Sunday, August 30, 2009

3 Things to Keep in Mind to Stay Optimistic During Turbulent Times

Okay, so we've all seen the news: Many people are experiencing an economic downturn. Some people are fortunate enough to not be feeling the pinch, but many are. Although it seems rough right now, we all need to be mindful that there is great opportunity in a time like this. Here are three things to keep in mind to stay optimistic during these challenging times:

1. Be grateful for the things you have. Yeah, things are tight right now, but guess what? There are so many other things to be grateful for! Did you wake up today? Awesome! Say "thank you" for that! Do you have full use of your limbs? Say "thank you" for that! How about the fact that you don't live in the Congo? We are blessed beyond measure, but we get ungrateful and often don't think about these things that are so important and wonderful and yet so easy to forget.

2. Realize that opportunity rises from crisis. In the past, when things got rough for me, I wondered, "Why does it always happen to ME?" I'll be honest, I had a victim mentality. But as time went on, and I developed a more optimistic perspective on life, I would reflect on what I could learn from my adverse situation. Now, any time it seems like my world is falling apart, that things are just not going right, I reflect on past occurrences that seemed difficult at the moment, but ended up being an awesome growing experience for me. All my past negative experiences eventually lead to something beautiful and positive, and I have learned to be still and wait on the blessings that I know are around the corner. A layoff can result in a successful business endeavor. A painful breakup can lead to meeting the mate of your dreams. Develop a spirit of expectancy and keep your eyes open for the growth and opportunity that will come out of this situation.

3. Times like these can strengthen relationships. When times get tough, many friends and relatives lean on each other in ways they otherwise would not do in times of great prosperity. People have to move in with each other, carpool, or share more meals, and occurrences like these allow us all to spend more time together, see beautiful qualities in one another, and remind us all why we love each other so much. (Note: I understand that relationships are often strained during financial hardships, but there is also an opportunity to love and lean on each other a little harder, too. We make the decision as to how we want to interpret our situation.)

If you believe in a higher power, you are probably familiar with the concept of casting your burdens on God. But how many of us do that? Are you at home biting your nails, worrying about your bills, etc.? If that is the case, then you are not practicing your faith effectively. It is useless and unhealthy to worry after you have done all there is for you to humanly do. I learned something wonderful from a powerful woman named Florence Scovel Shinn. She writes in her book, "The Game of Life and How to Play It," that when you have done all you can do and see no other way out, you are to take advantage of your right to cast your burdens on God. So, when you feel there is nothing else for you to do, say, "I cast this burden on God and I go free." I know this sounds wild, but words impress the subconscious in a powerful way, and you will be amazed at the sea of calm that washes over you as you cast your burdens on an omnipotent power that gives you everything in the way of health, happiness, and supply. Remember these three things, stay optimistic, and watch wonderful things come your way. Be encouraged!

Nick Jenkins is a Success Coach & Consultant. Visit her site at to learn more.

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