We've all heard the practically ancient saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." But what does it really mean? Well, the saying simply means to turn the negative situations you encounter into positive situations. The real question is, however, how do I even make the lemonade? For example, you may be going through a breakup or you may have been laid-off at work, leaving you feeling discouraged and unable to get back on your feet.
Not all hope is lost, though, as there are many different ways to cope with and understand stressful situations. Here are three simple steps I have followed over the years to have more control over my negative situations in order to turn them into that sweet lemonade we all enjoy.
1. Reflect on the situation.
It's in our human nature to point the finger at other people or outside spiritual forces for our problems, simply because we believe we are always in the right no matter what. However, this just adds to our problems since we either repeat the same destructive cycles or we worsen the situation by not looking at the other person's point of view. When we repeat destructive cycles, it is stunting our growth simply because we are too busy focusing on one lesson for an extended period of time before we can move onto the next. Sit down and ask yourself some questions to get a better grasp on the situation:
What could I have done to prevent the situation?
How does the other person/party feel?
Did I handle the situation correctly?
How does this situation help me learn and grow?
2. Find a way around it.
Once you have gathered as much insight on the situation as possible, it's time to apply this knowledge into some plans for solutions. A lot of people will say, "It is what it is" before they even try to push through the issue. While it may be easier to lie back and watch the issue unfold or even move on from the issue, you could easily lose great opportunities in many aspects of your life. Making a goal and finding a plan A, plan B, or however many plans you can come up with to get through this roadblock can help you unlock the opportunity you almost passed up. For example, if you were to not try to fix a friendship after an argument, not only do you lose a friend but that friend could have helped you find a better job due to a connection. Obviously, the most important part is the friendship, but rather than giving up right away, you should explore all of your options for opportunities.
3. Accept the situation.
So you completed the two previous steps. For those of you who found success in the last step, your resilience helped fix your situation and helped to turn those lemons into sweet, sweet lemonade. Congrats! For those of you who fully reflected on the situation, but your plans to find a solution failed or didn't exactly go the way you expected, what's next? Well, this is the part where it's finally okay to say, "It is what it is." It's very easy for us to continue being emotional over things we cannot fix or control. My saying is - "If you can't change the outcome, let go of all of those emotions and accept it the way it is." Because at the end of the day, you tried your best to fix the problem. While it may be discouraging that you couldn't fix the issue or work your way around it, there's a deeper purpose for why things happened the way that they did that is out of our control. Sometimes, certain situations aren't going to serve us good things or opportunities but rather lessons instead. However, it's always good to make sure you aren't missing out on anything, and it's always good to say that you gave it all of your effort. Leaving anger, resentment, and sadness in your situations is like making the lemonade without the sugar. Bitter, right? But, letting go of those emotions and replacing them with acceptance, forgiveness, and positivity is the last step to making the sweetest lemonade.