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Are you above or below the line?

Are you having a bad day?

Are you feeling stressed, or negative? on a downward spiral?

Do you doubt yourself when you fail to be perfect and feel sorry for yourself when things don’t go exactly as planned?

You are BELOW THE LINE. The line represents choice, you can choose to be ABOVE THE LINE or remain below the line. It’s simple, but its simplicity is what makes it so strong. Rather than pondering over the disappointment of having a bad day and getting sucked into the negative spiral, there is a simple tool to shift your mindset and navigate yourself to a positive way of thinking. You need to get yourself above that line, but how do you get there? Firstly, let’s look at exactly what above and below-the-line thinking is. In a nutshell, above-the-line thinking is letting go of any damaging and pessimistic views; ‘ blame, excuse, and denial, and replacing them with ownership, accountability, and responsibility

But how do we shift that mindset?  Firstly, and most importantly we have to realise that we are below the line, identifying that we are below the line is more important than always being above the line, we have to pause, reflect and recognise that this is how we are feeling. 
 
How do we recognise that we are thinking below the line? Th
ink about what you are saying carefully…
 
Are you constantly blaming others for failures in your life?
 
“Sorry we didn’t get the document to you when you requested, I was relying on James to send me the costings and he didn’t send it to me on time”
 
“Sorry for being late, the traffic was bad”
 
Are you constantly trying to make excuses for your failings?
 
“The reason James didn’t get me the costing in time is that he is inefficient and lazy” 
 
“I do this journey every morning and it should only take 30 minutes, so I left with enough time”
 
Are you in denial?
 
“It’s not my fault James should have worked harder and for longer to get me the information I needed”
 
“It’s not my fault the car had broken down and blocked the lane slowing the traffic down”
 
Stop thinking below the line and take 100% responsibility for your actions, think about why James didn’t get the costings to you? Should you have communicated with James throughout the process and provided support? Would you have been late if you left more time to travel? Taking responsibility for our actions will allow us to respond effectively and usefully to circumstances as they arise. In any given situation in your life take a moment to think about what your responsibilities are, can I accept what is happening without shifting the blame to someone else? can I add value? can I support you? What is my role in this situation and can I make a difference?
 
A huge step in getting yourself above that line is self-care. When deadlines are looming and you are being pulled from pillar to post it can be difficult to press pause, but having the ability to do this will make you a more efficient person. Stop what you are doing, take a breath, go for a walk and take time to reflect and regroup. Shifting your mindset from closed to open, defensive to curious, and wanting to learn rather than wanting to be right will ensure that you elevate above that line. 
 
Is it better to be happy or is it better to be right? 
 
Whatever you choose, whether you live above the line or below it, it’s your decision and a decision only you can make!