Are you deluding yourself, limiting your happiness, and delaying effective action just by saying a simple three word phrase? You very well could be, as so many people are.
What are these three insidious, slippery, and flat out dangerous words? “It’s not fair.”
Consider these possible uses of the words:
– “It’s not fair that I work so hard but make so little money.”
– “It’s not fair that my ex is so happy after divorcing me.”
– “It’s not fair that the rich pay a lower tax rate than I do.”
– “It’s not fair that I lost a leg in Iraq.”
– “It’s not fair that I was born with AIDS.”
– “It’s not fair that women earn less than men for the same work.”
– “It’s not fair that cops get away with shooting black people for no reason.”
Surely at least a few of these strike a nerve with you. If you were to call any one of them unfair, a large portion of the population would agree with you. However, the universe is not interested in your opinion of what is fair.
The problem with saying “it’s not fair” is that what you’re really saying subconsciously is something like this:
“It’s not fair. I refuse to accept reality. I will stick my head in the sand until someone fixes it.”
But denial is never helpful. You don’t have to like everything, but you need to acknowledge the current state of affairs and either take action or let it go. These internal conversations are far more constructive:
– “A horrible thing happened, but since dwelling on it will not help, I’ll only look forward and never back.”
– “This is not the way I want it to be, but I accept that this is how things are for now. I will fight it by talking about it, voting against it, and never making the same mistake in my own life.”
– “I totally disagree with this, but I can’t fight every battle I care about. This is not a battle I choose to fight, but good luck to those who do.”
Instead of just expressing displeasure and being resentful forever, have the courage to face reality. Only then can you choose the best response, whether it be fighting a bad situation or learning to accept it.
Hunter Nuttall is the founder of NextChore . Stop by, and see how you can live without a checklist.