finding happiness

8 Steps to Transform Negativity into Positive Results

Think of the last time you embarked on a big project or maybe the thought of turning your wildest dream into a reality, were your thoughts about it mostly negative? Focusing on every possible setback can hinder your ability to move forward.

Up until college you basically have a guide of what is expected of you and what you need to do next, a semester at a time.

After you graduate you begin to realize that everything from that moment on is on you. No one is going to tell you what jobs to apply to, the ideal career path or even where to start.

So you can imagine my dismay when I was trying to get my career off of the ground. When you’re so used to be told what to do, with little to no wiggle room, you get comfortable not having a say.

I just picked my major and minor, and they took care of the rest. Then after taking off the cap and gown, it’s thrown completely into your lap.

Being solely responsible for your success can be anxiety inducing. You’ll begin to have thoughts of the “what ifs” and other catastrophes. Focusing on the lack of opportunities and low pay will not motivate you to get on your game. If anything, it’ll probably add to you going nowhere fast.

Instead you have to reframe your thoughts and focus on the positive in order to make it through so you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And not in just this situation, but really any negative situation.

 8 Steps from Negative to Positive

1. You’re going to have negative thoughts

You can’t erase them completely. It’s perfectly normal to have them here and there. As long as they don’t consume all of your thoughts and you can move away from them, you’ll be able to recover.

There are some things in life that you just cannot avoid. And you can count this as one of them. You have to take the good with the bad, but if you have a way to get thru the bad, it’s all good.

 2. Be accountable for your thoughts

After all they’re yours. You have complete control over what goes through your mind. It may seem like random thoughts just pop in unexpectedly but you can still move them out.

Your thoughts are the result of something from within. It could be insight on your fears. Acknowledge it and address them. If you don’t take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings, you will not be able to do anything about it.

3. No need to share

You have to deal with your negative thoughts to move forward, but you don’t need to advertise them. Constantly talking about your negative just makes you more negative. It consumes your conversation, drains you mentally and physically and becomes a pattern of behavior that is hard to break.

You’ll experience more setbacks if you become accustom to verbalizing the negative. Because you’re so focused on the negative, there is no positive in sight.

It’s ok to vent about your frustrations, just make sure you have control of your feelings before you do so. You should only vent when you’re calm or else you could be just adding fuel to the fire.

And you don’t have to vent to another person, you can simply write it down and throw it out.

4. Change your ‘tude

When you feel yourself getting down in the dumps, drop it and move on to something else. You can either start looking for the good in that situation or you can change your focus completely.

Think of something that makes you happy or turn on a comedy to get a couple laughs.

5. Identify the positive

You can do this by making a mental note or actually jotting it down, this can be an added benefit if you keep a journal. When you have a negative experience, look for the silver lining. Try to find the positive in it all, it’s there somewhere.

Everything happens for a reason, when you look for the positive you may discover that reason sooner than you would have before.

Then you can express appreciation and contently move forward, instead of sulking in disgust.

6. Focus on the big thing

Little things can come up out of nowhere and throw you off. You can lose focus and blow small things out of portion. This distraction can throw off your whole game and make you stagnant.

By remembering that it’s just a piece of the puzzle you can reframe your mind to focus on a solution and get closer to the larger goal.

7. Think ahead

With trying to be more positive, I noticed that I started each morning with negative thoughts. I would automatically begin griping to myself about things and people. To change that, so I didn’t carry on with it for the rest of my day, I would think about things that would happen later in the day.

I would focus on the feeling on leaving work early for the day, meeting up with a friend or things I wanted to accomplish that evening.

As I did this, not only was I in a better mood each morning, which lead to a better day, but I was more productive. My positive mood resulted in a positive approach throughout the day.

8. Acknowledge your progress

This will probably be the best part of it all, and the unmatchable fuel to your fire of momentum. Once you made the continuous effort to be more positive good things will shine through.

Looking back and recognizing the change will not only make you feel good but motivate you to keep on, maybe even turn it up a notch.

Don’t be hesitant to reward yourself. Making this kind of change is not easy and it takes time and persistence. You earned it and surely deserve it.

There’s no point in waiting any longer, begin now. The sooner you transform the negativity into positivity the sooner you’ll see the fruits of your labor.

Your new positive perspective will open your eyes to new experiences and opportunities. I would not be surprised if you created something that could’ve never been born under your previous mindset.

In time this whole process will become second nature to you. Life will be brighter and easier. You will be completely transformed for the better.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

7 Responses to 8 Steps to Transform Negativity into Positive Results

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