- Have you had more than your fair share of hardships lately?
- Are you isolated and feeling discouraged about your circumstances? Have you lost something or someone important in your life?
- Does it sometimes feel like you'll never get that job or relationship that seems to come so freely to others?
How Do They Do It?
What are the secrets of upbeat people? Why are they able to maintain optimism in the face of difficult situations and exhibit resiliency in stressful situations? What do upbeat people do differently to bounce back?
The Secrets to Staying Upbeat
Upbeat people have faith in their ability to create their future. Through taking action they show themselves they are empowered to direct their lives--even when they're down.
Upbeat people understand the key to being empowered-- Knowing they have choices and acting on those choices. They always have one more action to take and one more card up their sleeve. This gives them power and a resilient attitude.
For upbeat people, their patience and persistence ultimately leads to payoffs. As long as we have options we can act on, we can move past disappointment and discouragement.
From Discouraged to Determined to Delighted
If you watch upbeat people carefully when they're in a difficult moment, you'll see them artfully wiggle out of being stuck. It isn't necessarily a conscious action; it's just a natural reaction to being stuck. They don't like it, so they step beyond it.
I got a call from a young friend who was discouraged that a job she thought she was going to get fell through. When she didn't get the call she was expecting, she went back to the restaurant to check on the status of her application and was told they gave the job to someone else. Discouraged, she called to talk. I listened.
As she talked, she described what happened and acknowledged her disappointment. As I listened I witnessed her transition from being discouraged to planning her next step. Once she consciously named what happened and how she felt about it her eyes were clearly fixed back on the goal--to get a job. By the time she was finished talking she had gone from discouraged to determined.
"I'm going to print out 20 more resumes today and drop them off," she said.
The next day she called me to say the first place she walked into hired her on the spot. She had regained her power and gone from discouraged to determined to delighted by taking action.
"I like the owner, my co-workers and the customers!"
Like this young woman, upbeat people continue to step into life despite failure, obstacles, and getting hurt. The message is--sometimes that job or relationship is coming with the next step-- so keep taking action in a direction that leads to accomplishing your goal even when you have continuously failed.
Six Steps to Becoming Upbeat After Getting Discouraged
1. Acknowledge your feelings and what happened--then move past your moment of discouragement into a plan for taking the next step.
2. Find your questions and step into life to discover the answers. What are the problems you're trying to solve? What are your current life questions? What's the problem, and what do you want to do about it? Where are your options? What do you choose to do?
If you're lonely and want to be in a relationship, put time into studying what other people do to meet and be available for an opportunity. Where are you living? Where are you working? What do you spend your free time doing? When you examine your current life do you see opportunities to meet people through those activities or in those places, or do you need to rearrange your time and life?
3. Use distraction--sometimes when things just aren't going your way, you can 'act as if' at that moment of loneliness or discouragement. Go do something else--exercise, take a class, visit a friend--and act as if you really want to engage in this distraction to give your mind a rest.
4. Stay connected--call friends to talk through your current situation; join groups with similar interests, get involved in a cause--put your energies into caring about others.
5. Stay well-nourished, well-rested, and active—even when you don't feel like it.
6. Learn to laugh at your troubles. As Will Rogers said, "If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you're old."
Life is often challenging, and sometimes downright hard. Become an upbeat person-- accept the realities of life, and find a way to create pockets of hope through your actions.