“What do you do when things are going right and then whoops everything seems to be going wrong? What does a positive thinker do when they screw up and make a mistake? Do they feel bad? Can they, should they? I have been asked this question a lot over the years.
Recently, a situation presented itself, that allowed me to address these questions again. I hope you discover the answer within as you read what I share next.
I received a call from a couple who are coaching clients of mind. They hit the Wall of Woe and were on their way to a Pity Party when they dialed the phone and reached out.
Problems Have Seeds Of Opportunity Within
They had an argument with their son. They felt they had pushed him into it and were afraid they had lost him. Their concern was that he might move out and they did not want it to come to that.
Their anguish stemmed from feeling he was taking advantage of them. They were willing to do almost anything for him and it seemed he did little in return. After much asking and begging him to take some responsibility around the house they had it. They got mad.
Friends were more important to him. He would do anything for his friends but provided almost no help around the house. He overslept a lot and broke agreements regularly. They know he is a teenager but after a while of this they had had it.
They let him know they were very upset. Now they were afraid they had pushed him too hard and far. I was glad they called. They were at the end of their rope with guilt and shame. Dad felt awful for yelling loudly and Mom did too.
It Is Okay To Be Human
We all have opinions about parenting style and responsibility. We all have rules and ‘shoulds’ for ourself and for others. They felt they had done wrong but weren’t completely wrong in doing so. They felt conflicted.
They felt they should have and could have handled it differently. They knew they were pushing hard at the time and now they feared. I am not sharing what we did regarding that. Every situation is handled uniquely and appropriately for the client.
Many of my coaching clients are business leaders, filmmakers and actors and individual men and women (married or otherwise) but I do consult with a some couples. I am not discussing their parenting here but I will tell you some of what I shared with them regarding their feelings.
We all hit that wall from time to time. It is natural. Life has ups and downs. There are rhythms to everything. We all have the ability to disappoint ourselves and hurt others without meaning to. We are human and most of us feel the hurt deeply. We also have the ability to feel marvelous.
We Make Mistakes – Accept It – To Err Is Human
It IS okay to be a positive thinker AND have a bad day. It IS okay to be working on improving yourself AND slip up from time to time. It IS okay to be human! A positive thinker is one who seeks to find the positive in a situation. Sometimes that is difficult or takes time to recognize.
Attempting to be perfect is not be natural. All emotions are part of the human condition. It is okay to feel hurt, disappointed, angry, and guilt. It is normal to feel any and all of them. So accept what you did. Take responsibility for it and when ready move on.
Make good when you can, if you can. Apologize if an apology is needed or will help the other person. Process what happened and how you are feeling and move forward when you are ready to move on. Forgive. It may not do anything for the other person but it will help you.
Allow all the feelings, allow what is going on. If you cry, cry that is fine. Whatever occurs allow it. When ready move on. You feel it and when it is over let it go. The waves come in but they also go out. Guilt is good if it keeps up from repeating a behavior that may be harmful to self or others.
Allow Let Go Move On
Feel enough quilt to get the message. Resolve to be different and let go of the guilt. It did its job. Do not hang onto emotions needlessly.It is no longer required. Some people have great difficulty in living normal, well-adjusted lives. Just be you! Feel it and let it go.
The more I learned to manage my thinking and my emotional states the less time I needed before I moved on. What used to take days, or weeks or longer now takes a much shorter time. Sometimes days, hours, minutes or seconds. Sometimes it takes longer too. It is whatever it is. Whatever it is – it is the right thing, the right amount.
There is no right or wrong amount of time to spend processing hurt or loss. Allow what feels natural and right. Don’t blame yourself or others. Don’t be harsh and critical of yourself. You made a mistake. It is part of being human. We all make them.
Treat Yourself Gently
Be gentle, respectful, kind and loving of yourself and the other party. When ready aim your thoughts and feelings back toward the positive. Steer yourself again into a powerful position. Look for the smiles and feel the gratitude. Focus on what you want.
Celebrate the learning from the recent situation. I’ve discovered that truly all things work together for good. Blessings and delights are always around the corner. Sometimes we just can’t see them. Turn back to gratitude and celebration. Dwell on good things.
Some times our darkest moments become our finest hour but we don’t know that while going through it. UNLESS – unless you condition yourself to begin to always think this way.
Your awareness increases through your daily commitment and experiences. The longer you practice positive thinking the better equipped you are when things go wrong. You more easily recognize that all challenges also present opportunity.
Then you may be more prepared for difficulty. We become what we think about most during the day.Then when upset occurs you know it will pass. There will be reason to celebrate and be thankful through all of it.
Perhaps, this couple and their son needed this exact exchange. For whatever reason. Perhaps not. Who can say? As long as they love each other and are willing to forgive each other they will do fine. It may take some time or it could resolve quickly.
Make New Mistakes
Great good can come from these circumstances if they are willing to look for and become aware of it. It is obvious this family does deeply love and care for each other. As long as they seek to accept and understand each other they will be fine.
We all would be better if we put these principles into practice with our loved ones and friends. Be patient with yourself, others and circumstances. Remember, this problem will pass. Cultivate Patience!
Yes, positive thinkers can stumble and fall. Everyone falls! Not everyone gets up. It is in the getting up that victory is born. Get up, shake the dust off and move on. Everyone makes mistakes. Accept it, correct it as best you can and move forward.
Learn from it so you don’t make the same mistake again but make new ones each time. Never try to be perfect. Just be who you are. Who you are is already someone wonderful. Celebrate and be thankful for everything in your life. Be glad to be human!” Rex Sikes
Enjoy this beautiful day!
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*Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.
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