How To Turn Right Side Up

I love it when you guys submit topics for me to write!

Today’s request is again from the Motivated Sista Facebook page: Dee suggested the topic “how to stay positive and motivate others when your world is turning upside down”.

I developed my own method around this problem during my first year of this blog. There were so many times when situations sucked, but I had to keep on pushing. Because how could I motivate you guys if I was attending a solo pity party? Now I’m definitely not perfect… if I just can’t give any motivation (I’m generally positive, unless I’m angry…lol), then I’ll take a break and come back with a new post when I have the motivation mojo.

If you haven’t yet mastered your own method of motivating others while dealing with your own situations, here’s what I’ve found.

When Your World Is Upside Down…

The first thing I do, when I feel overwhelmed and like I’ve lost control, is to remind myself that I am not my circumstance. I tell myself that events that are happening are just that – events. They are not me. When the situation is over I’ll still be the same me. Events come and go, and whatever the problem is, it too shall pass. Even though it may feel like the world will end, life will not end because of what’s happening to me. And I say the same to you, too.

I know that we’re all dealing with some pretty heavy stuff these days – unemployment, death of loved ones, a lingering recession, and other dark and dreary things. I’ve found that life has a funny way of being cyclical. Recessions come after economic highs – a few years ago, this country’s economy was doing well, until different industries came crashing down to change all of that.

Before your loved one passed on, hopefully you shared many happy moments and you have wonderful memories to always hold dear. And if you’re unemployed, at one point you were hoping and praying for the job that you no longer have. You enjoyed it while you had it, but unfortunately now its gone.

How To Stay Positive

Just like with a mountain, you may be in your valley, at what you think is the lowest point. But remind yourself that things are cyclical, and your world will turn right side up again. All you have to do between now and then is hold on and don’t let go of your faith.

Can you plan, right where you are, to get to the place where your world is right side up again? If you can’t plan your way out, that’s ok too. It’s not up to us to figure out how things will happen. Its up to us to ask for what we want and do as much as we can with what we have. But you can’t get to the light at the end of the tunnel if you continually dwell on where you are in the tunnel. Keep looking toward the light, visualizing your life when the turmoil is over yet basking in those things that are going right for you right now.

Never forget that great things are on their way to you – as long as you believe they are. Don’t look back at what’s gone before; don’t dwell on where you are now. Keep focusing on your goals, and do as much as you can to reach them each day. Dwell on what you’re grateful for right now and love yourself – those are the two best ways to stay positive.

And if you can’t do much while things are not going well, then that’s ok. What counts is that you act when you can. Make sure to take time out for mental rejuvenation, to feed your spirit and replay positive thoughts in your mind. One of the things you have control over when your world is upside down is how you react to difficult situations. In order to react in the most positive way possible, allow your mind to rest from stress and worry.

Get Out Of Your Head

Motivating others is a great way to step back from what’s going on in your own life and giving back to others who also need support. However, I’m not an advocate giving of yourself unselfishly – only give time, energy, support and resources to others when you have enough of those things to give. If you’re broke and disgusted, if you’re ill, stressed out or if you need to devote time to resolving your own problems, then you shouldn’t be reaching out to others.

You can only fill somone else’s cup when your own cup is filled first. This is like how they tell you on planes to secure your face mask first, then your child’s mask.

Too often, when we put other people’s needs ahead of our own, we’re left standing holding an empty bag. I’m not condemning the people we help – we don’t ask for anything in return yet we’re offended when we’ve not received reciprocal help. This situation can be avoided by only giving when you can afford to do so.

When you’re ready, taking the time and mental energy to motivate others is a great way to give yourself a break. Helping someone else look on the bright side of life helps you to see those same bright spots too. Motivating someone else from a place of love and abundance will give you such feelings of fulfillment that you need in your own distress. It’s a beautiful feeling to know you’ve helped someone else along your way, no matter what’s going on in your own life.

If you have a topic you’d like me to write about, feel free to let me know at anilia(at) or on the Motivated Sista Facebook page.

6 thoughts on “How To Turn Right Side Up

  1. Neat post! The last few weeks I went through a depressing spell and simply couldn’t get myself motivated.

    What I realised was that though one should ‘think positive’ one shouldn’t really force it and that sometimes it’s okay to be down and stay down as long it it’s not for too long and doesn’t adversly affect significant areas of your life. As you say, life is cyclical, so are moods. To appreciate and enjoy the positive and happy times, it’s necessary to have dark times.

    You points on visualisation and your circumstances not being you have helped strengthen and clarify that you can be a constant in a volatile and ever changing environment rather than being shaped by the environment.

    Once again, nice post!

    1. hi Boyke, thanks for your comment. It’s definitely okay to not force the motivation when you don’t have the mental, physical and/or emotiona energy. A person can’t be ‘on’ all the time, or else we’d be robots.

      “you can be a constant in a volatile and ever changing environment rather than being shaped by the environment.”

      that is exactly my point, and something I’ve been working on during the past several years – not living based on your conditions, but how you want to feel. For the most part, happiness is a choice we can make no matter what’s going on around us. We have to consciously CHOOSE happiness instead of choosing to absorb situations.

  2. Ohhhh snap! If this post didn’t come RIGHT on time….

    I don’t even know where to start, but I’ll try: I’m in the midst of several (self-inflicted) setbacks right now! As much as I want to motivate others in a BWE-esque vein and in general, it’s just.not.happening.this.nanosecond. It’s a lot easier, I now realize, to help myself first. I’d rather draw blanks and/or sit out the blogging/real life cheerleading than to try to encourage others…in fact, attempting both at once is vain at best (a hollow victory, as it were). I’ll only take my anger/frustration on folks, making things much worse in the long run.

    Thank you again for the reminder, Anilia. *exhaling* (I did nothing wrong; good.)
    rainebeaux recently posted: Hulkade detox

    1. nope, you did nothing wrong at all! And after your break, you can come back refreshed and more helpful to the women who need to hear your message.

      Now if your setbacks are self-inflicted, you need the time anyway to evaluate how you could’ve acted differently and hopefully change the habits and actions that led to the setback. And no beating yourself up allowed! Mistakes are not ‘wrong’ unless we continually allow them to happen… more lessons are learned from ‘failure’ than from being successful.

      You’re welcome for the reminder… I hope everything works out and you’re back on track soon.

  3. You are soooo smart! I am going to remind myself that I am not my circumstances. And I already know that I spend way too much time in my head. The best part, though, is your encouragement to be gentle with ourselves. When we are in a valley, we can give ourselves a pat on the back for whatever we can do, and be compassionate with ourselves for the rest. It will get better. Like Bambi’s mom said, “Winter will not last forever.”

    Thanks so much for the timely reminders. (I’m in a bit of a valley right now myself, so I think you wrote this just for me.)
    Galen Pearl recently posted: Wake Up- Grow Up- Show Up

  4. I just happen to be searching for something else and have run across your post. I am thankful that i took the time to read it.. I may not be a “sistah” but good advice is good advice for anyone. Its been one of those valleys that just continues to go. A loss of my grandmother, an ending of a relationship, and the diagnosis of serious illness has all hit within too short of a time. And i just wanted to say thank you..

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