Bad things happen. We lose a job. A loved one dies. We divorce. We suffer a health issue. A natural disaster occurs. When disaster surrounds us, how is your mindset? Do you cuss and cry and wallow in pity, or do you regroup and step forward with determination? If you slip into a negative mindset, it can quickly lead to other or contribute to existing failures.
2009 was the year disaster came my way. It started by quitting my job to salvage a marriage of 19 years. By midyear I divorced, left the state, and had half the assets my husband and I stringently built, never expecting to divorce. My grandfather died in July. I suffered a health issue Thanksgiving Day. My father suffered an injury that left him severely brain damaged. Let’s not forget the economic turmoil and I was 45 years old, unemployed, and in a new state (geographical as well as mental mindset).
It was tough to bounce back after the last half of 2009. While I did everything right on the outside to deal with the loss, inside was where the storm raged.
For 3 years.
During those years, I battled what I thought was the biggest obstacle to my success: introversion. I attended up to 5 networking events per week, within a 150 mile radius to build awareness for my business.
Growth occurred externally, but internally, I continued to grieve all I lost in 2009. While I blamed myself for much of the sorrow, I was also guilty of waiting for things to improve on their own.
It wasn’t until my mother, still grieving the loss of her husband (who was in a semi-vegetative state) said, “Nothing every goes right for our little family.”
“That’s not true!” I insisted. When she asked me to prove it, however, I couldn’t. We had been so locked in our negative mindset that growth and peace continued to evade us. The dark clouds still hovered and I was appalled by my negativity. I could have done something to end the storm.
Blowing the Clouds Away
It started with a smile. A soul-deep smile that radiated throughout the body. A smile that would attract people rather than keep them at a distance.
Next, I sought positivity in the past tragedies and applied it to the growth and opportunity in the present. With these tools, smiling became easier and I didn’t feel so mentally weighed down.
Glimpses of Light
The Universe observed my activity. It wasn’t going to immediately give me a thumbs-up and lay out a shiny red carpet in front of me. Nope. It tested me. A new lead backed out at the last minute. A client wasn’t pleased with my services. I got bronchitis. Twice. My laptop died. I was tempted to slip back into the storm, but moved forward instead.
Then tiny things happened. I slept better. Clients sent referrals. Migraines diminished. My blog took on new life as I focused on entrepreneurship and life after 50.
My rebrand progressed until Dad died November 2015. There were a few related setbacks but they didn’t hold me for long.
Until June 2017. I lost my two largest clients due to budget cuts and suddenly had no money coming in. This was a huge trial for me, but I kept going.
The Results of a Positive Mindset
The gloom faded quickly.
The storm didn’t infect other aspects of life.
Opportunities were easier to identify.
Additionally, I could dedicate myself fully to my rebrand without other projects competing for my time and attention.
Armed with these super powers, I got back to business with fire and determination. In under 2 months I got published in 6 online publications and was ASKED to become associate editor for Boomalally magazine.
Blow the clouds away.
Believe in yourself.
Test your limits and push past them.
Ignore the naysayers
Abandon the self-pity. It only gives others the opportunity to race past you.
Don’t waste another minute. Too much has already been wasted.
Make every moment count.
Recently, my mother sent a text message saying she’s having a burst of happiness. When I encouraged her to have more, she said, “I’m not normally a positive person, so I’m sure you have something to do with it.”
That certainly made me smile.
Are you ready to smile again? You’ll quickly discover that a positive mindset is contagious.
Kristen Edens is a content and brand development specialist for business. She is the founder of the Managing Midlife blog and covers topics of finance, second acts, and caregiving for the Sandwich Generation. Her writing has been featured at Business.com, Booming Encore, Small Business Monthly, St. Louis Women’s Journal, Missouri SourceLink, Better After 50, and Thrive Global. Her latest adventure is becoming the associate editor and oracle of inspiration for Boomalally, a magazine dedicated to those celebrating a life well lived after 50.