Recognize the Negative but Don’t Camp There

While it might seem like those who have it all — meaningful relationships, physical fitness, financial wealth, successful careers, etc. — had it handed to them on a silver platter.

Nope, in all likelihood people who are achieving their life goals had to overcome some obstacles to get there. Some of us start out with more, such as solid financial support from family, but even the lucky ones who didn’t have to scrape to get by faced obstacles and setbacks in some areas of their lives.

The Important Difference

One of the single most important differences between people who win in life and people who lose (or settle somewhere in between) is the ability to change how they view obstacles and setbacks.

Of course, it’s only natural to feel disheartened and demoralized if we fail at something. While it’s OK to wallow in self-pity and lick our wounds for a brief period, it’s only OK for a brief period!

Winners view their setbacks as learning opportunities – they analyze and determine where and why they failed, and they try again, and again, and again if necessary. Winners don’t merely persevere, they make adjustments along the way.

Albert Einstein said it best: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

So How Are Some More Able to Persevere than Others?

Good question. In addition to viewing setbacks and obstacles as learning opportunities, winners also find the positives in every situation. This comes more naturally to some of us than others, and good for you if you err on the side of positive!

However, for most of us, it’s in our nature to look for the negatives, the dangers, the risks of what can go wrong— an anthropologist might say it has something to do with how we had to always be on the lookout for danger in our early years on this Earth!

I’ll Bet You Can Think of an Example

You might be saying to yourself, “This sounds like hogwash,” or maybe that “Other people have this ability to look on the bright side but I don’t.”

Hogwash, I say. And this is far more than ‘looking on the bright side.’ Looking on the bright side means saying, “Oh well, the grass needed the rain,” when your outdoor party had to be cancelled.

Turning a negative into a learning opportunity means the time when your teacher or boss gave you a lousy grade or review and instead of breaking down in tears (or anger), you paused. You got over your initial hurt, then thought about the feedback you just received. And you used that feedback to change your behavior so you would no longer receive similar negative feedback.

I’ll bet you can think of at least one time when you said to yourself, “I’m never making that mistake again.” And hopefully, you didn’t. If you did, that’s OK because you can change how you think about failures, obstacles and mistakes.

The good news is that learning to find the true, positive reality in every situation can be learned.

We’ll explore this more in our next post, so stay tuned!

Or if you’re ready to really WIN in every aspect of your life, I show you exactly how to get there in WINology — World Class Performance.

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Article Name
Recognize the Negative but Don’t Camp There
Some might say you should ignore negative aspects of people and situations but I say don't. I say change how you view them and turn them into learning opportunities.