Sometimes we feel life keeps handing us lemons and we want to give up.  This can be an opportunity to change our perspective and grow.  There is an exercise I like to use and have shared with many client’s. When I feel like something is a problem or a mistake it is important to reframe it and turn a negative into a positive.  The exercise is called, “Look for the Lesson and the Gift” and can be found in Marci Shimoff’s book, Happy for No Reason Try it and see what it can do for you.  Soon, it will become second nature and automatically done in your mind.

Look for the Lesson and the Gift 

  1. Sit quietly by yourself close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  2. Recall a specific situation that has caused you to feel wronged or to blame others.  Picture the person or people involved, the setting, and what was said or done.
  3. Imagine taking several steps back and observing the situation from a distance, as though you were watching a movie on a screen.
  4. What part of what happened can you take responsibility for?  Did you ignore signs that should have clued you in that there was a problem?  Did you act in a way that might have provoked the situation?  Did your thoughts or actions escalate the situation?
  5. What’s your lesson to learn from what happened? Do you need more patience or better boundaries? Do you need to listen more, say less?
  6. Ask yourself: If this is happening for a higher purpose, what would that be? Can you find the gift?
  7. Write down the most important thing you can do differently as a result of finding the lesson or the gift.

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