Have you ever faced a challenge where the end result perhaps didn’t go as you planned? Might it have led to feelings of stress and anxiety when attempting to face other challenges in the future?
We have all been there before. We have all applied for professional positions that we didn’t get picked for. We have all expressed feelings that were not shared back. We have all been let down by the outcome of a situation. This can lead to feelings of rejection, sadness, hopelessness, and depression. In fact, we often take the negative, stressful outcomes of certain events and apply them to events that might happen in the future. This could affect how we think about our own capabilities, devalue ourselves, and lead us to become stressed out by the future, which, in reality, has many positive possibilities. It, however, doesn’t have to be this way.
Visualizing times where you overcame obstacles that you thought were insurmountable can help frame current challenges in a positive way. If you have managed to overcome similar situations before, what is stopping you from doing it again? Think about the biggest challenge which you currently face. Now think about three other challenges you have faced in the past which are somewhat similar. Write down what you did to overcome each one. Once you have that written down, imagine these same outcomes applying to your current situation. Visualize yourself confronting your current challenge with the same solution you used to overcome the other three challenges. We often use words like “never” and “always” to describe our situations. How might you positively reframe your future without judgment words like these? You have the ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges, because you have before.
Whenever you are feeling hopeless or unconfident in your abilities, return to this exercise to remind yourself of your strength and the challenges you have already overcome to get to where you are today.
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