Facing an overwhelming day?
Get hit with an unexpected project issue?
Without a positive attitude you will be less effective.
It’s ok to climb into your own little pit of despair when you are by yourself, but only when you’re alone.
When you are leading a project, people looking to you for a light at the end of the tunnel will hardly be encouraged to find you snuffing out the light and adding your own gloom to the atmosphere.
Stay upbeat by using these 5 tips:
- Remember it could always be worse
And it really could be. Think about the number of risks that could have materialized, but didn’t thanks to your risk mitigation activities, the team’s foresight in acting proactively on an issue or just your dumb luck.
- Try stimulants and endorphin-generating activities
Legal ones. This is my personal favorite. Coffee, tea, cookies, chocolate, ice cream sundaes. Exercise, learning or reading also tend to produce some positive feelings that can help keep you upbeat. If this list seems a little tame to you – don’t complain, come up with your own.
- Learn Learn Learn
This is one of my mantras. Sometimes the only good thing that you can glean from a situation is the gold you find underneath all the dirt that is there. Many times, some of the most valuable life lessons I have ever learned have come from moments when it would have been easier to go completely negative.
- Think of 10 things that are working and only 3 that are not
This can be challenging, but I dare you to try it. It can take a bad mood out of commission. Recently, I was reading 1 Cor 13 in a new translation of the Bible called The Message. The passage I read said that Love “Always looks for the best.”
My interpretation? Back off of my skewed view of life and try to find things that work, rather than look just for risks or problem. So I came up with a new rule: before I can dig for the issues, I have to find 10 things that are working, then I can identify only 3 that are not. Just three, not four or five. Three.
The goal is to overwhelm yourself with unexpected goodness. You’ll be surprised how many things are actually working if you look for them. Instead of heaping up a pile of despair that I can wallow in for a day or two, I find 10 things that are working and only three things to kick myself for. The bonus is the positive energy I can use to go work the 3 things that are broken.
- Turn Blue Moments into Golden Opportunities
Finally, if nothing else seems to work, try these tips from The Art of War for Women. The author, Chin-ning Chu, suggests that you “transform the blue puppy into a golden muse,” by using your bad moods instead of letting them use you. She recommends that you start off by
- Acknowledging the bad days. Accept them without judgment.
- Rejuvenate. Go with what your emotions are telling you and rest.
- Understand the power of simmering. Between room temperature and boiling, water‘s interim state is simmering. Chu suggests that we ‘simmer’ and gather the strength we need to take our next step. Forget about being productive. Find things that you think are “unproductive” and go do them. Now.
Now you know new 5 ways to stay upbeat during days that can only be described as challenging. How you manage your moods? Leave a comment or send me a tweet, my id is jgodfrey.