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Have you hit a rough spot in your life?

I know I have, on a number of occasions, may it be professionally, health-wise or in relationships. Life sometimes throws you curve balls and in the midst of it, it can be a real challenge.

But there is one thing that I have found to be extremely helpful, and this one thing often takes you to much greater heights than you were ever before.

It starts by recognizing that we get to choose our perception of things. I love this quote from Dr. Maxwell Maltz that illustrates this concept: “It is a fact that you lost $200,000. It is your opinion that you are ruined and disgraced.”

Your opinion, your attitude, and your perception make the difference in what happens next.

Consider this – what type of thoughts will you have if you think you are disgraced and ruined? Thoughts of the same frequency follow one another… What type of actions will you take if you think you are ruined and disgraced?

Now on the flip-side, if you think, “Ok, I lost the money, but I’m going to earn it back.” What type of thoughts and actions do you think it will trigger? Yes, you will start getting ideas on how to earn that money back and then some! You will reach new heights like you never thought before! You will learn your lesson from this $200,000 loss and build something bigger and stronger.

You truly have the power to turn something negative into something positive – if you look for it.

As Kurt Vonnegut wrote,

“Even the bad stuff is an opportunity. There are possibilities there. In fact, I see more possibilities in adversity than in, say, lying on satin pillows.”

Here is where to start: Don’t accept problems at face value. We tend to focus on what’s wrong – make a conscious effort to search for what’s good. Ask yourself, what good could come out of this? How can I turn this into an opportunity, a stepping stone? Look for that silver lining. Now, it is not easy. You will need to train yourself to embrace the idea that good things hide in strange places.

Then, reflect in your life at some of the challenges and hardships that you went through – if you look closely, you will often find that something good came out of it, even though you couldn’t see it at the time. You are in a better place now. In fact, what you thought at the time was the worst problem may have turned into the best thing that ever happened to you!

When you start shifting your thoughts to what could be good in this situation, to the positive side of things, you start attracting resources, ideas that can help you improve that situation and rise to new levels. You are focused on solutions instead of counter-productive thoughts. We start seeing opportunities that we never saw before.

It's a matter of choice: Are you going to let this be a problem, a stumbling block or are you going to use it as a stepping stone? The choice you make is the key to success, happiness, confidence and fulfillment.

Successful people also encounter problems, but it’s all about how they deal with them. They have developed (through discipline and in most cases with mentors) a mindset that accepts nothing but success.

I love how Price Pritchett says it: “Problems almost never leave us like they find us. Ordinarily we end up either richer or poorer. Stronger or weaker. Better or worse off. Just as wind meeting an airplane wing will either lift or lower the plane, adversity confronts us with a choice. We can grow bitter, act helpless, even give up. Or we can lick our wounds, lift ourselves up, and start searching for the opportunity inside the problem… Just remember—how you construe a situation literally helps create the reality. And the way you frame problems heavily influences how effective you are in dealing with them.”

Pritchett then goes on to say: “People seldom get in touch with their deepest strengths and greatest abilities until it’s forced upon them by major challenges. Only then do we really have the opportunity to discover ourselves and the world of possibilities.” This is what causes us to rise to new heights in the face of challenges.

Remember: You have power and strength over the challenges you encounter – you choose how you respond and what you make of them.

So what are you going to turn into a stepping stone?

Lu Tandazo

Transformational Mindset Coach

And remember, you are not alone! Reach out!

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