At my job a few years ago I was reviewing sales numbers from one of the departments that I oversee. This department was not having their best year. They were behind on the numbers from almost every angle. Everyone within the department was doing their best but we just weren’t able to build the numbers up the way that we expected to. At first it was very discouraging, I have to admit, even I let the negativity really bring me down. The entire department and I felt like failures.
Have you ever found yourself stuck in a negative situation? Often times when we get stuck in negative situations our vision gets locked and focused on that one negative stressful thing in our lives. That is exactly what happened during that situation at my job. We reached a point where I knew that this department was not going to make the numbers for the quarter and that is all I was thinking about. I was focused on the one negative stressful department within my entire division. And to make it even worse, I was focused not on any of the positives of that department, just the negativity of the numbers not being made.
I started looking to God for help. (Genius!) I felt God leading me to certain topical leadership material. The material that ended up in front of me really ended up helping! The topic of the material was failing. A lot of great leaders share the same thoughts on the topic of failing. In order to be successful, sometimes you must fail. John Maxwell calls it “failing forward”. It is when you learn from your mistakes instead of just letting them conquer you. When you fall, you get right back up.
We ended up falling short during that quarter of the year at my job. We were not able to reach our numbers; we failed during that time. However, I now knew that I needed to get back up! I needed to step back from the negativity and look from a higher level. We reevaluated the department by figuring out how to build a stronger foundation and went into that next quarter ready for battle. If we did not step back from the negative circumstances to realize that we needed to do some serious restructuring, we would have never been ready for what happened next…
In the following quarter; along with the rest of the year, the department not only met all of the goals, but also made up for what we had missed in the previous quarter and finished with the best year in company history for that department! (How’s that for a comeback story?)
This story can be easily related to our personal lives. If we can learn to view negative circumstances, even at the point of failing, as an opportunity to refocus instead of simply just a bad thing, we can discover the positive benefits that are hidden within what appears to be all negative. If we can make an effort to take a step back and see the bigger picture, we will be able to see how we can learn from every situation!
Negative circumstances can lead to positive benefits. Allow yourself to fail, step back and look at the bigger picture and remember to stay positive through it all!
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.