• cleeliauudamcosta

How Your Mindset Can Help You To Turn Problems Into Possibilities

There is no doubt, that your mindset is the key to unlock the complexity of life.

Sightseeing in Porto on a rainy day

Sometimes, if not to say most of the time, life can get really stressful and overwhelming, throwing at you one worry after another. It doesn't take much to feel that way. You might wake up late, you might get too much traffic on your way, you might forget your kids doctor appointment and on it goes. You get the picture, don't you? Sometimes it almost feels like you have the leading role in one of these “everything goes wrong” movies. Of course, I was listing just a few possible tiny worries, but life is full of difficulties and adversities in all shapes and sizes.


Breaking the Negative Thought Pattern


We all have problems. We all have a multiple range of complexities and worries to deal with throughout our days. But what we all also have, is the freedom to choose our mindset and attitudes towards adversities in life - we can either dwell on the problems (stay stuck), or we can dwell in possibility (get creative with solutions and alternatives). Working on your mindset, creating a habit of turning your obstacles into opportunities and problems into possibilities, will reduce your stress and make you happier. Embracing a growth mindset, valuing learning and growing, will help you to break the pattern of negative thinking, not only will it reduce your time spent in the “negative zone” but it will also speed up the full process of getting to the “solution”.


In this article I will introduce you to some of my favourite mindset hacks that certainly can help you too to reduce stress and the time spent with negative thoughts. If intentionally and consistently applied, these mindset hacks can really help you to rewire your brain, increasing flexibility and creativity and reducing the stress and time involved in moving from problems to solutions. Even if in theory it sounds way easier than when starting to put it into practice, believe me it is possible. It is possible to create a way of life focused on solutions and possibilities instead of obstacles and problems.

Mindset Hacks to Move from Problems to Solutions

Well in all transparency it is important for me to share that I am personally quite good at both - at dwelling on my problems and dwelling in possibilities. I can go through all the negative scenarios, I mean I can go really really deep, then I stop and breathe and decide to change the course of my thoughts. While dwelling on the problems has always been part of my process, I have made increasingly conscious effort to create myself a shortcut - to take some conscious steps to shift my attention faster to the solutions and possibilities. I have come to a conclusion that if I want to live in a flow, I have to go with the flow. For me living in the flow does not mean just accepting what comes, it is more about surfing the waves of life and making the best out of every circumstance while following the direction of our values and dreams.


Let’s see if the following mindset hacks can work out for you too when it comes to reducing stress related to worries of life. So next time when standing face to face with yet another problem, try this:

  1. Express gratitude for all the goodness in your life and remind yourself to trust your journey. While in research of positive psychology gratitude is related to happiness, in current context it is valuable as a way to appreciate all the good things still present in your life, despite the problem. Reminding yourself about all the positives will help you to relativize the weight of the negative issue.

  2. Focus on what you can control. There is no point to waste time and obsess about any circumstances that are totally out of your control. Get clear and get honest with yourself - identify the things you really can impact.

  3. Reconnect with your resourcefulness. As a Life Coach, my job is to empower you to dig deeper and to find your inner resources, which I believe at all times, you do have inside you. It is usually also quite empowering to remind yourself how far you have already come.

  4. Playing with the perspective. Try to look at the situation from different angles. Imagine looking at the situation as an outsider. Imagine yourself in the position of other people involved - what can they think and feel? Imagine this situation as a dot on a longer time-line. (Read more about playing with perspectives from my article 7 Simple Exercises To Change Your Life Through Changing Your Perspective).

  5. Dwell in possibilities. Ask yourself what else is possible? What other opportunities are there? Get really creative and think outside the box. Brainstorm. Seek ideas and inspiration from different people and contexts.


Remind Yourself to Choose Differently


Oh, I know firsthand that showing up with a positive attitude (moving your attention form problems to solutions) in life is a conscious choice. I know the effort it takes to constantly remind yourself to choose differently. There is no doubt that choosing to make lemonade of the lemons of your life is not always easy, but it is absolutely always worth it!

when life gives you lemons make lemonade
As they say "when life gives you lemons make lemonade"! (Image: Maria Volk, Unsplash)

Said all that, it is important to add that I am not only consciously trying to shift my own attention from problems to possibilities, but I am also trying to teach this to my children. As a parent we have this responsibility and important role to set our kids up for success in life. And when I say success, I do not mean for big house and corporate career (which of course does not hurt anyone also) but rather for them to be happy balanced human beings with tools of self-regulation and mindset to apply when needed.


A friend of mine happened to grow up with a father, whose most famous saying was “do not bring me problems". As you probably can imagine, this did result in feelings of lack of trust and support, and also some difficulties with handling problems. This kind of stories are an inspiration and awareness boosters for any parent. I personally try to make sure that we never ignore problems, and that everybody is welcome to share their worries and emotions, but once this part is done, we move on to disarm these worries - we talk about the solutions and alternatives. We add some humour, creativity, new perspectives and reframing into the mix, and try to turn them into possibilities and opportunities. Am I always succeeding to be a good role model? No. Am I try to do better every time? Yes!

The Power of Your Mindset

Here is the takeaway, there is true power in working on your mindset when approaching life in its full complexity! Life just happens to be made up of all kinds of things and circumstances to which, by the end of the day, you yourself give interpretation, meaning and value. And this depends largely on your life experiences, perspectives and expectations. Working on your mindset to overcome adversities in life is surely the best way to go. Learning to find solutions with ease opposed to staying stuck in the problem-zone will most certainly help you to live less stressful and happier life.


So next time when your brain wants to take the easier comfier path, pushing you to fall down the rabbit hole of negative thought patterns, just stop, breathe, and choose again!


'We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.'

Thich Nhat Hanh

dwelling in possibility
I turn to the sky when tapping into my imagination, what about you?

When thinking of all these possibilities, what do you think, is that one obstacle in your life you could start turning into an opportunity already today? In case you feel the need to share your challenges in a safe non-judgmental space, while gaining some clarity and new perspectives about how to move forward or what else is possible, then do not hesitate to reach out to me too!

With love,

C.