All of us encounter what I’ve heard described
as the “piles” of life. Those times of heavy burden when we wonder if we’ll
ever be free of it. It is at these times when our character matters more than
I’ve recently encountered a difficult
situation part of which is my own fault and part not. There are 3 different
difficult scenarios I’m walking through at once and each has built upon the
other affecting my focus, energy and effectiveness.
When I’ve mentored others in similar
situations, it has been easy to encourage them to stand strong in the face of
trials. To stand strong, hold your head high and hold your character even higher.
I have to admit it is much harder to show good character when the barrel of the
gun is pointed in your direction. Never the less, I am walking each and every
day in my own admonitions. But here is how I believe we come through adversity
stronger on the other side.
Don’t blame others
Looking for scapegoats, pointing fingers, placing blame and casting yourself in
the role of victim is as old as Adam and Eve. It is weak and useless. When we
do this, we think that it will deflect the disdainful scrutiny and liability
off to others when, in fact, it does exactly the opposite. If anything, it
compounds the focus more deeply on ourselves and increases the certainty of our
Don’t make excuses
Making excuses to cover or minimize the impact of our actions is another victim
role play. Making excuses is another way to point fingers or lay blame. Maybe
not at others, but at the extenuating circumstances that were beyond our
control; that lead to our negative behavior or outcome. Since we had no control
over what happened we’re not to blame for the outcome. To put it bluntly, it’s
a form of lying in an attempt to cover for mistakes. Again, this doesn’t work.
It only adds to our troubles.
Own up to your errors
We know when we’ve made a mistake. If you can’t turn a mistake around before it
becomes public, admit it when you’re wrong. By owning up to the error, you
often lessen the negative consequences a superior will impose. By admitting
wrong, you actually bring others to your side to aid you in fixing whatever the
problem. Deflecting only drives help away. We actually gain respect when we
admit we were wrong.
It’s so easy to bury our woes in negative emotions toward ourselves and those
who reprimand us. Negativity is like gravity: the more there is the heavier it
weighs upon us, driving us down and increasing our feelings of anger and bitterness.
Bitterness is an evil emotion that turns our insides black. Cast off negativity
by increasing your positive self-talk and encouragement. Re-focus the negative
energy you feel toward your superior or peer by thinking uplifting thoughts
about them and changing how you feel about them. The more you’re able to flip
your dislike into like the more you will send positive energy to them and
change the relationship by beginning with yourself.
There’s a great quote by 13th century poet, Jalaluddin Rumi: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
If you want to see positive change, start in your heart.
counts most when we are at our lowest points. We re-build from the inside by accepting
our shortcomings, admitting our wrongs, remaining positive in our relationships
with others, while we encourage ourselves in the act of self-improvement. The
road to health and wellness in all things is through positive growth. Stand
tall, be strong and realize your fullest potential.