Updated: Jan 7
Negative experiences in life will either destroy you, define you or strengthen you.
There’s no escaping the fact that, from time to time, the pawpaw will hit the fan in life and there’s usually not much that we can do to prevent it. We can, however, choose how we react to bad situations and this is the magic potion that most of us have chosen to ignore throughout our lives.
self-destruct in 3…2...1 While our species is adept at many things, it would seem that emotional control has remained on the bottom of the evolutionary priority list for most and very little has changed since our prehistoric ancestors roamed the planet. It’s clear that people need a coping mechanism; alcoholism, drug abuse, destructive relationships and career addiction are some of the ways that we attempt to numb the pain. While these little Band-Aids help to stop the bleeding, so to speak, the fact remains that this self-destructive behaviour will only cause more damage in the long term and do nothing to help us truly overcome the pain of negative experiences.
the definition of pain Being defined by your pain could have both negative and positive outcomes. There is a very fine line between learning from past experiences and using those lessons to your advantage and becoming a permanent victim. The reality is that most people become negatively defined by their pain, often shutting out the world and those who wish to help them. From personal experience, I can guarantee you that this victim mode is not the answer and it’s only a matter of time before self-destruction begins. Even your closest friends and allies will turn away eventually when your universe revolves only around you and you’ll soon have nothing but your victim status to show for it.
tight like a tiger Harnessing negative experiences and allowing them to strengthen you is, perhaps, one of the most powerful tools you can have in life. It may not seem like it at the time but it is indeed possible to overcome anything in life by following 3 simple steps:
1. Accept the situation and that it cannot be changed.
2. Learn from it.
3. Change your perception so that you can change the outcome for the better.
It’s important to realise that changing the outcome is not the same as changing the situation. We can’t change what has happened but we can change our response which in turn changes the outcome into something positive. The old adage “everything happens for a reason” is not just something that people say to make you feel better – it’s a cold, hard fact. We’re on this Earth not just to live but to learn and we can only learn through experiences whether those be positive or negative. Every challenge we’re faced with gives us the opportunity to either thrive or to fall apart – the choice of that outcome is ours alone to make and we make the former choice by changing our perception.
pay it forward We only have to look around to see the devastating effects that being a silo has on society so once you’ve mastered the art of seeing the bright side and recycling negative feelings, it’s time to use your strength to help others find theirs. No man is an island.
The art of overcoming negative experiences is not easy to master and can only be achieved through active thinking, consciousness and patience. Chantelle believes, though, that if you set your mind to it - you can do anything!