We very often refer to the ups and downs in life as bumps in the road, however very few of us realise that the bumps in the road are there to slow us down, teach us something.

Think of the purpose of speed bumps on our roads, they are there to slow the traffic down or prevent joy riding. If we didn’t have speed bumps in life some of us would be joy-riding, recklessly through life. Bumps are our teachers of consequence.  Every bump that we hit causes us to slow down and become aware of the present moment.

The beauty of this is we start to notice what it is we have in our lives, gratitude creeps in, thoughtfulness increases and of course my all-time favourite resilience. The ability to handle challenges and struggles in life can increase, when we deal with the bumps in the road positively.

What I mean by Positivity is not by any means rose coloured glasses or burying your head in the sand. Positive people see life’s problems too but they tend to look for solutions and action rather than allowing the problem encompass them. Think of it like a rock in the road. If you were teaching a child to ride their bike where there was a great big rock in the road and you told them to watch out for the rock, what do you think might happen?

They would cycle straight into the rock!!!

When we focus solely on our problems this is exactly what happens to us, we crash into them or better still they crash down on top of us.

Solution focused thinking is when we look for a way around the rock, we acknowledge the rock is there, but we look for solutions. The first thing to acknowledge is that there is a solution: “The Solution exists” is a mantra I use to keep me present in the moment and calm. I scan my mind for all the ways I have tried before and look for a new way: “Is there a way, there is always a way”. Often we bring the same solution to an old problem over and over again and we keep getting the same results, some might say this is the definition of madness. Try these simple questions:

What else can I do?

What can I try that I have not tried before?

Who can help?

What resources do I have?

What resources do I need?

That should be enough to keep you in a solution-focused mind-set long enough to manoeuvre around the rock in the road.

Remember every Speed bump or rock in the road serves a purpose. There is no road in life without its challenges, bumps or rocks. The secret is how we deal with each of them. The aim is to take the opportunity to grow a little more each time. Drawing on the words of Eckhart Tolle –

Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for your expansion of consciousness.

Jennie Cruise offers a Free Introductory Coaching Session in Dublin.