“What if everything that’s happening now is perfect preparation for what’s coming next?”
I first heard this question from a coach called Brooke Castillo (who has an excellent podcast) and it sent chills down my spine. Whereas many positivity mantras require us to ignore our feelings, smile through gritted teeth and soldier on regardless, this question leaves space for both reality and possibility. It allows us to acknowledge that we might be floundering neck-deep in the mud right now but in there with us are golden threads we can pick out and weave into a new story.
Rather than telling me how things are and what to think, this question encourages me to figure out my story for myself. When I look back on challenging things that have happened in my life, it helps me chart my course so far and see all the ways the challenges have shaped who I am today—in a positive way. It helps me make sense of the past, cultivate resilience in the present and gives me courage for the future.