One of the biggest hurdles we face in our professional and personal lives is bouncing back from a challenging situation. I’m sure you’ll agree, life often feels extremely challenging; wins can seem rare and we are under constant stress, and constantly questioning whether we’re on the right path in our pursuit for happiness.

So, here are some techniques for turning a negative experience into a positive by developing your resilience.

Resilience is about understanding how you can bounce back from a challenging situation. What tends to happen in the workplace is, the challenging situation is mostly imagined in our heads. In other words, we need to learn how to master our thinking. For example, has your boss ever come up to you and said, “Hey, we need to have a chat.” All of a sudden, you might find yourself thinking: “Oh my gosh, what’s this about”? or “Am I going to get fired”? Much of the time we go down a negative route and stress ourselves out.

Here are three techniques that will enable you to turn a negative situation into a positive:

1. Shift your thinking — It seems simple but changing the way that you think about negative situations is very powerful. We can’t control what happens around us or to us, but we can always control how we think and react. Whenever you enter a situation which you create a negative meaning about it’s usually because we are asking questions like: “what if I get fired”? “What if I get made redundant”? “What if something bad happens”? Shift your thinking to the opposite question or situation. Ask yourself “What if it doesn’t happen? What if it’s a totally different thing?” Shifting your thinking enables your brain to change meaning. It’s really powerful.

2. Be grateful — When you’re in a space of fear or worry, think about something you’re appreciative of.  It might be the fact that you’re alive today, or that you’ve got a great relationship, or you’ve got a job. Write down what you are grateful for and why you’re grateful. This works well because your brain cannot process fear and appreciation at the same time. When you’re in fear and you think about something you’re appreciative of, the brain switches functions.

3. Set goals — If you don’t already, learn to set specific and achievable personal goals – it’s incredibly important to set and achieve goals, and to learn from your experiences. Be confident that you’re going to succeed, despite the setbacks or stresses that you might be facing. This belief in yourself enables you to develop the confidence and a strong sense of self to keep moving forward, and to achieve your goals.

These are the three techniques that will help you turn the negative into the positive.

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