How to Develop a Positive Self Image in Negative Situations – Guest Blog by Lanre Solarin

It’s very easy to be overwhelmed by our problems, especially when we feel no one else is going through the same thing.

So we separate ourselves, and then either suffer in silence or bask in self pity. We tell every Tom, Dick and Harry about what we’re going through so that we’ll receive a response like, “Oh, I’m so sorry for you. It’ll be alright, okay?”

That’s one classic statement that most of us love when we’re in negative situations. But guess what?

It gets you nowhere.

Why? Because negativity doesn’t add a tint of positivity to any situation, no matter how much you “hope”.

Self pity is not a positive thinking exercise that helps you solve problems. It only allows people to sympathize with you, without giving you any actionable solutions. But unfortunately, it’s the therapy that many of us take when we suddenly end up in a bad debt or with a terrible relationship.

It gives us such a negative self image that we stop seeing the problem as something that will pass.

We begin to see that problem as if it belongs to us. This is real identity crisis. And when it gets to this stage, it means that our beliefs have been adversely affected and our image disrupted.

But there’s hope. Negative situations don’t always have to lead to negative personalities.  We don’t always have to react to bad things as though the world is coming to an end.

All you need to do is learn to see yourself in the positive light. You need to learn to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel and then walk through it. Here are 3 ways to develop a positive self image even in the most negative of situations.


1. Refuse to Pity Yourself by Hating the Problem

Self pity keeps you stagnant and doesn’t drive you to try and solve the problem. On the other hand, taking action by seeking for advice gets you going from the problem spot. When I discovered that I had been plagued by inferiority complex for the first 17 years of my life, I had two choices: to feel sorry for the timidity I felt or to kick it to the curb.

The only way you can seek for a solution is to hate the problem you’re in, but not yourself. Instead, you need to love yourself so much that you wouldn’t want to associate yourself with that problem for a long time.

No matter how terrible the situation may be, you can push yourself to become a solution seeker rather than a problem carrier. To do this, ask yourself just one simple question, “Is this how miserable I want to be for the rest of my life?” If you answer “Yes” to that question, then stop reading. But if it’s a huge “NO”, watch how you’ll start to hate the problem you’re in.


2. Seek For a Solution by Being Aggressive

There are two types of aggressiveness: the misdirected one caused by the frustration of not achieving your unrealistic goals and the positive one which serves as a drive for success. The first type of aggressiveness is the reason why many people end up in self pity in the first place. The only way to seek for a solution to that problem you’re in is to make aggression your drive.

You must be ready to take “no” for an answer and not stop till you get what you want. You’ll need to start telling your sympathizers to stop being sorry for you and start giving you advice on how to get rid of the problem. You’ll need to make it clear to everyone that you’re not a victim of circumstance and that you won’t be in that mess forever.

To really do this, you’ll need to stop seeing yourself as someone who deserves to be pitied. Change your perception of yourself from that of a loser with no hope to that of a winner who can have everything working fine. Change your thinking from, “I can’t do this”, to “I can do this”.


3. Experience Gradual Success by Breaking up the Problem

Some problems are so huge and tough that it seems almost impossible to get out of them. But the good thing is that it’s never totally impossible. So what happens when you’re in a huge mess and you’re beginning to feel doubtful as to whether you’ll solve it or not? What you need to do is break it up.

The fact that you’re human means you have the ability to solve any problem you find yourself in. But to make things easier on yourself, you’ll need to start seeing the problem, not as just one huge mountain, but as a combination of rocks. Every problem can be taken apart piece by piece.

Assess that problem and determine the different things you need to do to get it solved. Divide it into steps and then make the accomplishment of each step a goal. As you complete each step and achieve each goal, let that be your drive to achieving the next one. This will help you to expect success at each step.

Being positive in the midst of negativity is not an easy task, but it’s a possible one. And it all starts from you making up your mind to become positive and then stay positive all through, regardless of how bad things may turn out.

The first step is always to make the decision to change. But after that what happens? You then manage that decision by following the three steps above. Refuse self pity to the extent that you start to hate the problem. This will help you aggressively seek out a solution and when you finally get one, approach it gradually.

By doing this, you’ll feel much better about yourself all the way and you’ll discover that nothing is too big that it cannot be solved. Even if the problem is so tough that you can’t chew on it, lick it instead :).


Lanre Solarin was once extremely negative about life until he encountered positive experiences that changed everything. You can grab a free copy of his report- Simple Steps to Positive Thinking to discover simple ways to Experience Positivity and change your life.


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