Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

7 Steps to Transform Your Outlook on Life

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Oct 3, 2017 3:12 AM

It's hard to maintain a positive outlook when life is difficult. Some events are within your control, but most are not. A negative experience, like a divorce, can cause a spiral of negative thoughts and negative actions. Whether you've had a bad week, bad month or even bad years, there are steps you can take to transform your outlook on life.

#1 Don't Avoid Your Feelings

Many of us will engage in behaviors to tune out or our feelings. The fear of experiencing negative feelings can cause us to dull the joyous feelings also. Grief is a powerful emotion. Changes in life can cause fear of an uncertain future. Grief is a natural, necessary process.

Being strong is not about burying your feelings. It takes more strength, to be honest. Fear, anger, and sadness are all part of the grieving process.

#2 Know You are Resilient

People have an innate ability to withstand the most challenging situations and bounce back. Struggling is part of being human. Know that people survive struggles and adversity. We continue on our path, whatever happens to us, and continue to learn and grow. We achieve new levels of accomplishment because of our struggles. Know that you have the strength you need to create a new path.

#3 Silence the Negative Inner Voice

We all have that inner voice. It's the voice living in our heads that tells us we are not smart enough, not attractive enough, not interesting enough. That voice can creep up and take the enjoyment out what you do. When negative thoughts get in your way, recognize them. Act against the self-critical thought. Redirect those thoughts to something positive.

#4 Life a "Yes and Yes" Life

Some of us even turn positives to negatives. Yes, you like your job, but it doesn't pay very well. "Yes, I would like to go to school, but I don't think I can handle it." The one thing you might want to develop is a "yes, and " attitude. Yes, I like my apartment, and it is close to where I work." This may take practice, but this small positive tweak can alter the way you view your life. Thinking positively will result in feeling confident and restore your positive outlook.

#5 Live in Your Present Life

When life gets messy and feels uncertain, we often spend time reliving the past or imagining the future. Remember that life is about the journey. Don't live in the past you cannot change or the future you cannot predict.

If you spend too much time evaluating yourself or over-thinking your situation, you are not living in the present. When you catch yourself, stop. See where you are right now. Notice what you are doing right now and live your life in this moment. This is mindfulness. Don't get ahead of yourself, or behind. Notice what you are doing now. Try not to live your present moments lost in your head.

#6 You are Your Happiness

How you view your life can be a reflection of how you feel about yourself. When life feels uncertain, we tend to blame ourselves. This is especially so for women. You are the only person responsible for your happiness. When you no longer need others to provide your happiness, you find it. Accept and be proud of who you. You are the answer to your own happiness.

#7 Take Time for Yourself

One of the best ways to improve your outlook is to take the time for the things you enjoy. Maybe it's time to revisit a lost hobby. Find something that brings joy and make time for yourself every day. Challenge yourself to be the person you want to be.

If you still find yourself struggling, you may want to reach out to a support group. It is helpful to talk to people who are facing similar challenges. You will benefit from their support, and they will benefit from your support also.

Remember that we are a resilient species. You will overcome your struggles, and with a little effort, your new habits will transform your outlook.

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