The “negatives” in our lives—negative circumstances, people, thoughts, feelings, habits—are rarely things that we would choose or embrace. And yet, they show up. And the longer we try to ignore them, the longer they tend to stay.
If we flip the negatives upside down and look for the positives in the midst of them, we can diffuse and dissipate the effects of the negative. Here are four ideas to reframe and flip negatives into positives:
Negative emotions often tell us that something isn’t right or that something is missing that you personally value. For example, if you have a boss who is pressuring you to work a lot of overtime on a regular basis, you can notice your negative emotion of anger or frustration as a flag that says, “wait a minute; I need to set better boundaries for myself because when I don’t, it affects my resilience, creativity, health, etc.”
Maybe you’ve felt the negative emotion of embarrassment or shame from a mistake you made—perhaps you felt you did not do your best or you did not measure up. With the Evolution/Solution idea, the negatives could be an invitation to learn a new skill or try out different behaviors.
Rejection Protection/Course Correction
Many of us have experienced the pain of not getting a job we wanted. This can often be life leading and guiding us toward a different path. For example, if someone does not get a long-hoped-for job promotion, perhaps it will be the impetus to pay attention to another long-held desire, such as starting a business.
Negatives can be a reminder, cue, or trigger to activate or generate positive emotions. For example, if you have a coworker who complains a lot, use the person’s negativity as a cue for your own positivity—to feel gratitude, love, pride, etc.