Rainbows come and go, right? When things don’t go the way we expected or planned, we can get bogged down in the negative and lose a lot of time.
But, until we identify that silver lining, all we see is the loss.
The wiser I get, the more I realize that my brother was right when he used to quote John Wayne, “We’re burning daylight here”.
We can waste hours, days and even weeks wishing things were different. Things are as they are.
But, whatever we focus on, GROWS. Do we focus on what’s not working OR what is working or what we DO have?
When we count the things we are grateful for or say positive affirmations every day, we can crowd out the negatives. We have, on average 40K negative thoughts per day. Which do we want to focus on?
I’ve learned that when I count my positive thoughts, and I get to over 100 in a day, my days shift significantly. Lovely things begin to happen. It’s consistent. I use this traffic counter to keep track.
That’s why gratitude works so well. If we are focusing on what we have, we stress less about what’s missing. I write down a few successes and things I’m grateful for at the end of most days. I keep a journal by my bed that’s there to help me re-focus and get me through my tough times. I practice mind shifting.To put repetitive negative thoughts in their rightful place, try these ideas;
Pretend you are on a debate team and put forward contradictory evidence to your negative thoughts.
Write those repeating negative thoughts down and throw them out or burn the paper.
Distract yourself…by helping someone else or volunteering.
Reword your thoughts to eliminate the absolutes...
ie. I ‘never’ have enough energy, or HE ‘always’ forgets to…
Share your story. Reach out to a friend to meet up or have a good phone chat. Telephone therapy can be amazing. A video call is even better!
Take action! Even one small step can change your focus. Propel yourself into one small step, which may lead to another and start your new journey.
I did a little research and found that over your lifetime, you will have 396 friends. 1 in 12 will be lasting friendships. So that’s about 33 friends. Not all at one time, but over your lifetime. If you are missing a friend, reach out. They will be so pleased that you did. Imagine how you would feel if they called you?
It’s also important to let others know what we’re going through. It’s healing. When we only show the good times, people compare themselves to our mask.
I love the saying “I’m comparing how I’m feeling inside to your outside”
If social media or surface conversations are our main points of connection, that’s pretty easy to fall into. We can imagine that other people have and do more than we do.
Speak the truth to people in your inner circle and stay curious. If you say that you’re going through a tough time and someone suggests a solution, check it out. It might help you shift things up
(A great therapist, a supplement, a healer or even a book).
There’s a lovely woman in Australia who did her PhD on the importance of sharing our stories. This actually has relevance to the business world- for we co-create or co-construct ourselves and our cultures through the narratives or the stories that we share with others.
"Lidea Lae (2019) found that individuals in different cultures, Western and Eastern cultures have different ways of sharing their self-narratives and making meaning in their lives. Self-narratives are the stories we tell ourselves and share with others. She demonstrated in three studies that when we share ourselves with others, we not only construct the very selves we live but we also shape and construct the cultures we live in.
Despite her research being in cross-cultural contexts, it has applications in the different cultures we live in and are part of, such as our family, business, organisational cultures, etc.
Therefore, the importance of sharing our stories with others builds not only our very selves but in business, it contributes significantly in impacting the business cultures we want and communicating with our stake holders what we are all about, our meaning.
Lae's (2019) research provides evidence on the importance of sharing our life stories, in building ourselves and building deeper relationships in business alliances that will lead to healthy business and work cultures. This has mutual benefits for everyone.
This is what we’re doing at Spoken Lives. Wonderful women share a story about a tough time that they went through at the front of the room (or online) and talk about the life hacks or what they learned as a result of the tough times.
And, honesty is contagious!
It takes more work, but when we put attention into grieving and then become curious about our own silver linings, we can build some amazing things from those ashes.
When we really listen to another person’s struggle, we realize how lucky we are at various times in our lives.
As we all know, life presents different challenges. It’s how we meet these challenges that counts. When we reach out to share our stories or listen to the challenges and triumphs of others, it can help us better understand ourselves.
In trying to find the common thread for the reasons that some people have success after facing challenges, I guess it’s this:
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at, change!
We can soar to new heights when we let go of the way we expected our lives to be and accept the way things are now and begin from today. Bring supportive people around us, who can share the wins along our journey.
And, when we replace some of our negative messages and put down our emotional baggage, we are lighter and can set fresh goals and new dreams for our revised future.
That future can often be bigger and brighter than we’d ever imagined. Don’t burn daylight! Find your own silver lining.
Elizabeth has been helping clients get a better balance between work and their personal lives for over 20 years. Now, she is helping people create the life they want. Lifestyle Mentoring. Are you ready to talk with someone who can help you discover new paths? Dreams do come true! Call or text Elizabeth at 416-729-1713