You can turn negative situations on their head. This isn’t to say that bad or negative things don’t happen; rather that, if it does, you can look at what you can do about it by viewing things differently and looking for alternative meanings. You can do this by:
* Looking for the positive in a situation.
* Looking at how you can be proactive.
* Considering all the alternatives to a situation or the next best option.
* Looking at someone’s intention for whatever they’ve done rather than concentrating on their behaviour.
* Finding humour in the situation.
* Taking a philosophical view. What can you constructively learn from the situation?
Reframing situations is something I have had to work on mastering from a young age, and I can attest that it certainly helps keep you keep a strong state of mind, even when negative things happen.
For example, a few years back I remember having such a severe hypo (very low blood sugar level) early one Sunday morning that I went into violent fits; it took several strong people to steady me. I was in bed, in my birthday suit, perspiring and shaking uncontrollably. The fits were so strong that I had to be given a rectal diazepam (a minor tranquillizer).
I came round to find my partner and three paramedics standing over me in my bedroom. Hmmm. If there was ever a time I could have felt embarrassed, and feared dying in my sleep, that was it! The violent convulsions went on for some time, too, so I was pretty exhausted (I’ve had far less tiring workouts in the gym!).
But rather than looking at this episode as embarrassing, and thinking that I should sit around all day recovering or dwell on it – and risk manifesting a fear of sleeping – I quickly reframed the situation by joking about the great show I’d just given the paramedics.
We all had some tea and some normal conversation for a bit, partly to reassure the paramedics that I was fine, but it was also a good chance for everyone to recover after such an intense situation. The reality of what the paramedics had just done for me outweighed any potential embarrassment, too, not to mention the fact that I still had my life – this was all the more reason to focus on embracing it.
Afterwards, I reflected and positively focused on the fact that I was alive and well, reframing further as I took all the positive learnings from what was a potentially grave situation.
Lose Your Inhibitions – They Serve No Positive Purpose
Inhibitions pertain to a deep-rooted fear of something. Fear, unless it is a natural fear or the protective “fight-or-flight” response, serves no purpose; therefore, inhibitions only hold us back.
Embrace Your Mistakes
Never fear making mistakes, dwell on them or over-generalize from them; this will only ever limit you. If we never make a mistake, it tends to mean we are never trying anything new. In fact, we need to make mistakes in order to learn. Constructively learning from our mistakes allows us to successfully move on and avoid making the same error more than once.
Be Free to Be You
If anyone else has a problem with you, it really is their problem because it ultimately pertains to something they either don’t like about themselves or couldn’t handle themselves – or even indicates that you are someone or have done something they want to, but feel unable to. Or, simply, something about you conflicts with THEIR values. There is nothing you can do or need do about this; so, enjoy being you and go for it!
Avoid labelling yourself “vegan,” “coeliac,” “anxious,” “diabetic” . . . and so on. Just because you may have displayed a behaviour, condition, thinking or emotion for a long time doesn’t mean it is static and can’t be changed. Remember it all starts with a thought!
Think Outside the Box to Adapt and Overcome
Be resourceful and flexible so that you can find other ways to achieve the same outcome and get exactly what you want. Explore every avenue you can think of. There is always more than one way to do something and nothing ever needs to stop you, especially irrational fear or deep-rooted limitations.
It can help to think outside the box by taking one idea and asking, “What is this an example of?” and then “What is another example of this?” This should soon generate and lead to other ideas.
Value All Your Experiences and Create Wisdom
It’s so important to value all our experiences, because they shape who we are, what we know and who we become.
Whether they’re good, bad or indifferent at the time, our experiences are how we learn, and our character influences what we do with this. It’s important to keep learning; it means we keep evolving and, above all, living.
Be Proactive: “Do – Don’t Dwell”
Avoid focusing on what’s wrong, or what you or anyone else thinks something should be; instead, concentrate on what you can do and what you actually want to happen ultimately. Whatever you choose to focus on, you will attract much more of it back to you, so avoid dwelling on any intense bad feelings; don’t indulge them – unless you want more!
Have a Mindful Philosophy
Whatever happens in life – amazing, good, bad, tragic or indifferent – there’s always something we can positively learn from it, and it can always play a greater purpose in our lives. If we learn to look at what we can positively take from life’s challenges, it can enable us to learn the lessons we need in order to develop our resources and successfully move on.
Dare to Be Open-Minded
Always have an inquisitive mind when looking for the answers you want. Be willing to ask yourself whether you’ve got anything to lose by keeping an open mind, applying fresh ideas and freeing yourself from criticism and doubt. Closing your mind to possibilities only creates limitations and negative emotions, which in turn lead to ill health – the opposite of everything we want!
The 25 Markers of a Zone-Zero Personality
The following markers are consistent with the mindset of people who display a zone-zero personality: essentially the personality of a person who seems to get or have everything they want in life. It’s therefore useful to see which attributes you already display, which you display less of and those which you think you could positively accentuate more:
* Shows a distinct lack of inhibitions.
* Appears naturally positive, optimistic and open-minded.
* Has an unshakable belief system.
* Displays independent and innovative thought.
* Has naturally high energy levels and enthusiasm.
* Is purposeful and pragmatic, driven by results and a broader positive intent.
* Is happy to lead and experiment, trusting themselves.
* Encourages, empowers and inspires others.
* Is a natural problem-solver: nothing has to be a problem or drama.
* Has a flexible, dynamic and amenable approach to life.
* Often displays different or unconventional ways of doing things.
* Embraces change, new opportunities and creativity.
* Will go with the flow where possible.
* Enjoys calculated risks and thrill-seeking adventure.
* Is self-reliant, dedicated, resourceful and responsible.
* Is persistent, resilient and undeterred.
* Has a firm life philosophy and rises above what others think.
* Has high self-awareness and is very intuitive.
* Is calm in a crisis and gets on with things with little fuss; solution-focused.
* Focuses on what they “can do” and “do want”.
* Puts well-being, fulfilment and enjoyment before winning.
* Never fears failure or getting things wrong.
* Can handle uncertainty by trusting in the process of life – has a metaphysical, quantum approach to life.
* Displays great tenacity – if they want something, they will find a way to get it or do it and know that they will.
* Appreciates and loves life irrespective of what their current situation is – trusting that it is part of the process and it is happening for a reason, providing opportunity to push them forward.
Mindset is what really makes a difference. Whatever you really want, it’s all out there waiting for you. It’s every individual’s choice as to how far to take this.
“Mindset is everything. It determines our character, the
paths we choose, and the results we get in life.”
Copyright 2019 by Emma Mardlin, Ph.D.
Reprinted with the permission of Findhorn Press,
an imprint of Inner Traditions Intl. www.innertraditions.com
Out of Your Comfort Zone: Breaking Boundaries for a Life Beyond Limits
by Emma Mardlin, Ph.D.
Offering a step-by-step guide to incrementally breaking out of your comfort zone and confronting and transforming fear, Emma Mardlin, Ph.D., equips us with effective working tools to conquer our deepest fears in any context, be they small or big, and harness them to push us further toward our ultimate goals, purpose, and full potential.
About the Author
Emma Mardlin, Ph.D., is a clinical therapist and founding partner in The Pinnacle Practice. Internationally renowned for her work as an author, trainer, and practicing clinician in London, Harley Street and Nottingham, she has profoundly changed the lives of many once plagued by intense fears, phobias, life limitations, and anxiety. The author of the highly acclaimed Mind Body Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2. Visit her website at http://www.dr-em.co.uk/
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