You’ve probably heard this famous quote from John Lennon: Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. Have you experienced it as well?
Sometimes, unexpected bad things happen. Then you might find yourself asking why this is happening. If you’re really trying to find an answer to that question, you will. If you’re wallowing in self-pity and staying in that victim role, you won’t.
Give yourself some time to go through the pain, disappointment, despair, or whatever negative emotion is coming over you. You shouldn’t ignore and suppress these emotions because they will find a way out anyway. Don’t dwell on them, though.
Sometimes what appears to be negative is the most positive thing. What appears to be ‘safe’ is sometimes the most dangerous thing you can be doing for your life.
This is precisely what I would like to elaborate on. How can a negative event be the most positive thing?
Imagine you are living a normal life where you go to work every day, go out with friends on Saturdays, Netflix & chill on Sundays, having a beer and scrolling through social media feeds in the evenings. That’s a safe life, right? You have a salary, a home, a relationship/marriage, and you enjoy a certain level of security and peace. It might look differently in particular, but you get the picture.
In your safe life, you never find time to exercise, do enough sports, meditation, change your way of thinking, journal, do positive affirmations, listen to good podcasts, write down things you are grateful for every day and stuff like that. All these things that could immensely increase the quality of your life. You’ve kind of settled down in your safety. Even years might pass by without changing your lifestyle and finding that motivation to profoundly level up.
Then that bad thing happens. Then another really bad thing happens. Then another, and another. You are devastated. You can’t sleep, eat or work. Gone is that safe life.
If you stay in the state of worry, anxiety, fear, you’ll allow or cause even more bad things to happen. You can ruin your life completely. Or you can totally change it for the better.
When pain, fear and frustration take over and you’re standing at the edge of the abyss, there are only two options. You either jump and fall down, or you jump and fly up.
This is how what appears to be negative can become the most positive thing. Choosing to save yourself requires you to immediately change a lot of things in the way you think and act. Because, quite frankly, there is no other way out of a deep hole.
Your mind needs to enter a solution-focused state. You have to become positive, alert and proactive despite of how bad you feel. Feeling bad is never going to get you out of feeling bad.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
You have to find that hope within you, because it’s the only thing that will get you out. You have to believe in yourself no matter if your family and friends do so. You have to approve of yourself no matter if others do so. You have to support yourself no matter if others do so. And ultimately, you have to find those people who will understand, encourage and support you, because they are the right people for you.
You’ll have to find a way to get rid of strong negative emotions, which is why you’ll learn to change the scenery quickly. You won’t stay in situations that make you feel bad for too long. You’ll have to find extra energy and fitness to cope with all the challenges, which is why you’ll integrate more movement and sports in every day. You’ll have to make a habit of conquering negative thoughts, which is why you’ll start listening to inspirational and motivational podcasts. Basically, you’ll take real control of yourself.
So what happens is that you wake up that part of yourself that was sleeping for so long. The better, stronger, more confident you that is willing to go the extra mile and won’t quit.
You finally start listening to your intuition. When you feel that something is not right, you don’t do it. You won’t wait to find hard proof for why it’s not right. You just trust your intuition. You learn to say No. And you say No early enough, before you get into a mess, because you can’t afford one more mess. You say No to everything that is not directly contributing to your main goal. You clear your path and become really focused.
So you start doing all these things that you weren’t quite able to consistently do before, because they are the only way to save yourself now.
This is how what first appeared to be negative became the most positive thing. It was a trigger for you to change. It opened your eyes for all things that you were doing wrong. It showed you what kind of people you don’t want in your life your life anymore. It proved that you can be even stronger in the face of adversity.
You might have found yourself praying for the safe life to come back at some point. You might as well discover how dangerous it would have been for you to stay in it. Negative events come to show you how much more you can achieve. They show you how much more you deserve. They make you expand your capabilities, self-image, and your goals.
What if that safe job was keeping you in a place where you don’t belong? Where you only shrink, because you are in a position without much impact. What if the people you were hanging out with are talking you out of opportunities, because they’re intimidated by your potential? What if family and friends wouldn’t let you take that risk that could change your life forever?
Breaking free from limiting thought patterns is hard work and it’s a journey of #becoming, not a point you arrive at. But once you’re on that path of conquering yourself, you become unstoppable. If you keep your eyes on the ball, you’ll pay more attention to the support, encouragement, appreciation, and love you receive. Knowing that what you focus on grows, you start counting your blessings instead of your problems. That’s when you get behind the wheel.
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