Staying Positive

Staying Positive When
Your World is Collapsing

Feel like your world is collapsing around you? Like absolutely nothing is going right?

A lot of people have asked me how I stayed positive when my job was eliminated at the company I had been with for 28 years … at the same time I was going through a divorce after being married for 26 years. How did I avoid being depressed or angry? How was I able to maintain a positive attitude?

I must admit that I went through an emotional roller coaster, and at times I felt like I was hitting the bottom. After all, my relationships with my company and with my husband had lasted more than half my lifetime. Half of my life! How could I not wallow in self-pity or feel like lashing out against the world?

If you feel upset or depressed about your situation, ask yourself how your anger or “pity party” is serving you. Do those feelings help you to move forward? Or is your self-pity, self-doubt, or internal rage causing you to be paralyzed and stuck in a rut?

We all have an Inner Critic that tells us we’re not good enough, or not smart enough, that we’re a loser, or that we’re just plain unlucky. That Inner Critic can beat us up pretty badly when we lose something that’s important to us. That inner voice can be really deafening when things aren’t going the way we planned. Many people go out of their way to escape that “voice” or to deny that it even exists.

But psychologists say that EVERYONE has an inner critic, often called a Gremlin, a Shadow, or negative self-talk, that occasionally pops up and makes us feel small. Even people who seem very successful. This is a human mechanism that has been wired into our brains since childhood. Wow. Isn’t it liberating to know that everybody has an inner critic? That it’s not just us?

I found it very helpful to know that it’s NORMAL to have these inner voices and negative feelings. Once I became aware of this phenomenon and acknowledged its existence, it began to lose its power and grip. It was a huge relief to learn that I could control this negative self-talk. How? The same way I control my car radio when the volume is too loud … TURN IT OFF!

Turn off the negative self-talk. It’s keeping you from moving forward. Every situation has a silver lining. What’s a possible positive outcome? What lessons can you learn? How can you grow from this experience? How can you become a better person? Be grateful for the wake-up call. Yes, grateful! How happy were you anyway, prior to this crisis? Be honest with yourself. You were probably tolerating a not-so-fulfilling life. Here’s your chance to create a better future!

Use this crisis as an opportunity to move forward, grow, reinvent yourself, and create a life that is aligned with your values and your passions! Make a commitment to yourself to turn off that negative self-talk and start building a brighter future for yourself, starting today!

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Keiko can be reached at (415) 738-2313 or by email through our Contact