Do you believe in luck? Do you believe that certain people just have better fortune while others are destined for failure, obstacles and hardships? I am not what I would consider a “lucky” person. Things don't come easily to me, I have a harder time accepting bad news than others, and I can't ever really seem to catch a break.
And for most of my existence, I've been bitter toward the world for my lot in life. Until recently, amazingly I had always thought of myself as a pretty positive person. Always hoping for the best. Yet somehow I always expected the worst. And when something bad happened, I would just throw my hands in the air and say to myself, “Well, obviously! Why wouldn't the worst possible thing happen to me? Add it to the list!” It wasn't until recently that I realized how NOT positive, but how downright negative I actually am.
We have all heard the theories about positive thinking leading to positive results. It's been hammered into our heads through books like "The Secret," through people like the Dalai Lama and let's not forget those cheesy Instagram quotes. When I was younger, I got swept into "The Secret" fad and began trying to control my feelings, envisioning my desired outcomes and life and being a proactive and positive person.
But when I didn't get the desired results overnight, I quickly lost interest and went back to my self-sabotaging ways. The problem is that we constantly expect instant results. We want the change to occur overnight and when it doesn't, we lose faith and begin to doubt the theory.
The biggest mistake we can make as people is to place blame on outside forces or people for our misfortunes. Everything that comes into our lives — everything, whether good or bad, is there because we have invited it through our thoughts and actions. Placing blame on anyone, including yourself, is counterproductive and will perpetuate the cycle of misfortune. The moment we realize this and make a conscious decision to take accountability for our circumstances, we will rid ourselves of our perceived limitations. The only limitations we have, are those that we place on ourselves.
There is no such thing as impossible. Anything is attainable and the only thing getting in your way is your attitude. As I write this, I feel like somewhat of a hypocrite because I still struggle with negative thoughts everyday. I believe that some people are more inclined to be negative than others. I don't think that is something that I have to accept however.
I am aware of it, and though I may have to make a more conscious effort than most to control that thinking, it is well worth the effort. We all have bad days. Sometimes every single thing that day goes wrong. But instead of looking at those setbacks and giving in to pessimism, we must look at them as opportunities to bring the right things into our lives. It is all about the way we react to situations that matters.
“Don't sweat the small stuff”…why stop there? Don't sweat the big stuff either. Is it really productive to insult at an employee when he makes a mistake on a report? Will your kids behave when you scream at yell at them for being unruly? Will it turn back time to sit there dwelling?
The only thing you are doing is inviting more negative situations into your life. Instead, catch yourself. Stop. Breathe. Reflect. Take some time and really think about the situation. Find a proactive, productive solution. No good comes from snap judgments or decisions. No good comes from emotional reactions. This is much easier said than done of course, and takes an extremely conscious effort to enforce. The key is not to get discouraged when things don't progress quickly.
You can't plant a seed and expect a tree to sprout out over night. If nothing else, you will begin to like yourself more as a person. People around you will begin to like and respect you more. Nobody likes Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer. I've been both (sometimes simultaneously) and even I want to punch myself in the face. This is perhaps one of the most important lessons a person can learn in their lifetime, and some people never do.
We are all responsible for ourselves. No one else is to blame for our situation. We are where we are because of our past actions and reactions. You are only a victim if you allow yourself to be one. So take every negative situation as an opportunity to better yourself and your circumstances. The only thing getting in your way to happiness is YOU.
Alice Panikian | Elite.
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