us from Mother Nature. It is an acquired skill set that must be pursued, right in the middle of adversity. Everyone gets discouraged from time to time. It is when we form a habit of looking only at the negative, that we may become susceptible to depression, anxiety, and a negative mindset. Focusing on all that is negative and potentially harmful could make anyone fearful and anxious. We have a choice to make once the immediate shock of a situation passes. Will we choose to focus on the positive, or will we magnify the negative?
When we consistently choose to focus on positive things, the next setback will find us equipped and better able to find solutions faster. Before long, you will be one of those people that others admire for having such a positive outlook!