How to Turn a Negative Ending into a Positive Beginning

By Tony Mase / Source: The Personal Power Course

Whether you've just gotten divorced, just gotten laid off, just had to move out of your hometown for the first time, or suffered something equally as earth-shattering, you know endings are sad and scary. In fact, there are few things in life that actually cause more sadness than an ending.


Because you're losing a part of yourself. Even if your marriage wasn't a good one, it defined part of who you are. Or, the job you went to every day made you feel "whole". Or, simply growing up and living in your hometown helped to shape who you are. When things like that come to an end, you can feel empty and disconnected from the rest of the world. You may feel like you don't even know who you are anymore!

So, how do you get through it and start anew?

You need to focus on the positives - and, specifically, feel grateful for them.

Instead of drowning in the sorrow of the ending, stay focused on the new beginning. For example, if you're grateful for the new people you're about to meet as a newfound single, grateful for the new job opportunities you'll discover in your employment search, or grateful for the new town you're about to become a part of, it will soften the blow of your loss.

OK, that's easy to say... But how do you actually go about doing it?

1. Purge your grief.

Take out a piece of paper and write down everything you're sad about. Be sure to include the way you feel now that your situation is over and how you think this ending is going to affect the rest of your life.

By getting everything down on paper, you're not keeping things bottled up - which can be unhealthy and damaging. Instead, you're getting everything out, so you can move forward.

2. Remember the good things.

Take out another piece of paper and list all of the good things that came out of the situation. For example, even if your marriage didn't work out, your two kids are great examples of the good that came from it. Without your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you never would've had those two kids, so you need to feel grateful for it - even if it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to.

3. Look towards the future.

Pull out another piece of paper and write down all the ways your life can benefit from this ending. For example, if you're getting divorced, list the possibilities that can come from new relationships - like finding a partner who truly values and respects you. Or, if you just lost your job, write down all of the great things that can come out of a new job - like a better salary, more time with your family, a shorter commute, etc.

If you don't immediately feel better when you go through these exercises, that's OK. In fact, it's not uncommon. Remember, things are always darkest before dawn. Even though you may feel like your world is crashing down on top of you, you'll be able to move on. As long as you're willing to look for hidden blessings - instead of simply dwelling in negativity - you'll be able to pick yourself back up.

Don't be ashamed to do these exercises on a regular basis. After all, spending some time making lists and jotting down your feelings is proactive; simply sitting around feeling devastated is reactive. By working hard to focus on the good things to come - instead of dwelling on the good things you've lost - eventually, you'll be just fine.