3 Steps For Finding A Silver Lining (In Any Situation)

3 STEPS FOR FINDING THE IN ANY


Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.

Buddha

What’s an attitude of gratitude? It’s living your life from the perspective of appreciating what you have instead of focusing on what you do not. You may hear this phrase when people talk about an ‘abundance’ mindset vs. one of ‘scarcity’.

We all struggle with finding positive value in the shitty things that happen in our lives. Believe me, this is something I have struggled with my entire life. In fact, I remember when I was 29 years old I had a terribly toxic boss and suffered with so much anxiety. One day I was helping the HR director – telling her about how tough my prior year had been after losing my job, health insurance, and a personal financial crisis and that things, “couldn’t get much worse.” Naturally, her reply was, “Love, if there is anything I know in this life it is that things surely get better but they can definitely get worse.”

She was right, less than two years later my father was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer and passed away. Things can definitely get worse.

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Believe it or not, as much as I miss my father – I learned so much about life helping to care for him during his illness and in losing him. Of course, I would trade anything to have him back, but I also don’t know if I would be the person I am right now – typing this blog – if I didn’t go through one of the worst things a person can endure, the loss of a parent.

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." – Buddha Click To Tweet

A major lesson I have learned in all of my professional training is how find a way to utilise all of my losses and failures as a way to make the path for the hope of better things to come.

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We’ve all had times in our lives where something we’ve put a lot of ourselves into didn’t work out.  There are not enough words to describe the negative emotions we feel when this type of rejection or loss occurs, not to mention what it does to our motivation and self-esteem.

The truth is, we can learn to internalise and these negative experiences and transform the energy associated with them into positive choices and new directions.

3 Steps For Finding A Silver Lining In Any Situation

  1. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this situation?”  Maybe you’ve lost your job, ended a significant relationship, or found out some crappy news in general.  Regardless of which end of the spectrum an event is perceived to be on, there’s always something to be learned — whether it’s about yourself, another person, or situation.  Maybe the lesson you learned is that you have to be more or less trusting.  Maybe the lesson you learned is that you didn’t feel happy in the job you lost (I’ve so been there on this one)!  Maybe the lesson you learned is that you need to take better care of yourself or start making your well-being a priority. Or even that you need to tell the people you care about how special they are more often. Choosing to take a bad situation and turn it into a lesson learned will enable you to grow emotionally and spiritually.
  2. Ask yourself, “What am I able to do now that I wasn’t able to do before?”  In any situation, your opportunities will change.  Try to focus on how this opportunity will give you the ability to do something (or many things) you weren’t able to do before.  What skills did you gain from your last job?  If you’re out of a relationship or toxic friendship what time — more importantly energy — do you have to now devote to something that will make you happier, stronger, and more fulfilled?  Maybe now you’re more able to speak up for yourself and communicate what you do and don’t want out a relationship/friendship.  There is no way that you have not gained the ability to do something bigger and better today that you couldn’t have done yesterday.  Discover this, rebuild and go forward.
  3. Ask yourself, “Do I have perspective?”   Not to belittle yourself or your struggles, but if you can step back from any situation and answer yes to any, some, or all of the following, you’ve got a lot to be thankful for:
    Do I have my health?
    Do I have a place to live?
    Do I have clothes on my back?
    Do I have food to eat?
    Do I have a support system and people whom I love, and that love me?

While some of these things may seem basic and not like much to celebrate, take some time to appreciate each and every item you answered yes to. Being able to truly appreciate all that you do have – right now – is the biggest silver lining of all. Well that and giving back to others who are struggling with something that you may take for granted is one of the most powerful exercises in gratitude out there.

Practicing an attitude of gratitude is all about appreciating everything for what it is right now, and sometimes that means choosing to be content with all the silver (grey) events.

Do you look for the silver lining in bad situations?  How do you practice an attitude of gratitude?

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