How to change your perspective on negative situations

Create the inner “space” to be the person you want to be.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” –Victor Frankl

I have great respect for Victor Frankl. He was not only a concentration camp survivor during the Holocaust, but also someone who went on to help others find goodness and meaning in life. He was a man from whom we can learn something about what it means to be human and how to be our best—sometimes in spite of our inclinations. And the above quote is incredibly wise guidance in these very areas.

In it, he implies that people often react without thinking. We frequently don’t choose our behaviors so much as just act them out. But he observes that we don’t need to accept such reflexive reactions. Instead, we can learn to notice that there is a “space” before we react. He suggests that we can grow and change and be different if we can learn to recognize, increase, and make use of this ‘space.’ With such awareness, we can find freedom from the dictates of both external and internal pressures. And with that, we can find inner happiness.

Victor Frankl was clearly an extraordinary man. Most of us can only wish for his moral strength, insight, and wisdom. But we can follow his lead by looking for the “space” in our own lives. When faced with situations that pull for some particular reaction, we can choose to respond instead. Frankl found his ‘space’ through finding meaning. Others find it through prayer, meditation, or therapy.

If you struggle with certain aspects of yourself, consider finding your ‘space’ to respond, rather than reflexively react, by doing the following:

Consider the person you would like to be: Think about the person you would like to be, especially in the areas in which you struggle. For instance, you might not like your tendency to become quickly frustrated in difficult situations, wanting instead to be a patient person. Take the time to develop a clear vision of this more ideal version of yourself.

Think about the meaning or origin of your reactions: There is a reason that you react as you do. It can be very helpful to understand your reactions, and perhaps even their origins. For instance, you might be impatient because you imagine failing to fix problems, and so you experience great anxiety. You might also realize that your parents tended to be critical, leaving you to believe that you always fall short.

Observe the outcome of your reactions: Pay close attention to the results of your reactions. By bringing negative consequences to your awareness, you will be more motivated to change your reaction to a desired response. With our example, you might note how your impatience makes it impossible for you to effectively solve problems.

Imagine a better response: Think about better ways to respond. Imagine doing them and the consequences of this. Also imagine what it would feel like to respond more in keeping with what you want for yourself. Continuing the example of a problem with impatience, you might envision yourself responding calmly to a problem and then moving on to find your way to an effective solution.

Learn a more compassionate approach to yourself: Because personal change takes effort and time to accomplish, it is important to support this process within yourself. Being critical will only undermine your efforts. So, instead, practice being understanding and patient with yourself—much as you would be supportive of a child or good friend who is working to develop a new skill.

You very well may need to learn particular skills in making some changes. For instance, you might want to learn skills in assertiveness, anger management, being more social, or relaxation. Psychotherapy can also help you to relieve anxiety or depression, as well as address any other personal struggle. Whatever your situation calls for, you will find creating ‘space’ is an incredibly powerful part of becoming the person you aspire to be.

Leslie Becker-Phelps is a clinical psychologist in private practice and is on the medical staff at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, NJ.

Making Change blog posts are for general educational purposes only. They may or may not be relevant for your particular situation; and they should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional assistance.

  • Personal Success
  • Sales Success
  • Business Success
  • Leadership Success

Negative emotions are the single biggest enemy that any of us have.

If we had no negative emotions, our lives would be wonderful — as would our relationships, our health and everything else.

I’ve spent more than 4,000 hours studying this, and today I will be providing you with some strategies for turning negative situations into positive ones.

Where do Negative Emotions Come From?

The great business of life is to eliminate negative emotions. To solve this, we have to answer the question:

Where do negative emotions come from?

Almost all negative emotions depend on blaming someone or something else for negative situations that happen in their life. The problem here then, is that people hold on to those negative emotions, even if they cannot change the outcome and are angry about it.

The Key to Eliminating Negative Emotions

The key to eliminating negative emotions is this:

Take responsibility for yourself, your reactions and your situation.

You cannot take responsibility for your life, your situation, and your reactions and be negative at the same time. Your mind can only focus on one thought at a time, positive or negative.

So anytime you feel negative say to yourself over and over again:

Phrases such as this are called positive affirmations. They are one of the most effective tools for reprogramming your thoughts.

You might be thinking right now:

“But Brian, in a situation involving other people, how can I be responsible for what they did?”

In every situation, whether it involves you directly or not, you are always at least partially responsible for what happened.

You got yourself into the situation, you stayed in the situation, you did or said certain things in the situation, so you’re not completely innocent. You at least had something to do with it.

Here’s another possibility: Let’s say you had nothing to do with the negative situation, maybe you weren’t involved at all. You’re still responsible for how you respond to it.

This is what is called your ‘response-ability’ — your ability to respond in a positive way. And again, to respond in a positive way, you simply repeat to yourself “I am responsible.

You can use this technique in any situation, whether your struggling to stay positive while cold calling prospects or beginning to doubt your ability to learn how to write a book. By focusing on your response and repeating an affirmation, you are providing your mind with a positive thought that will keep you motivated, confident, and happy.

You Have Complete Control

The truth is nobody can make you feel negative, other than you. If you think about things that make you feel unhappy or angry, you are going to feel negative. If you think about things that make you happy and excited about your life, you will feel positive .

When you learn how to harness the power of positive thinking you will be able to control your emotions in any situation.

The most important thing to remember about negative feelings is this: you have complete control over the way you feel, the way you respond to any situation and the things you think about at any minute of the day.

Exercise your ability to respond positively, take responsibility for your role in negative situations, and allow yourself to let go of negative feelings that might be trapped inside of you.

Before we wrap up, I’d like to leave you with a thought to share with your friends and followers:

“Accept complete responsibility for every part of your life. Refuse to blame others or make excuses.” @BrianTracy Tweet This

For more uplifting life quotes like this one, check out my favorite post 56 Inspirational Motivational Quotes About Success And Life.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

My question today is:

“Which recent negative situation in your life can you turn into a positive?”

Leave a comment below, and I’ll be sure to follow up with you.

Part of turning negative situations into positive ones has to do with your level of self-confidence. Learn what your current level of self-confidence is by clicking the button below to take my self-confidence assessment .

Shareable Quotes on Positivity

How to change your perspective on negative situations

About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian’s goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

February 2, 2016 12:00 AM EST | 7 min read

Everything starts with your perspective.

How you see the world, and how you interpret different situations, will determine your decisions, actions, and reactions (and you do have some control over this).

So if you want to be something, you have to have the right mindset to get there. You have to get into the right frame of mind so you can be focused, motivated, disciplined, accountable, driven, committed and ultimately, successful.

Change Your Perspective To Change Your Life

But how is it done? How can you change your mindset?

Theodore Roosevelt once said: “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there”. And he hit the nail right on the head. Your beliefs are powerful things, and they can steer you into the direction of your choice.

So, when you’ve decided it’s time for a change, and you are ready to achieve a goal, now what?

Now it’s time to figure out what you really want, why you want it, what you are willing to do for it, and then stay positive. Let’s look at these steps in more detail:

1. Figure out what it is that you want.

Now this point might appear to be fairly obvious, but it’s not as clear-cut as it

For example, you might have someone who says: “Okay, what I want is a promotion. I want to be the big boss”. Now let’s say we asked that person: “Why do you want a promotion?”, and the person answered: “I want financial security

for my family”. Now that, is gold. What that person really wants, is financial security; they want to be a good provider. They want to makes sure that their family has everything they need. The promotion and the boss stuff, that’s just fluff.

If you’re going to pick a goal, it’s important to really get right down to it, because superficial ‘stuff’ doesn’t make us happy. Not really. Deep down inside, there are things that we really want, and these are the things that we should be striving for. Dig deep here- skip over the fluff and figure out what will really make you happy.

The important things in life aren’t things”- Anthony J. D’Angelo

2. Ask yourself: Why do I want this?

Once you’ve figured out what you truly want, the next step is to figure out why this is important to you.

The truth is, you will not succeed unless the goal you choose truly

means something to you.

It has to be something that you are passionate about; something that touches an emotional chord for you…

This isn’t about what you ‘deserve’, and it can’t be something you think you should have. Even worse, it can’t be something that someone else thinks you should have. If those are your motivations, you won’t stick with your goal when the going gets tough.

To figure out if your motivations are true to your beliefs and values, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why is this important to me?
  • How will this make me happy?
  • How will my life be different if I become this?
  • How will this affect the people in my life?

3. Decide if you are willing to do what it takes to become what you want.

When you have a specific goal in mind, something that you are passionate about, you need to know what you are willing to do to achieve that goal.

Are you willing to work hard? Take risks? Get out of your comfort zone?

Make sacrifices for this goal?

If it is something that you truly want, you’ll do what it takes to get there. But if you are not willing to put yourself out there and take a chance, then your goal is probably not the right goal for you. If you have any doubts that your goal is what is right for you, then you need to head back to steps 1 and 2. You have to be sure about this; sure that you are going to give this goal your all and sure that this goal is going to get you somewhere you want to be.

If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done”-Thomas Jefferson

If this goal is something you’d do whatever it takes to achieve, then you can move onto step 4.

4. Keep positivity close by.

The truth is, there will be challenges and tough days.

We can’t avoid that. And it’s times like these when your mind can start to really get negative, and eventually give up. In order to work through these difficult times, make sure you have tools to bring you back into focus (before you even get started).

The tools you choose are up to you:

  • It can be quotes that are uplifting, that you have posted around you.
  • It can be some kind of talisman that you can carry as a personal reminder of your end goal.
  • It can be a support system that you can share your journey with.
  • It can be a journal that holds your successes, your excitement, and your strategies (no negatives).
  • It can be activities that you can do for fun, when you are starting to feel down.

Find what works for you; whatever it takes for you to mentally turn around and get back on track when you are faced with a challenge or roadblock. These reminders will be the lifesavers you are grateful for when you finally become what you want. They will be your lifelong motivators to see things through to the end.

No one expects you to be on top of your game all the time- sometimes you will struggle, and sometimes you will fail. And that’s okay. But mentally, you can always turn that around, if you believe in what you are doing, and have the right tools to help you stay on track.

Don’t allow yourself to dwell on the negative.

Many people fail to follow through with their dreams, simply because they don’t have the right mindset to get them to success. Some don’t pick the right goals, some aren’t willing to dive out of their comfort zones, and others succumb to negativity. Before you jump into any project, lifestyle change, decision etc., you have to make sure that you are prepared to succeed. Prepping your mind will allow you to stay strong throughout your new journey. And in order to prep your mind, you have to be able to connect with yourself.

No goal is too big if you are serious about achieving it.

There really is no such thing as thinking ‘too big’. Your own self-imposed limitations can hold you back more than anything else. But those limitations are just that: self-imposed. Our minds can play tricks on us, convince us that we will fail and make excuses…but you are so much stronger than that pesky little negative voice in there. You’ve connected with yourself, you’ve figured out what you truly want, you’ve committed to doing whatever it takes to get there, and you’ve surrounded yourself with positivity.

Like a soldier prepping to fight for what he truly values, through these steps, you’ve just done the same thing.

So go out there and become whatever it is that you want to be.

Everyday Power ► Change Your Perspective To Change Your Life

Realize that you do, indeed, have the power to choose a different way.

How to change your perspective on negative situations

Whether it’s January 1 or June 30, every day is one in which you can make a resolution to improve your life. Every morning, you can wake up and choose to let negative energy control your life or choose to live with positivity.

When you’ve had a bad day, week, month, or year, you can end up in a negativity spiral. You feel upset and angry, so you project these feelings out to the world and see everything through an upset and angry lens. People respond to your negative energy with their own negative energy, which just makes you feel more terrible. It’s a spiral of awfulness—but it’s possible to end it.

Here are six steps to transform your outlook on life, to stop your negativity, and see life positively.

1. Stop complaining.

When you sit around complaining about how terrible your life is, your life will be terrible. Complaining, wallowing, self-pity: None are creators of an enjoyable, satisfying life. The first thing you need to do to transform your outlook on life is to stop complaining about how bad your life is. Even if you don’t yet have the tools to make your life better, you have one that will stop making your life worse.

2. Practice thought-stopping.

Before you can open yourself up to positive thinking, you’ve got to stop your negative thinking. When all of your thoughts are negative, negativity will be all you know. Remember: Energy follows thought. You can practice thought-stopping by becoming more aware of when your thoughts are based on negativity rather than facts. When you recognize that you are thinking in a negative, rather than factual, way, you stop the thought before it can cloud your perception.

3. End your “Yes, but…” attitude.

“Yes, but…” is a marker phrase of a negative outlook. When you “Yes, but…” life, you see the hole instead of the doughnut. When asked, “Do you like your job?” you respond, “Yes, but it doesn’t pay well.” When someone suggests you look for a better-paying job, you respond, “Yes, but then I might have to move to a different city,” and so on.

Every life has its ups and downs, but when you only see the downs as significant, you miss all the ups. Happiness can be as much a state of mind as a factual situation. Step two of your transformation into a more positive person is to stop “Yes, but…” and try “Yes, and…” instead. “Do you like your job?” “Yes, and I’m working hard to further my career.”

4. Beware the self-fulfilling prophecy.

Sometimes you think you perceive your authentic inner world when you are actually pushing your experience in a particular direction. It’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy. You tell yourself your life is terrible and will never get better, so you do subtle things to make your life terrible—and you get stuck in that rut. We do this because it’s good to feel right, even when feeling right also means feeling awful.

In my work, I see patients who feel more comfortable telling a version of their lives that keeps them stuck in victimhood rather than risk exploring why they feel like a victim. Examining their feelings might reveal that they’re the authors of their misfortune. Mindfully, purposefully, and non-judgmentally examine the ways you see yourself as a victim. When you look at your life through a neutral lens, you may be surprised at how many areas there are in which you have more control than you thought.

5. Replace negative beliefs.

By replacing negative, unhelpful thoughts about yourself with positive, helpful ones, you can become more empowered. If, for example, you use people-pleasing thinking, believing that you’ll only be happy once everyone likes you, concentrate instead on liking yourself. If you think pessimistically that your life will never work out, tell yourself that your life can be whatever you decide to make it.

You can reframe every negative thought you have about yourself in a positive way. This isn’t lying to yourself. It does, however, mean you spend more time looking at the doughnut and less at the hole, and it means that the doughnut has frosting and sprinkles and the hole is just a neutral, unremarkable hole.

6. Take positive action.

Often it’s not enough to change the way you think about yourself and situations. Sometimes you have to do things differently, too. If you once complained about being single and you’ve now changed your negative thought—”I’ll never meet anyone I like”—to a positive one—”I haven’t met anyone I like yet, but I still can”—the next step is to get out there and date. Or if it’s a new job you’re after, it’s not enough to tell yourself, “It’s not that all jobs are chaotic and stressful, it’s just that the one I currently have is,” you’ve got to polish your resume, get out there, and network.

Realize that you do, indeed, have the power to choose a different way. You can see life through a dark, everything-is-terrible-and-will-always-be-terrible lens and have a negative outlook on life, or you can see life through a clear, everything-is-what-it-is-and-life-has-ups-and-downs-and-that’s-ok lens and have a positive outlook on life. The choice is yours to make.

For more tips on how to turn negative beliefs into positive ones, visit my website.

LinkedIn Image Credit: Rido/Shutterstock

Create the inner “space” to be the person you want to be.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” –Victor Frankl

I have great respect for Victor Frankl. He was not only a concentration camp survivor during the Holocaust, but also someone who went on to help others find goodness and meaning in life. He was a man from whom we can learn something about what it means to be human and how to be our best—sometimes in spite of our inclinations. And the above quote is incredibly wise guidance in these very areas.

In it, he implies that people often react without thinking. We frequently don’t choose our behaviors so much as just act them out. But he observes that we don’t need to accept such reflexive reactions. Instead, we can learn to notice that there is a “space” before we react. He suggests that we can grow and change and be different if we can learn to recognize, increase, and make use of this ‘space.’ With such awareness, we can find freedom from the dictates of both external and internal pressures. And with that, we can find inner happiness.

Victor Frankl was clearly an extraordinary man. Most of us can only wish for his moral strength, insight, and wisdom. But we can follow his lead by looking for the “space” in our own lives. When faced with situations that pull for some particular reaction, we can choose to respond instead. Frankl found his ‘space’ through finding meaning. Others find it through prayer, meditation, or therapy.

If you struggle with certain aspects of yourself, consider finding your ‘space’ to respond, rather than reflexively react, by doing the following:

Consider the person you would like to be: Think about the person you would like to be, especially in the areas in which you struggle. For instance, you might not like your tendency to become quickly frustrated in difficult situations, wanting instead to be a patient person. Take the time to develop a clear vision of this more ideal version of yourself.

Think about the meaning or origin of your reactions: There is a reason that you react as you do. It can be very helpful to understand your reactions, and perhaps even their origins. For instance, you might be impatient because you imagine failing to fix problems, and so you experience great anxiety. You might also realize that your parents tended to be critical, leaving you to believe that you always fall short.

Observe the outcome of your reactions: Pay close attention to the results of your reactions. By bringing negative consequences to your awareness, you will be more motivated to change your reaction to a desired response. With our example, you might note how your impatience makes it impossible for you to effectively solve problems.

Imagine a better response: Think about better ways to respond. Imagine doing them and the consequences of this. Also imagine what it would feel like to respond more in keeping with what you want for yourself. Continuing the example of a problem with impatience, you might envision yourself responding calmly to a problem and then moving on to find your way to an effective solution.

Learn a more compassionate approach to yourself: Because personal change takes effort and time to accomplish, it is important to support this process within yourself. Being critical will only undermine your efforts. So, instead, practice being understanding and patient with yourself—much as you would be supportive of a child or good friend who is working to develop a new skill.

You very well may need to learn particular skills in making some changes. For instance, you might want to learn skills in assertiveness, anger management, being more social, or relaxation. Psychotherapy can also help you to relieve anxiety or depression, as well as address any other personal struggle. Whatever your situation calls for, you will find creating ‘space’ is an incredibly powerful part of becoming the person you aspire to be.

Leslie Becker-Phelps is a clinical psychologist in private practice and is on the medical staff at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, NJ.

Making Change blog posts are for general educational purposes only. They may or may not be relevant for your particular situation; and they should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional assistance.

How to change your perspective on negative situations

Does negativity dominate your thinking? If the thoughts in your head about people, situations — and even yourself — are on the harsh side, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Here psychologist Scott Bea, PsyD, answers questions about why so many people struggle with negative thinking and explains how to adopt a more positive outlook on life.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Q: What problems does negative thinking create?

A: Negative thinking makes you feel blue about the world, about yourself, about the future. It contributes to low self-worth. It makes you feel you’re not effective in the world.

Psychologists link negative thinking to depression, anxiety, chronic worry and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). But almost all human beings contend with it — even those born with a positive outlook on life.

It’s because of the way our brains are constructed. Our amygdala and limbic system are built to notice threats, to protect our survival. In prehistoric times, it may have been a beautiful day on the savannah, but when we were stalked by a predator, we were trained to notice that danger.

Today, the same parts of our brain are active even when physical threats are minimal. The threats we deal with today are more cognitive — involving finances, whether we’re loved, whether we’re succeeding at work. They can set our hearts racing. That’s why we can panic on a Sunday night just thinking about work.

Q: Can negative thinking become a habit?

A: Absolutely. We practice worrying, and we get better at it over time. Worry is maintained by what we call ritualized reassurance. We think of all the negative scenarios that can possibly occur, and then all the ways we would survive them, to calm ourselves down.

But reassurance is a drug with a short half-life, like caffeine. If you use caffeine to combat fatigue, the more you use, the more fatigued you become over time. When people say, “The older I get, the more I worry,” it’s because they’ve been practicing.

And while we work out thousands of scenarios, the story is still only going to unfold in one way. It’s estimated that approximately 94% of the time, what we worry about doesn’t happen. What does happen is usually something we’ve never worried about.

We’re also constantly dosed with negative thinking because the media primarily portrays negative events. They know we’re more drawn to what’s wrong than to what’s right.

Q: Is it possible to change the way you think?

A: Rather than change the way you think, I recommend changing your relationship to your thoughts. We have about 50,000 spontaneous thoughts, images and ideas every day. Whether they’re positive or negative, they intrude into our awareness. Those that are negative are more likely to capture our awareness, or become “sticky.”

I recommend learning to watch your thoughts, rather than engaging with them. Practicing mindfulness can take you away from the thinking experience. For example:

  • Notice your breath or your footsteps for five to 10 seconds.
  • Notice anything that takes your attention away from them.
  • Then guide yourself back to your breath or your footsteps.

When you get distracted by a negative thought, notice something to engage with in the present. What are you seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, feeling?

Mindfulness also helps us program in ourselves a sense of that which is right. We can systematically notice what’s going well in the present. We can notice something favorable about each person we encounter. Words of admiration help us notice the rightness of things.

We can keep a gratitude journal, looking for those events that did work out. Doing this right before we go to sleep is especially helpful.

Q: Does thinking positively change your brain?

A: Yes, we’re learning that when we change habits, we change brain circuitry. It’s hard to exchange bad habits for good ones because they exist deep within the brain.

But when new habits are formed, they tend to stick and become more automatic. We may resist an exercise program at first, but after a while it becomes automatic. In the same way, we can try to form new habits around how we relate to our thoughts.

That’s why, more and more, mindfulness is being used as a tool to treat problems like social anxiety, OCD and depression. Mindfulness helps us accept things as they are, rather than always being in fix-it mode.

Q: What happens as you start to think more positively?

A: Your thoughts affect the way you regard your life. Positive thinking fosters self-acceptance and self-efficacy.

Maybe you have a gift to give that makes the lives of those around you better. Praising others has such an impact. It creates delight. It makes us all feel better and function better, and makes the world a better place.

Practicing positivity can also guide you to a different way of working within your profession. If you’re a lawyer, for example, you may want to switch from an adversarial role to more of an advocacy role.

Developing positivity can even influence the ways we choose to behave, leading us to feel better and to experience better outcomes in our lives.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

  • Personal Success
  • Sales Success
  • Business Success
  • Leadership Success

Negative emotions are the single biggest enemy that any of us have.

If we had no negative emotions, our lives would be wonderful — as would our relationships, our health and everything else.

I’ve spent more than 4,000 hours studying this, and today I will be providing you with some strategies for turning negative situations into positive ones.

Where do Negative Emotions Come From?

The great business of life is to eliminate negative emotions. To solve this, we have to answer the question:

Where do negative emotions come from?

Almost all negative emotions depend on blaming someone or something else for negative situations that happen in their life. The problem here then, is that people hold on to those negative emotions, even if they cannot change the outcome and are angry about it.

The Key to Eliminating Negative Emotions

The key to eliminating negative emotions is this:

Take responsibility for yourself, your reactions and your situation.

You cannot take responsibility for your life, your situation, and your reactions and be negative at the same time. Your mind can only focus on one thought at a time, positive or negative.

So anytime you feel negative say to yourself over and over again:

Phrases such as this are called positive affirmations. They are one of the most effective tools for reprogramming your thoughts.

You might be thinking right now:

“But Brian, in a situation involving other people, how can I be responsible for what they did?”

In every situation, whether it involves you directly or not, you are always at least partially responsible for what happened.

You got yourself into the situation, you stayed in the situation, you did or said certain things in the situation, so you’re not completely innocent. You at least had something to do with it.

Here’s another possibility: Let’s say you had nothing to do with the negative situation, maybe you weren’t involved at all. You’re still responsible for how you respond to it.

This is what is called your ‘response-ability’ — your ability to respond in a positive way. And again, to respond in a positive way, you simply repeat to yourself “I am responsible.

You can use this technique in any situation, whether your struggling to stay positive while cold calling prospects or beginning to doubt your ability to learn how to write a book. By focusing on your response and repeating an affirmation, you are providing your mind with a positive thought that will keep you motivated, confident, and happy.

You Have Complete Control

The truth is nobody can make you feel negative, other than you. If you think about things that make you feel unhappy or angry, you are going to feel negative. If you think about things that make you happy and excited about your life, you will feel positive .

When you learn how to harness the power of positive thinking you will be able to control your emotions in any situation.

The most important thing to remember about negative feelings is this: you have complete control over the way you feel, the way you respond to any situation and the things you think about at any minute of the day.

Exercise your ability to respond positively, take responsibility for your role in negative situations, and allow yourself to let go of negative feelings that might be trapped inside of you.

Before we wrap up, I’d like to leave you with a thought to share with your friends and followers:

“Accept complete responsibility for every part of your life. Refuse to blame others or make excuses.” @BrianTracy Tweet This

For more uplifting life quotes like this one, check out my favorite post 56 Inspirational Motivational Quotes About Success And Life.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

My question today is:

“Which recent negative situation in your life can you turn into a positive?”

Leave a comment below, and I’ll be sure to follow up with you.

Part of turning negative situations into positive ones has to do with your level of self-confidence. Learn what your current level of self-confidence is by clicking the button below to take my self-confidence assessment .

Shareable Quotes on Positivity

How to change your perspective on negative situations

About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian’s goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

How to change your perspective on negative situations

Editor’s Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Jan Coate‘s book, Attitude-inize:10 Secrets to a Positive You, (Beacon Hill Press, 2011).

A positive attitude contributes to success in life more than anything else, according to a Stanford Research Institute study that shows a full 87.5 percent of people’s success can be traced to their positive attitudes, while just 12.5 percent of their success comes from their aptitude, knowledge, or skills.

What can you do if your mind is weighed down by negative attitudes that limit your success? You can change your attitudes, with God’s help. Here’s how:

Understand the power of attitude. If you allow negative attitudes (such as anxiety, envy, anger, bitterness, or pride) to grab hold of your mind, those attitudes will lead you to make negative decisions that will affect your life in negative ways. But if you choose to develop and maintain positive attitudes, your life will become positive as a result. Even when you encounter the challenges and tragedies of living in a fallen world, you’ll be able to deal with them successfully when you choose to approach life with positive attitudes. But keep in mind that changing negative attitudes to positive ones isn’t an instant event; it’s a lifelong process that requires perseverance. Ask God to help you each day, and study Jesus’ life, since He is the ultimate example of how to live in a fallen world with positive attitudes.

Respond rather than react to unexpected change. Change will sometimes surprise you, and when that change is negative you may be drawn into a crisis. Whenever that happens, avoid reacting negatively and instead deliberately decide to respond positively. Keep in mind that you can’t control situations or people, but you can choose how you’ll respond to them. Ask God to give you four key gifts to help you respond to unexpected change in positive ways: hope, faith in Him, a clear vision of what He wants you to do next, and the energy to do what He wants you to do. Whenever it’s possible for you to change troubling circumstances or relationships, make the effort to do so. Whenever you can’t change them, ask God to give you the peace you need to deal with them.

Be accountable for your life. Let go of a victim’s attitude, since blaming others for what’s happened to you (from divorce to a job loss) won’t help make your life better. Avoid self-pity and excuses for not changing your life, too. Realize that no matter what has happened to you in the past, you do have the power to change, with God’s help. Focus on God’s promises to give you the strength you need to grow and move into a better future, and rely on that strength every day. Instead of looking inward, look outward to other people in need and obey God’s call to help them; in the process, you’ll start to feel better about your own life. Take responsibility for moving forward in the ways God leads you to move forward, and you’ll see your life becoming more positive.

Examine your soul. Ask God to help you take an honest look inside your soul to identify what specific types of negative attitudes are lurking inside, such as: pride, fear, anger, sadness, jealousy, doubt, resentment, bitterness, and low self-esteem. Then confess each of the negative attitudes to God and repent of them, inviting God to transform you from the inside out. Going forward, each time you become aware of an unhealthy, negative thought in your mind, give it to God in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind so you can think the way He wants you to think – which will help you develop positive attitudes to fill your soul regularly.

Forgive yourself and others. Accept the forgiveness that God offers you for your sins, and be faithful to God’s call to forgive others who have sinned against you. Doing so will release the poison of bitterness from your soul, which will flush out negative attitudes and make room for positive attitudes to take their place. In the process, your stress levels will decrease and the amount of peace you experience will increase.

Prepare for obstacles. It’s inevitable in this fallen world that you’ll face difficult circumstances in the future that can lead you to give into negativity if you don’t prepare for them now. So invest time in practices that will help you develop new habits of positive thinking that will solidify positive attitudes in your life. When fear and discouragement cloud your thinking, seek wisdom from prayer, reading the Bible, and talking with godly people you trust. Pray regularly for God to fulfill His unique purposes in your life, and expect big results, with faith in God’s sovereign power. When you need encouragement, read God’s promises to you in the Bible and spend time with encouraging people while avoiding negative ones. Be patient when working to reach the goals God has inspired you to achieve, relying on His strength each step of the way. Keep in mind that every obstacle you may face pales in comparison to the power of God’s love for you.

Learn to receive and give love. The more you can receive God’s love and give it to other people, the more positive your perspective on life will become. So make your relationship with God your top priority, and devote lots of time and energy to prayer and other spiritual disciplines that will help you grow closer to Him. Ask God to help you see yourself as He sees you, and base your identity on the fact that you’re God’s beloved child. Pray for the Holy Spirit to manifest more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in your life, so you’ll be empowered to love other people in the ways God wants you to love them.

Take charge of your thoughts. Ask God to help you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, and practice thinking about what’s true, lovely and honorable until doing so becomes a habit. Read the Bible regularly to remind yourself of how blessed you are as someone who is accepted, secure, and significant thanks to your relationship with Jesus.

Transform from the inside out. Release control of every part of your life – from your relationships to your work – to God, trusting Him to guide you to what’s best in all of your decisions. As you abandon a self-centered life for a God-centered life, you’ll find that you’ll be following God’s guidance because you want to, not because you have to do so. Your sense of hope will grow in the process, which will nurture positive attitudes in your life.

Make a positive difference in God’s kingdom. Pray that God will make you a vessel for His love to flow through into the lives of other people. Every day, make the most of the opportunities God gives you to inspire other people to develop positive attitudes, by loving and serving them through both what you say and what you do.

How to change your perspective on negative situations

Editor’s Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Jan Coate‘s book, Attitude-inize:10 Secrets to a Positive You, (Beacon Hill Press, 2011).

A positive attitude contributes to success in life more than anything else, according to a Stanford Research Institute study that shows a full 87.5 percent of people’s success can be traced to their positive attitudes, while just 12.5 percent of their success comes from their aptitude, knowledge, or skills.

What can you do if your mind is weighed down by negative attitudes that limit your success? You can change your attitudes, with God’s help. Here’s how:

Understand the power of attitude. If you allow negative attitudes (such as anxiety, envy, anger, bitterness, or pride) to grab hold of your mind, those attitudes will lead you to make negative decisions that will affect your life in negative ways. But if you choose to develop and maintain positive attitudes, your life will become positive as a result. Even when you encounter the challenges and tragedies of living in a fallen world, you’ll be able to deal with them successfully when you choose to approach life with positive attitudes. But keep in mind that changing negative attitudes to positive ones isn’t an instant event; it’s a lifelong process that requires perseverance. Ask God to help you each day, and study Jesus’ life, since He is the ultimate example of how to live in a fallen world with positive attitudes.

Respond rather than react to unexpected change. Change will sometimes surprise you, and when that change is negative you may be drawn into a crisis. Whenever that happens, avoid reacting negatively and instead deliberately decide to respond positively. Keep in mind that you can’t control situations or people, but you can choose how you’ll respond to them. Ask God to give you four key gifts to help you respond to unexpected change in positive ways: hope, faith in Him, a clear vision of what He wants you to do next, and the energy to do what He wants you to do. Whenever it’s possible for you to change troubling circumstances or relationships, make the effort to do so. Whenever you can’t change them, ask God to give you the peace you need to deal with them.

Be accountable for your life. Let go of a victim’s attitude, since blaming others for what’s happened to you (from divorce to a job loss) won’t help make your life better. Avoid self-pity and excuses for not changing your life, too. Realize that no matter what has happened to you in the past, you do have the power to change, with God’s help. Focus on God’s promises to give you the strength you need to grow and move into a better future, and rely on that strength every day. Instead of looking inward, look outward to other people in need and obey God’s call to help them; in the process, you’ll start to feel better about your own life. Take responsibility for moving forward in the ways God leads you to move forward, and you’ll see your life becoming more positive.

Examine your soul. Ask God to help you take an honest look inside your soul to identify what specific types of negative attitudes are lurking inside, such as: pride, fear, anger, sadness, jealousy, doubt, resentment, bitterness, and low self-esteem. Then confess each of the negative attitudes to God and repent of them, inviting God to transform you from the inside out. Going forward, each time you become aware of an unhealthy, negative thought in your mind, give it to God in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind so you can think the way He wants you to think – which will help you develop positive attitudes to fill your soul regularly.

Forgive yourself and others. Accept the forgiveness that God offers you for your sins, and be faithful to God’s call to forgive others who have sinned against you. Doing so will release the poison of bitterness from your soul, which will flush out negative attitudes and make room for positive attitudes to take their place. In the process, your stress levels will decrease and the amount of peace you experience will increase.

Prepare for obstacles. It’s inevitable in this fallen world that you’ll face difficult circumstances in the future that can lead you to give into negativity if you don’t prepare for them now. So invest time in practices that will help you develop new habits of positive thinking that will solidify positive attitudes in your life. When fear and discouragement cloud your thinking, seek wisdom from prayer, reading the Bible, and talking with godly people you trust. Pray regularly for God to fulfill His unique purposes in your life, and expect big results, with faith in God’s sovereign power. When you need encouragement, read God’s promises to you in the Bible and spend time with encouraging people while avoiding negative ones. Be patient when working to reach the goals God has inspired you to achieve, relying on His strength each step of the way. Keep in mind that every obstacle you may face pales in comparison to the power of God’s love for you.

Learn to receive and give love. The more you can receive God’s love and give it to other people, the more positive your perspective on life will become. So make your relationship with God your top priority, and devote lots of time and energy to prayer and other spiritual disciplines that will help you grow closer to Him. Ask God to help you see yourself as He sees you, and base your identity on the fact that you’re God’s beloved child. Pray for the Holy Spirit to manifest more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in your life, so you’ll be empowered to love other people in the ways God wants you to love them.

Take charge of your thoughts. Ask God to help you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, and practice thinking about what’s true, lovely and honorable until doing so becomes a habit. Read the Bible regularly to remind yourself of how blessed you are as someone who is accepted, secure, and significant thanks to your relationship with Jesus.

Transform from the inside out. Release control of every part of your life – from your relationships to your work – to God, trusting Him to guide you to what’s best in all of your decisions. As you abandon a self-centered life for a God-centered life, you’ll find that you’ll be following God’s guidance because you want to, not because you have to do so. Your sense of hope will grow in the process, which will nurture positive attitudes in your life.

Make a positive difference in God’s kingdom. Pray that God will make you a vessel for His love to flow through into the lives of other people. Every day, make the most of the opportunities God gives you to inspire other people to develop positive attitudes, by loving and serving them through both what you say and what you do.