It can be difficult finding ways to stay optimistic when life seems to be throwing you curveballs left and right. With the right tools and a positive mindset, you can learn to work for the life you want, be grateful for what you have, and find optimism to carry you through tough times.
How to Stay Optimistic When Times Are Difficult
Think back to a time in your past — five, 10, 15, or even 20 years ago. Maybe you envisioned a happy future making more money, having more fun, a family of your own, or living in a bigger place.
Few things turn out perfectly, but chances are your life saw some growth and improvement in at least one area. A 30 or 40-something-year-old adult’s standards are going to be different than those of a teenager. In that sense, most of us have undergone economic, personal, and career upgrades, even if you might be disappointed with the outcome thus far making it hard to stay optimistic.
The Seasons of Life
All life on this planet goes through seasons. We’ll experience spring-like blooms, the reaping of summer, the preparations of fall, and the chill and severity that winter brings. These cycles affect us individually and globally. At times, even the world as a whole experiences something like a severe economic winter.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that we’ve all experienced times of growth and improvement in our individual lives. Even during periods of lack and want, we can look forward to a time of prosperity again. All it takes is readjusting back to a mindset that focuses on the future so we can stay optimistic. That starts with accepting and embracing the now.
3 Tips to Stay Optimistic During Your “Winter Times”
By far, the toughest cycle we’ll experience is our “winter times,” whether it’s cold outside or not. Even the grasshopper needs to be told by the Ant to prepare for winter, so the old story goes. The other seasons are often times easier, if not more enjoyable.
As tough as things can seem during harsh times, winter provides the opportunity to recover and start planning for the next spring ahead—the same kind of spring that gave us relief before and will bring us relief again. With this mindset, we can find ways to stay optimistic despite the cold. These 3 tips for learning how to stay optimistic can help you even in the most difficult of times:
1. You can do this by defining what you want to create. Be specific. Sometimes luck helps, but there’s no way to get what you want until you’ve defined what you want, and, just as important, why you want it. Your motivations will steer you through any winter storm.
2. Also, taking inventory. List those attributes that enhance the quality of your life right here and now — family, friends, the network of colleagues who might help you take that next step, and resources that are helping you economically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You might be surprised at just how many resources are at your disposal.
3. Lastly, be grateful. For every “negative” thing that may be happening to you, someone else is likely undergoing more pressing challenges. Gratitude has a way of dispelling fear, anxiety, and a self-defeating attitude. You can’t focus on what you don’t have when you’re grateful for what you do have. How we progress through the seasons isn’t based on what we don’t have, or what we might’ve done or not done in the past. It’s about how we use what we do have now to stay optimistic and to sow seeds of growth that we can reap later.
I want to leave you with one last thought. Winters can seem to go on forever, but they don’t. That’s as true for the world as it is in our individual lives. When in ‘winter’, use this time to re-focus, heal, enjoy your blessings, and start planning your next spring now.
Give us your thoughts on life’s “seasons,” whether they apply to your personal or professional life. Where are you in your life’s cycle? How do you navigate your seasons? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about these tips for staying optimistic during difficult times. Each and every one of your comments is meaningful and valuable.
For Your Freedom,