Pete Brand
Grand Rapids, MI

I am married to an incredible woman named Amanda and have five amazing children. I would consider myself an entrepreneur and absolutely love the challenge of building businesses. I also love the journey of personal development. I don't believe in drifting through life on auto-pilot. I believe we are presented each day with opportunities to improve and become better. I choose to embrace these opportunities and use the lessons I learn to become a better "me" and continuously strive to embrace each moment!

Stay in the loop with me!

Sign up to get notified when new content is posted to my site! It's Quick, Easy and Valuable!

Personal Growth Success in Business Success in Life

Everybody Gets Down At Times … Successful People Don’t Stay Down!

By on November 2, 2009

I work very hard to maintain a positive attitude and a positive outlook on life.  The longer I’ve focused on this, sometimes elusive goal, the easier it has become to maintain a positive outlook on my life and the challenges I am faced with.

Although it has gotten easier with time, it can still be difficult.

I used to think people who constantly preached the importance of being a “Positive Thinker,” were strange.  I always thought these people needed to wake up and smell the coffee!

It seemed as thought they bought into some “cult-like” belief that if they said, “Everything is great” … that somehow they could trick themselves into some delusional belief that everything was “ok” no matter how much crap they had to deal with.

I’ve finally arrived at the point in my life where I understand the value of maintaining a positive outlook, but I am also a realist.

Everything isn’t always rosy, and we’re all going to be forced to deal with negative events whether we want to admit it or not.

Uh oh …. If you are one of those positive thinkers you may be covering your ears and closing your eyes while humming …. trying as hard as you can to keep the previous message from seeping into your belief system.  🙂

If you are trying to ignore reality, it’s only going to lead to frustration.

The bottom line is …

You can’t control what happens to you, you can only control how you react when those events occur.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t healthy to work as hard as you can to learn a very positive lesson from the most horrible of events.  Especially if that event was a result of a poor decision on your part, or a consistent behavior pattern that lead to the event.

Will those negative events still get you down?  Only if you are human!  🙂

There is nothing wrong with having a day where you are down or feel overwhelmed from time to time.  That doesn’t mean I am advocating sitting around, sucking your thumb, and feeling bad for yourself for extended periods of time.

I’m just saying it’s perfectly normal to be down, but it’s not “ok” to stay down!

Thinking back over the previous 20 years I can point to times where I was “in the dumps” for months at a time.  These were times where I would simply wallow in the challenges I was faced with and where I found it almost impossible to focus on anything that was positive.

Once I finally realized that I had no control over negative events and began to focus ONLY on the things I could control, I began to handle adversity MUCH better.

Today I still have a day or two each month where I feel completely overwhelmed and find it extremely challenging to maintain a positive attitude and outlook.

Instead of beating myself up when I feel this way (as I used to), I now simply accept it, and work as hard as I can to get through it fast.

It doesn’t matter if I need to read a book, listen to a tape, whine to a mentor, or just go for a long walk.  I do whatever it takes to shorten the amount of “down time” and get back to the positive state I’ve learned to enjoy.

What do you do when you find yourself in that dark place where even the positive appears negative?  Do you have little “rituals” you go through to get back up, or do you simply succumb to the negativity?  I’d love it if you would leave a comment and help equip the rest of us with tools we can use to decrease the down time.

  1. Deborah Richmond

    November 5, 2009

    Learning to recover quickly from those moments of overwhelm has been one of the biggest lessons in life for me. I know they are going to happen for all sorts of reasons. Any small business owner knows there are so many details to be attended to that sometimes they all hit you at once. But the feeling of overwhelm will pass. I remind myself in those moments, just hang on, it goes away. Then dig in and handle the situation at hand.

  2. admin

    November 5, 2009

    Great advice Deborah!