There’s no denying that things won’t always go according to plan, and sometimes, life can throw us a curveball, leaving us feeling discouraged and even defeated.
While this is true, you must learn how to create positive consequences or outcomes in different situations if you’re looking to develop a positive mindset. This ability will help you live a happier and more fulfilling life.
Exactly how do you go about creating positive outcomes, especially when negative things come at you seemingly from out of the blue?
Here are 7 effective strategies for creating positive outcomes, regardless of whatever situation you experience.
1. Look at the Situation From a Different Perspective
Have you ever wondered why two people would react differently to the same situation? It comes down to the lens through which they view the situation.
That’s another way of saying the way you think about a situation plays a huge role in your response as well as the outcome.
A study published in the International Journal of Advanced Psychiatric Nursing reveals that our individual worlds can change for the better if we leverage cognitive reframing to shift our perspectives to more helpful ways of thinking.
By the way, cognitive reframing simply means reframing your thoughts.
Of course, shifting your thinking pattern won’t automatically change your situation, at least not instantly.
However, reframing your thoughts can make you feel better about a situation. And with an improved emotional state, you are more likely to engage in constructive thinking, which can help you handle the situation better.
2. Appreciate the Good in Your Life
Gratitude is one of the best ways to bring about consistent positive consequences in different situations. Appreciating the good in your life, even when your plans go south, puts you firmly in control of how you respond to challenging situations.
And what do they say about gratitude? It attracts more things to be grateful for.
In other words, you set yourself up to get more pleasant outcomes in the future when you are grateful for the things you have, even though the current situation appears unfavorable.
Notice how I used “appears unfavorable” in the last sentence. It is deliberate!
And why is that?
Situations, circumstances, and events are inherently neutral. We tend to label them as good, bad, favorable, unfavorable, positive, and negative (and there’s nothing wrong with doing so).
However, the things that happen in our lives don’t create our experience of life. Instead, our interpretation and reaction to the events create our experience of life.
I think it’s hard for seemingly unfavorable events to put you down if you are genuinely thankful for every situation. If anything, it increases your chances of finding the good, even in downright ugly situations.
Your state of being ― your mental attitude ― is unaffected by external situations, meaning you create the outcomes you want, no matter what.
3. Use Goals to Stay Motivated
Goals are powerful tools for sharpening our focus and helping us stay motivated. Although life can be unpredictable, setting goals and working toward achieving them can keep you moving, even when life blindsides you.
And staying motivated is essential to creating positive outcomes.
Here’s the thing, though.
Goals can only help you stay focused and motivated if they are realistic, not for others, but for you. It’s easy to get discouraged and throw in the towel if you set goals that are too high and can’t achieve them.
To ensure this strategy helps you turn negative situations around, make sure to set challenging but achievable goals. That means your goals must align with your core values and make you feel alive when you think about them or work toward them.
Need tips for creating realistic goals? Check out this post on setting monthly goals.
4. Embrace the Only Constant in Life – Change
Like the truth, change can be scary, but there’s no avoiding it. In our quest to resist change, we only create suffering and emotional pain.
Instead of pushing against change, embrace it wholeheartedly.
Don’t accept change resignedly or reluctantly, as that type of mental attitude puts you in victim mode, making you powerless to create a positive outcome.
To embrace change isn’t just about making peace with a situation because you have no choice. Instead, it means to be enthusiastic as you look for the opportunities hidden in the unexpected situation.
By focusing on the potential advantages in a seemingly difficult situation created by change, you tune your mind to the frequency of empowering thoughts. Where others see problems and challenges, you see opportunities for growth and development. That’s how to create positive consequences from uncertainty.
5. Leverage the Peace That Comes From Mindfulness Practices
You can reduce knee-jerk reactions to unpleasant situations by engaging in mindfulness practices regularly. Mindfulness helps you be centered and present in your moments, observing events and situations without labeling or judging.
This strategy can be tricky to master, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier to take a neutral stance when things don’t go your way rather than reacting too quickly and making matters worse.
Here are two of my go-to mindfulness practices. You can try them too or look up others here.
Meditation offers plenty of mental, emotional, and physical benefits. Regularly practicing it can help you gain deeper insights into challenging situations, increasing your chances of turning bad situations around and creating positive consequences.
Notice how your breath speeds up and your heart rate becomes more rapid when stressed, fearful, or generally unhappy about a situation. That’s your cue to slow things down or risk feeling worse and perpetuating the unwanted situation.
But you don’t have to wait until you’re tensed to practice deep breathing exercises. Make it a habit to deliberately slow your breathing, taking deeper breaths into your diaphragm. This helps you to feel calmer and think more constructively.
And the more constructive your thinking is, the better the outcome you can create.
6. Learn From Failure
No doubt, mistakes, failures, and setbacks don’t feel great, but they are part of life, and we must all experience them at some point in our lives.
You’ve got two options when things don’t go according to plan; dwell on what went wrong or focus on the lessons of the experience.
Choosing to dwell on what went wrong will only increase the feeling of frustration and unhappiness. It might even lead to discouragement and giving up on what you set out to do initially.
On the other hand, focusing on what you can learn from the experience will help you avoid making the same mistake in the future. That’s to say, you can create a more favorable outcome by leveraging the lessons in failure.
7. Take Action
Challenging situations can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure about your next move. This is especially true if you’re very attached to a particular outcome, but things don’t go as planned.
And while feeling disappointed or even frustrated is natural in this case, those emotions don’t feel empowering. Taking action is the quickest way to regain control and get back on track.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity, take steps to create a more favorable outcome by:
- Identifying what you need to do differently to bring about a better outcome.
- Take consistent steps, no matter how small.
Keep in mind that positive thinking is not merely about holding pleasant thoughts in your mind without taking appropriate and consistent action.
We live in a physical world where nothing gets done unless people take action. While I strongly believe in the power of meditation, visualization, and other mindfulness practices to influence and shape our physical world, action and appropriate behavior are still central parts of creating the outcomes we desire.
The benefit of spiritual or mindfulness practices is that they help you take aligned actions rather than haphazard ones.
You can create positive rather than negative consequences, even in the most challenging situations. Of course, this is not the easiest thing in the world to do, but by practicing the strategies in this article, you can experience increased happiness, positive attention and find the expectation of greater life satisfaction.
As you already know, turning challenging situations into positive experiences won’t happen overnight; you must practice the strategies regularly to see results.
However, beyond results, incorporating these practices in your daily life helps you develop a positive mindset and create lasting inner peace.