Positive Lists About “Bad” Situations

As discussed in the last post, it can be greatly beneficial to deliberately adjust our bad feeling about someone or something. This time we will focus on the something. First off, let’s point out a not so obvious reason why this can be beneficial.

There is indeed a silver lining to the dark cloud of being stuck in a situation we don’t like. When we know what we don’t want, we know what we do want because we know we want the opposite of what we don’t want! Did you get that? (Ha!) As always, we are mindful of making the best of whatever circumstances we may have gotten ourselves into. But, some things and events we just simply do not want. And that is perfectly okay; we all have preferences – that’s part of being human. So rather than fear, whine about, feel depressed or sulk around when things aren’t going as we may like, we can look at what the opposite of the unwanted situation is and realize and declare to the Universe, I now know very clearly what it is that I do want! This is a huge benefit of a “bad” situation or circumstance. Remember, to get what we want, we have to know what it is. That seems obvious, but a lot of the time we just focus on what we don’t like and don’t want and so that is what keeps getting replayed in our reality.

A personal example of mine was a particularly bad workday. I did not want to be doing that type of work anymore. I felt depressed and didn’t know where to turn next. After I felt bad for a few hours, I wised up and remembered it is okay to feel bad about this (briefly, let’s not get stuck in the bad feeling) because this is helping me to identify what it is that I really do want in a job. So I thought about what in particular I was struggling with at my job – too detail-oriented and not a meaningful objective. So, that meant I want to be working in something that is more big picture-oriented and meaningful to me.

With this shift in attention, our attitudes change from doom and gloom to hope and aspiration. From here, we can move on to making a Positive List about the bad situation. Just as we listed the positive things about another person in the last post, we do the same with the situation. But the positive aspects here ought to also include big-picture types of things, such as: an opportunity for personal growth, what we became aware of from the “bad” situation, what we learned from mistakes or flaws (ours or other people’s), (I love these quotes from Thomas Edison: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”)

Consciously finding the positive in a “bad” situation or circumstance helps us to transcend the anguish, dread, anxiety, victimhood, fear and anger associated with it and frees us from the mental burdens that stuck with us.

What “bad” situation are you mentally turning around today?

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