Lemons to Lemonade - Making the Most of Unwelcome Life Events - Wholesale Supplies Plus
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Lemons to Lemonade - Making the Most of Unwelcome Life Events

Bad news? Unwelcome life events can be upsetting—even frightening—but you have the power to make them less so. The next time life hands you lemons, sweeten the outcome by following some (or all) of these suggestions to manage your emotional response.

Why? Because maintaining a positive perspective and a healthy response to life challenges will help you to avoid the poor decisions that end up making things worse than they already are. Managing your emotions in a healthy manner will also keep your stress level from going off the charts. How much easier would life be if you didn't lose precious time by stressing out and worrying about things you have little to no control over? Wouldn't it be nice to minimize the impact of those seemingly negative life events? I believe we all hold that power. And it begins with a few simple shifts in the way you think.

1. Resolve the unknown.

How often have you felt down or panicked about something that didn’t end up as bad as you thought it would be? Sometimes we react before knowing all of the facts. It’s not always easy to ask questions and dig into the problem, because we’re not ready to face the whole picture. Remember, worry is usually based on a fear of the unknown. Once you have the facts you can begin to respond, rather than react, even when the situation seems dire.

Go ahead, give yourself some time to freak out, but put a deadline on it. Don't wallow in the fear, instead learn all of the facts about the situation so you can deal with it based on reality.

2. Stick with the real truth.

Oh, how quickly the mind travels down the path of destruction! It’s easy to blow things out of proportion and to blame, even hate, others for your misfortune. Try not to paint a picture that makes the situation worse than it is. Most of the time, the potential outcome isn't nearly as bad as our fear-based fantasies leads us to believe. When your thoughts get out of control, imaging disaster over a positive outcome, ask yourself if these imaginary events are really true. The answer is always no.

Stick with the facts, resolve the unknown, and keep your frenzied fantasy-mind out of it.

3. Acknowledge that you are safe.

Fear is also based on feeling a loss of safety and security. Consistently remind yourself that, in this very moment, all is well. It may feel like the floor is falling out from under you when you receive upsetting news, but it’s not. Sure, things may be about to change to some degree, but if you let life go looming out of control in this very moment you won’t have what it takes to manage your next moments. You are safe!

4. Don't avoid your emotions.

There’s a distance between panicking and stuffing your emotions, and somewhere in between is the sweet spot. Pretending that you don't feel awful about what’s going on may feel like an effective stopgap measure in this moment. In reality, it only postpones, and perhaps escalates and exacerbates a painful flood of emotions in the future. Meanwhile, you'll be edgy, and will make mistakes, often making the problem bigger. Accept that, of course you are afraid and worried and that you have every right to feel this way. Be kind to yourself and take a break in nature or indulge in an activity that soothes your mind. Once you do this, you'll feel some relief and can advance your problem-solving capabilities

5. Accept what you cannot control.
It’s a natural tendency to want to control every situation, especially for entrepreneurs. Acts of desperation lead to regret; remember, it's not giving up when you acknowledge that there is nothing more you can do in the physical sense. Instead, it allows you to focus on other opportunities and to take care of yourself--because self-care has never been more important.

6. Explore the worse-case scenario.

Lamenting over the worse possible outcome isn't productive or helpful; acknowledging it and working with your perspective on it is powerful. Assess the situation and find a way to turn the bad into good.

I have a new client who finally faced the fact that her business model is not sustainable. She closed the doors this weekend and grief set in. Yet, already she is feeling the relief and even some moments of joy as she let go of control, which in many ways gave her back some control. Now she has a new form of freedom and is looking forward to a summer off with her children for the first time ever. Finding the good in the bad is like a magic cure for your fear.

It takes courage to face an unwanted outcome; you may have to work up to it. Write about it, make lists of action-steps and facts, talk to friends, a therapist or your coach. These may seem like simple steps, but by expanding your mind in this way there's nothing you can't deal with in life. When your fear is bigger than you are it makes all things impossible. Face your fears, deal in facts, ask for help and take action. Your world will be a much better place.

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