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Guest Post

How to Stay Positive Even in Difficult Times


Samantha McGraw provides some meaningful tips for staying positive even when times get rough. 


From time to time, we all struggle with difficult situations. You may even feel like you’re a magnet for bad luck at times. If you lose a big account at work, then your car breaks down and your dishwasher’s on the fritz, you start to feel like you are never going to get ahead. You know the feeling.

When this starts to happen you may have trouble seeing the good in your life. You know that you still have plenty to be grateful for, yet you feel overwhelmed by everything that is pulling you down.

And have you ever noticed that when you get this way, more bad things start to happen? One thing leads to another and then another, and you feel like you just can’t catch a break.

Do I have your attention yet? Are you nodding your head like you know exactly what I’m talking about? Good, because I’m going to share with you one of the best ways I know to get yourself in a better, happier place.

First, it’s important to understand that you’re stuck in this never-ending cycle of bad luck because that’s what you’re focusing on. I know, it’s hard to focus on anything else when it all comes crashing down, but . . . your negative, stressful thoughts are actually creating and attracting more negativity to your life.

In order to break the cycle, you need to focus your thoughts on more positivity. Release the tension and worry so you can get yourself back on track to turn your luck around.

Here’s what I have found works best for me. (Yes, I’ve been in that bad luck cycle too! More times than I’d care to remember.) At the end of a long day, I pour myself a glass of wine, curl up in my favorite chair, close my eyes, breathe deeply and think to myself “Positive Focus.”

Then I start thinking about all the positives of the day, just that day to start, baby steps. If I heard from an old friend, got in the short line at the store, started working with a new client, or anything else great that happened that day.

If it’s a bad day and I’m struggling to find something good, I call a friend for help to get the ball rolling. She might say to me, “You‘ve got to think of something. Anything.” So I respond with, “I have a great friend who’s willing to listen to me.” Often I’ll start with the basics, which are great to count on when funky things happen: 

  • You’ve got your health
  • Your car is running well
  • You had a terrific lunch
  • You are breathing (this is always a positive!)
  • You have a wonderful family
  • You paid your bills
  • You have food in your fridge and a roof over your head

You get the idea, right? These fundamental elements of life are often taken for granted, but they are worthy of your appreciation. Focusing on them will start to shift your focus back to a positive place.

This is also a great exercise to use when fear shows up. For example, stress about not having enough money flowing to your bank account. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for. Be specific. The more specific you can be, the better you will feel. Don’t just be grateful for your family, know who you are grateful for and why you are grateful. Counting your blessings will definitely shift your energy so you can calm down. 

This Positive Focus exercise is all about gratitude. Share it with your business partner, life partner, best friend or do it on your own. This practice is not just lip service. I can promise you that doing this will shift your energy and give you the positive focus you need to feel more optimistic. Do it every day.

Try this: Get yourself a new notebook (or simply pull out a piece of paper) and make a list of everything that you are grateful for. Do the Positive Focus exercise every evening as you wind down from the day. This is a powerful practice and a strong affirmation to the Universe that you appreciate all the good things that come your way. It will set you up for greater success and on a tough day, it will help you get through it.

Share your thoughts below!

Samantha McGraw

Samantha McGraw is a life coach, speaker and mentor to people who want to live a happier, more fulfilling life. Her mission is to encourage everyone she meets to love themselves and appreciate their uniqueness so that they can be the best version of themselves that they can be, navigating their journey with purpose, joy and balance.

Read more at and you can also find her articles on the Huffington Post.

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