How To Instantly Stop a Downward Spiral, Using This Insanely ‘Handy’​ Hack

In September last year I participated in a Positive Intelligence Group Coaching Program.

If you’ve never heard of Positive Intelligence before, don’t worry, neither did I!

I’d heard of Intelligence (IQ) and Emotional Intelligence (EQ), but not Positive Intelligence (PQ).

So, I was curious to delve into it.

Plus, to learn some techniques to become even more positive and see how that could translate into better outcomes (personally and professionally).

It was fascinating exploring how my mind worked, what factors came into play and how that impacted on me, my goals and my happiness.

I wanted to share just one of the techniques I learnt which is something I think about often.

It’s a technique that can help you if you ever find you start going off into a downward spiral, after something bad happens.

Perhaps something hasn’t gone the way you wanted it to. Whether that’s work related or in your personal life. Then, based on that, you’re going over and over it in your mind and it’s either ruined your day, or it ends up staying with you for days, weeks, or even worse months or years.

If you’ve ever been in that situation, or if you’re in that head-space at the moment, this technique will really help.

It’s to think about staying in this negative mindset as similar to: Leaving our hand on a hot stove 

If that happened in real life, we’d recoil quickly and then make sure we modified our behaviour so that didn’t happen again.

We would never leave it there, burning, whilst we thought to ourselves, owww this really hurtsssss.

So, we need to do something similar with our emotional state. Take the lesson, but move on quickly. 

Ever since I’ve learnt of this technique or way of thinking about it, it’s been a game changer!

If a meeting or presentation doesn’t go as I’d planned, I don’t let it simmer in my mind and fester and pull me down. I literally take the lesson and move on.

It means I’m much more resilient and bounce back quicker when negative things do happen.  

I remember when a client of mine gave a presentation to senior stakeholders that didn’t go as planned. Because of tech glitches and unexpected issues with their co-presenter.

The advice I gave them was as follows:

“What’s 1 game-changing lesson you can take away from this, which will make it a useful experience and not a terrible one?”

It helped that client focus in on the positive action they could take away from that learning, rather than simply focussing on the negative things that went wrong.


If you’re ever in this type of situation, remember the HAND ON THE STOVE analogy.

Don’t leave your hand there for any longer than you need to. 😱

Take the lesson and move on. You’ll be able to shift your mindset instantly and get back on track quickly!

Will you be trying this one out? Let me know in the comments below!


Emily Edgeley is a Public Speaking Coach for the Technology industry. Since 2017 she’s run over 100 group coaching sessions, coached more than 200 people privately, and formally supported first time and experienced speakers at 10 Conferences, covering 1000+ people across the globe. 

She’s on a mission to help anyone in the Tech arena learn how to speak with clarity, impact, and confidence, whether that’s at work or at a Conference. So they can share their ideas, build their brand and start to enjoy ‘public speaking’!