09/25/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Five Ways to Turn Angst into Bliss


About a month ago, I wrote about the In2 Effect, which is the secret technique I personally use to turn my negative thoughts more positive. When you apply the In2 Effect, you transform the negative into (or In2) positive, the hardship into hope, the hatred into compassion, and so on.

For instance, let's say you have a glass sitting in front of you that is halfway filled with water. You might initially think that the glass is half empty, and you might feel mournful about the amount of water you cannot drink because it is already gone. You might say, "Oh, that water is not going to last very long. I wish I had more water!"

If you use the In2 Effect, however, you just flip that around and try to see an alternative, more positive perspective. In this case, you would choose to think of that glass as half full, allowing yourself to feel grateful about the amount of water you still have left to drink.

Either way, the amount of water stays the same. It never changes. The only thing that changes? Your perspective.

I use the In2 Effect often and have found it to be a very powerful way to stay focused on the positive. For instance, just last week, when my book Perseverance was released, I felt so overwhelmed. It seemed as if there was so much to do, and that I didn't have the energy or time to get it all done.

Then I used the In2 Effect. I decided to shift my focus from feeling overwhelmed into what I was gaining from the experience. I decided to celebrate my book release and focus only on it, canceling all of my other obligations so I could make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Just like that, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and I could breathe again.

Here are 5 more ways to turn negative thoughts In2 positive ones.

1. Negative thought: I helped X when she needed me, and now she's not there for me. This is so unfair!

Positive spin: Look at all of the people who ARE there for me. Wow, that's so gratifying to know that I have so many supportive friends.

2. Negative thought: If I don't rise to the top [become the company CEO, have a book that lands on the NY Times bestseller list, win a race, win an award, then I must be a failure.

Positive spin: I am already a success. Look at what I've already accomplished. Plus, I don't need external validation to know that I am good at what I do. I am proud of myself and of my accomplishments. No one can take that away from me! I define my own success. I don't let others define it for me.

3. Negative thought: What if I get laid off from my job?

Positive spin: I may or may not still have my job a month from now. I can't control that. I can control how prepared I am for a potential job loss, though. I am good at what I do and I have many marketable skills. I am resilient. I have what it takes to survive any financial hardship.

4. Negative thought: Why doesn't X agree with my opinion? What is wrong with her? Why does she always feel the need to argue with me and try to make me look bad in front of others?

Positive spin: It doesn't matter what other people think about my opinions. It only matters what I think. I don't need X to agree with me in order to feel good about myself. I know why I feel believe in what I believe in. That's all that matters.

5. Negative thought: I wish X were not so sick. It's terrible that X is so sick.

Positive spin: I wish X weren't so sick, but I cannot do anything to change that. I will focus on what I can do, which is support X through this hard time. I will be a good friend and do what I can.

How have you put a positive spin on negative situations?


Learn how to turn fear into hope and other helpful strategies in my new book, Perseverance!