Life is full of challenges. There is not a person alive who does not face them on a daily basis. It is the challenges in life that force growth…not the comfort in life.

However, it’s not the challenges themselves that matter…it’s how we react and handle these challenges. What kind of mindset are we in when dealing with them?

Do you let them stress you out or prevent you from trying? Do you allow them to cause you to feel overwhelmed?

If you are like most you answered “yes” to those questions. However, it does not have to be that way…it’s time to train your mind away from fearful, negative feelings and thoughts to positive ones.

The first thing you should do when you find yourself in a bad or very uncomfortable situation is to pause, take a deep breath and reflect inward. Ask yourself “what is the absolute worst case scenario that can happen? Given the current situation what the absolute worst outcome that could occur? Be as specific as possible and include all the things that come into play along with it.

In reality, your mind is frightened and you sense that fear without really knowing fully what it is you are fearing. It’s just a general uncomfortable feeling that things are not good and so you allow fear to get the best of you.

Because we as humans operate from fear, most times we blow things up far larger than it really is. In other words we build a mountain out of mole-hill.

Your situation may not be as good as you want it to be, but likely it is not as damaging as your brain is making it out to be.

By pausing and reflecting on the worst case scenario you will feel more in control and empowered. This will help you defend against these bad situations and help you relax because you’ll realize that if that’s the worst that can happen, you will most likely be able to handle whatever outcome occurs.

The next important step to take towards changing your focus from negative to positive is to shift your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have.

This is where gratitude empowers us. When we stop to think about how good we really have it we realize how many people are in our lives that love and care about us that we can count on. As the negatives clear out…we begin to see the true blessings in life such as “we don’t have to worry about being hungry or where we need to spend the night or whether we will have a job in the morning.”

These may seem like basic enough needs but there are so many people in the world that do not enjoy these blessings on a day to day basis.

When stress is high, problems loom larger and seem much more significant than they really are. By taking time to reflect on the blessings that you already have that others do not helps you to put your own problems into perspective. You’ll begin seeing things in a different “light.”

In reality, if your basic needs are currently being met, you are doing much better than many people in the world. By owning that and living from gratitude rather than fear that worst case scenario that was so scary to your mind initially doesn’t seem so scary after all.

Truth is, stress thrives when your worry list is longer than your gratitude list. Happiness and the feelings of joy do not come as a result of getting something we don’t have but of appreciating what we do have.

Next time you find yourself in a stressful situation or negative circumstance you’ll be able to pause and make a conscious decision to stop your automatic reaction and negative thought patterns and instead use the circumstance you find yourself in to grow inwardly.

An exercise you can use to strengthen this resolve is to come up with a gratitude list. Place this list somewhere that you see it daily and make it the first thing you study when you wake in the morning.

Feeling fortunate and lucky by counting your blessings on a day to day basis will change your outlook and approach to things and influence how you interpret all those negative situations.

If you’re ready to take on fear face to face and move past it you don’t have to do it alone. “How You Do The Small Things Is How You Do The Large Things!” is an empowering tool that reveals to you why it is that some people seem to succeed at all they try while others barely make it through a full day without experiencing doubt and defeat.