The most recent lesson that life has thrown at me is the art of learning to dissect negative situations to discover positive outcomes. I’ve always been the type of person to dwell on the negative, a pessimist as you would call it. Every struggle that I’ve encountered has been the “end of the world” for me. I used to believe that I was being punished for bad decisions in my past, or that the universe somehow despised me so much that it conspired to make my life an ongoing detrimental process.
I have been learning quite the opposite lately however, and I thought I’d share it with you. Firstly, please don’t ever make the mistake of placing yourself at the center of everyone’s problem. The truth is we really aren’t as important as we would like to think. We often try to formulate all these different reasons why a person treats us in a particular way. I have found myself in this predicament on many occasions. If someone constantly disrespected me I asked myself, “what did I do to cause that reaction?” It’s kind of interesting how this blame thing works. It took me a long time to realize that how a person treats me is not a reflection of me as a person, but is directly linked to them. In order to maintain a certain level of relevance, we tend to blame ourselves for the behavior of others, not recognizing that a person’s behavior has nothing to do with us.
You see, blaming yourself for ones negative behavior or actions toward you keeps you at the forefront of the situation. Whereas without doing so, would cause you to have to detach from the situation and actually take action. Basically, the blame game is a passive way of constantly beating yourself up while remaining connected to the situation. You begin to question all your actions, truly believing that they contribute to all the hurt you may be experiencing.
Take for instance a failed relationship. You have two choices: You can either blame yourself or the other person for the outcome of the relationship, or you can use it as a way to grow as an individual. It goes without saying that it is more difficult to engage in the latter. This is so because we generally allow our partners to be the main source of our validity and worth. We wrap our identity in the opinion of one person while simultaneously losing our own sense of value. As a result, when the relationship ends, we think that we will never bounce back. We then begin to either torture ourselves with a list of things we could have done differently, or comfort ourselves by placing the blame on them with a list of things they could have done better.
The problem with both of these methods is that you are never really solving anything. When you constantly belittle yourself with all the possible ways you tore your relationship apart, it never inspires change, and guess what? When you look to the other person as the only cause of the outcome, it shifts the focus from you, which also never inspires you to change.
I am sure by now you see where I’m going with this. Choosing the route of personal growth will always prove to be more beneficial for you. There is so much that can be learned from negative outcomes, but you must first open yourself to the process. When we experience the pain of someone revealing who they really are, and failing to live up to our expectations of them, it is no easy task to take responsibility for the role we had to play. We fear that if we admit to our mistakes then the end result then becomes our fault. Please don’t waste your time with that kind of thinking. Taking ownership of your mistakes is the best way to learn from them. Consequently, the next time a seemingly similar situation tries to creep its way in your life, you will already be equipped to guard yourself from it.
This is the best way to see negative situations. Recognizing that each lesson learned can only propel you to make wiser decisions in the future.
I’d love to hear from you, what are your thoughts?
Until next time..