Life is going along swimmingly and everything is tickety-boo.
You’re positive, making headway and enjoying yourself.
Then all of a sudden something blindsides you and seems to throw everything out of whack.
It’s usually something completely unexpected and if you’re anything like me, it has more of an impact on you than it really should and tends to allow a spate of other negative events to follow in its wake! It’s the Law of Attraction at work again my lovelies…
So, what do you do when you are confronted with one of these events? And how do you turn a negative into a positive? What do you do when life sends you lemons?
Do you let the lemons get to you and become bitter and sour and wonder ‘why me?’
Do you see the lemons as just another challenge and make lemonade?
Do you do a bit of both?
It’s all well and good someone telling you to ‘think positive’ or ‘get over it’ (my personal favourite), but we all need strategies to help us make lemonade instead of becoming bitter, so here are my five steps to turning lemons into something sweeter:
My 5 Steps to Making Lemonade
Step 1 – Is it Actually a Lemon?
The things that annoy or upset each of us are very different and what someone else may coast through may completely flatten you. We all deal with things differently so what may be a lemon for you might be an orange or banana for someone else (I hope you’re loving these fruit references!). So it’s a really good idea to spend a few moments and get a feel for what it really is about a situation that has pissed you off so much. Truly acknowledge that it is, in fact, a lemon…
Here are some of the questions to ask yourself:
- What button has this specific situation or person pushed that has made me so upset?
- How does this situation make me feel? If you’ve read The Desire Map and have some CDFs this bit should be easy!
- How do I want to feel? ‘coz it sure as hell ain’t like this!!
Grab a coffee (or alcoholic beverage of choice), sit yourself down and get writing. Putting it all on paper, expletives and all, is the first step to dealing with it – you can even draw yourself some lemons if you like!
Once you’ve done this and are sure you have identified it is in fact a lemon you can move on to Step 2.
Step 2 – Talk to Other Lemonade Makers
Don’t stew your lemons by yourself – get out there and talk to the people you admire and know will tell you the truth: AKA ‘Your Tribe’.
In situations like this I call my tribe – amazing women who really get me – and lay it all out. I know they will tell me like it is, so confirming that I do indeed have lemons is healing in itself (Yay – I’m not going mad!!). There’s no use talking to anyone who will drag you back to the bitter bit and tell you to just suck on the lemon – that’s simply counterproductive.
Your next steps will be made so much easier if you have the support of those friends and family who really do have your best interests at heart. It’s important to cultivate these relationships too and don’t forget to be there for them when they need some lemon advice in the future…
Step 3 – Decide to Make Lemonade!
Great. You know you’ve got lemons and you’ve had your sanity check. Now you need to decide what to do with them.
Consciously deciding that you will not allow something bad to scar you forever or send you down the road to bitterness will help you set positive energy in motion. It’s not about getting over your hurt or sorting the situation straight away, it’s about dealing with it in the best way possible and this is all about your mindset. Sending positive vibes out into the Universe is the basis of the Law of Attraction – what you think about becomes your reality. I’m not going to get into the metaphysics of it all here, but it’s really fascinating stuff and so important when you have your arms full of lemons.
One way of rewiring your brain this way is to use affirmations. But you have to find ones that suit you. So, for example mine usually include expletives (of course!). There are lots and lots out there, but Danielle LaPorte’s Truthbombs are my absolute favourites and you can view them online or buy decks of cards – this way you can take them with you as a reminder! Whatever you choose, just keep saying it to yourself any time you find your mind obsessing about the situation. The repetition helps you believe it and you will eventually see the situation in a better light.
Step 4 – Let it Get Messy
There’s no other way around it. If you don’t want this situation to continue to cause issues you have to face it – HEAD ON. There is no use sticking the lemons in a cupboard and hoping they will go away… They’ll just go mouldy. This really is the bit we try to avoid and don’t want to do.
It’s time to squeeze the shit out of your lemons!
This might mean that you have to speak to someone about their behaviour, back out of something you have already agreed to, set some boundaries or change future plans. It’s horrible, stomach-wrenching stuff, but you really, honestly have to go through it.
Yes, you might hurt or let down someone else so you need to try and be kind if you can, but you still have to do it. If you don’t, you’ll just be hurting yourself more in the long term. You have to learn from it do the hard stuff – it’s the only way you’ll avoid it happening again in the future.
This is something I still struggle with, but that’s how I know that it’s a big deal and has to be sorted. It’s also how I live according to my core desired feelings and remain authentic to who I really am – but it still sucks…
Step 5 – Savour the Final Product
Once you’ve done the hard stuff you really need to give yourself some time to process exactly what’s happened. Go back to your initial questions in Step 1 and see what you’ve learned about yourself through the process.
You also need to cut yourself some slack – we all have times that really test us and you are not alone in having to deal with some pretty tough shit. Appreciate what you have been through and celebrate the fact that you’ve made it out the other side. Drink your lemonade and enjoy yourself, you deserve it!
So, that’s how I deal with my lemons. I’ve found that working my way through these steps, without rushing to ‘solve’ the issue, is a great way to learn and avoid the same mistakes or situations again (at least sometimes anyway). Even if it just helps me set better boundaries for the future, I see it as a triumph.