Mary-Ann Owens and Associates

Resilience Blog

Reaching your goals with Grit

Focus on the Good

Focus on the Good

A survival mechanism that we are all pretty good at is to intensely focus on what went wrong in our day. This is important to do so that we avoid dangerous situations and don’t repeat mistakes that we have made.

Remembering the positive or good things that happen gives us a needed lift when times are difficult. The world needs to remember the good right now, because we are in trying times.

Martin Seligman in his book Flourish outlines an exercise for doing just that. It goes like this; at the end of your day ask yourself what 3 things went well today? Then ask yourself why these things went well? Most likely it is because you utilized one of your strengths, someone around you came through with support, you noticed something beautiful because you were in the moment, or some other positive awareness.

Some days when I do this exercise it takes quite a bit of time to remember the good. I find though that as I give this exercise time and practice, it works its magic on me. I often notice more than 3 things that went well and start looking for the good throughout the day. It’s a gift that brightens and lightens my day.

I have mentioned this exercise in other blog posts, but given these difficult times felt we needed a reminder.  

The video link below outlines an additional method that can bring levity to your day; how to create a joy kit.

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Making the Most of the Lockdown

Making the Most of the Lockdown

Some people during covid19 lockdowns have been utilizing their time to do something to enhance their lives or work. Things like working out, eating healthier, reading, cleaning up their space, or cooking new recipes, etc.

Often working with adversity or blocks can ultimately benefit you. What strength could working through and with the lockdown unlock within you?

If you can turn the block or difficulty into a strength or launching pad for growth, awareness or use it as an education of sorts you could ultimately benefit from this time. Can you turn the lockdown into an advantage, or an opportunity to gain traction?

What is defeat? Nothing but education, nothing but the first step to something better. Wendell Phillips

For example, noticing when you do well during the day and when you fail. You can practice the failed behavior and by practicing reverse the negative tendency. Using adversity or blocks to practice can instill you with new skills.

If you are able to breakdown the adversity and analyze it thoroughly opportunities may open up for you. If we breakdown adversity such as the lockdown into what you can and can’t do, you may get some new ideas to pursue.

Can Do  During Lockdown                                         Can’t Do During Lockdown

Research on the computer, phone, zoom                     Research in person          

Anything at home                                                          Travel, use of public venues                                       

Visits outside with friends and family                             Visits and meetings with others inside

Self-care, spiritual practices                                          Group classes

Work from home                                                            Work in the service industry

Etc.                                                                                 Etc.

Perception can help us not take things personally. I know working with people who were laid off that people would often take it very personally, and their self-esteem took a hit. Often though the whole industry they were working in was in a downturn and it wasn’t a personal thing. For example, the service industry has been severely impacted by lockdowns. If the client was able to realize the whole industry was suffering and it wasn’t personal their self-esteem wouldn’t take such a hit. Many, many people are struggling immensely with lockdowns, finances, and the lack of social support, you are not alone.

We are being immersed in the experience of being in a lockdown. What can we take away from and learn from this adverse experience? We are all in an apprenticeship of being in a lockdown at the moment. If we could see the opportunity or the good in the difficulty we may be able to turn the disaster into some learnings or strengths.

What can we control in a lockdown or any difficult experience? Our learning, our thoughts, our focus, and what we do with our spare time.

If we can free ourselves from distractions, disturbances, and negative emotions, we could focus on what we can do. If we can focus our energy on something that will be useful to us we can get some personal traction. We often forget that we have the power to make a positive impact. If we can focus on the gains and goals more than the adversity, the goal will prevail.

Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so. Shakespeare

Our worries, anxieties though can take our focus off of areas where we can gain traction. The whole world is in lockdown, which is very unusual and the news reflects this very difficult situation. Many people recommend we limit our focus on the news.

Do you have a process or structure that you can count on and will ensure you aren’t distracted by negative or worrisome emotions? Some people may turn to a friend or family member to talk, walk in nature, journal, draw, play music, or exercise. What are the positive things you immerse yourself in that enable you to let go of negative emotions?

You are a worthy opponent of every challenge that comes your way. May you get the most out of this lockdown and any other experience you go through.

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