Sarah Boyd


The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation

How To Reflect Positively Even When Life Sucks

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Have you ever felt that you’re not where you wanted to be?

Maybe this year you haven’t made the progress that you wanted to make.

The company that you’re running isn’t making the progress you’d like?

The impact that you’ve been making in your leadership still feels so small?

It can make you feel pretty negative.

If we don’t deal with these feelings, over time it can lead us to giving up on our dream of making a significant difference in the world. 

So in today’s episode, I’m going to give you 4 key points that will help you to reflect positively, even when life sucks.


Leaders are often ambitious & driven personalities.

We have a vision of the impact that we want to make in the world.

But the strength of this ambition can become a weakness when we fail to reflect positively & recognise the progress we’ve already made.


In my leadership, I was driven & so focused on the future; often beating myself up for what was not happening yet, when life wasn’t working exactly how I wanted it too.

But that changed for me when a situation happened in my life that turned it upside down.

I received a really negative doctor’s report.

When I was in my late 20’s, I was diagnosed with cancer.

After coming out the other side, I view my cancer diagnosis as a gift; because it forced me to learn how to keep my mind in a positive state even when things around me weren’t going very well.



1 Be grateful for the progress already made

What progress have you made?How to reflect positively even when life sucks

What has gone well for you?

What’s been a win in your leadership?

What’s been a win in your team?

Research shows that your sense of happiness is linked far more closely to your sense of progress than achievement.

So being aware of the progress you’ve made, even if you’re not where you wanted to be, will deepen your sense of fulfilment.

2 Question whether your expectations of yourself were too high

As leaders, because you have such big vision, you can very quickly and easily set high expectations for yourself and for the people around you.

But because you are the leader; what is going on in your world will have an impact on your influence & progress.

So if you’re not okay, you don’t have the capacity to do what you wanted to do, it will affect the progress you wanted to make.

So when you consider the progress that you’ve made, you need to consider all elements of your life, not just your leadership.

3 Notice the opportunity

When you don’t hit a goal, there’s no point just beating yourself up. It’s just wasted energy.

Instead, think about what you could change in your strategy?

Who might you need to hire to achieve your goal?

Maybe you didn’t account for some of the risks that happened – so what do you need to do now?

4 Be kind to yourself

Sometimes you need to remind yourself that you’re human.

So instead of using all that negative energy to beat yourself up, turn it into positive energy & be kind to yourself like you would to a friend.

And then start again tomorrow.


In the comments below, I’d love to hear from you – What mindset shifts have you found helpful to move your thinking from a negative state of mind into positive reflection?


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The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation.