Bad experiences are a part of life that we all have to deal with. No one is immune. We all have to deal with pain, disappointment and loss. We all have to struggle at one point or another. But it’s how you responds that defines who you become.
I’m a firm believer that we need adversity in our life. It’s what makes us stronger. It’s overcoming life’s obstacles that makes us grow. I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today had I not been through my fair share struggles.
I want to help you do the same. I want to help you, not only make it through the tough times, but become a better person in the process.
Choose to Have a Positive View in Life
Your view on life is the set of attitudes, assumptions, and expectations you hold about yourself, other people, and the world in general. Are you a pessimistic or optimistic? Is the glass half empty of half full? Are you trusting or suspicious? Are you generous or stingy?
When you decide to have a positive life stance, you’re putting yourself in the best position to deal with, and grow from, those bad experiences in life.
“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be, it’s the way it is. The way you cope is what makes the difference.” – Virginia Satir
You have two choices when life throws a curveball, you can stay positive and understand that sometimes the going gets tough, or you can pout and be mad at the world for all your misfortunes.
If you’re reading this blog, I know you’re that first person, not the second.
It’s okay to get down sometimes. I’ve been there before, where you just feel like life is out to get you and there’s nothing you can do but throw you hands up and let life have its way with you.
But eventually you have to pull yourself up and start fighting back. You can’t get stuck in that down and depressed state.
Think Outside the Box
When you find yourself in sticky situation, sometimes the only thing you can do is ride it out. But other times, you may be able to find a solution if, you can think outside of the box.
Let your anger and frustrations fuel your creativity.
There’s a commercial running right now of young boy at the baseball diamond practicing his swing by himself. He throws the ball up in the air, screams, “I’m the greatest batter in the world!” and then swings for the ball.
He does this three times in a row and can’t hit the ball once. After the third strike, he thinks for a second then screams, “I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”
That’s getting creative.
Find the Value of Your Bad Experience
Whenever something bad happens in life, there’s always a lesson to be learned. But in order to find those lessons, you have to identify two things: The data and the insights
The data is just the cold hard fact. The insights are the conclusions made from the data.
The data from the baseball story above was that the kid couldn’t hit the ball in three tries. The insights could have been that he was a terrible batter, but he came to the conclusion that he was an amazing pitcher.
“Facing difficulties is inevitable, learning from them optional” – John Maxwell
The next time you find yourself having just gone through a bad experience, take the time to dissect what happened. How did you get in that situation? What could you do to prevent it from happening again? How can you handle things better next time?
Without asking those questions, you won’t be able to grow from that experience. You’ll just be frustrated, upset, and bound to be in the same situation again.
Make a Change
It doesn’t matter how much you learn from that bad experience unless it directly changes what you do in the future. The learning only matters if it helps you prevent another bad experience from happening.
You have all of your data and your insights; now you have to actually turn that into something useful.
Create a game plan and stick to it.
Take Control of Your Life
Don’t label yourself a victim. Being a victim means you’re not in control and if you’re not in control then it’ll be impossible for you to grow from those bad experiences.
You have to stay in the driver’s seat when it comes to learning from life’s unfortunate moments, and using them as learning experiences that you grow from. You can’t be the kind of person that just “goes with the flow” because more often than not that flow is headed somewhere you don’t want to be.
Life is a series of peaks and valleys, and I really believe it’s what we do and how we respond at the low points in life that determines who we become and the success that we’ll find.
When you’ve been through hell once, it’s easier the second time.
Tony J. Robinson is the founder of DoReallyGood.com, which is the place to go for the information and inspiration necessary to take your life’s most important goals and make them a reality. You can pick up a copy of his free eBook, “8 Killer Resources to Streamline Your Personal Development” here.
Photo credit: Doha Sam / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
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