In the last post, we started talking about how we can turn bad experiences around, and turn them into positive experiences we can learn from to improve our lives. So now, let’s get more into the ‘how’ to put these pieces together!
We all have rough things happen to us from time to time – this is just one of those truths we have to accept. Yet, while it’s true we can’t always tell what’s coming just around the corner, it’s very possible to learn from an experience in a way that helps us grow and improve. And on this page I’ll show you how!
4 Steps To Turn Dark Situations Into Good Experiences!
Step 1 – Accept
Before we can learn from something, we have to accept things as they are.
We all have that powerful tendency and desire to change things when we don’t feel we were treated fairly, this is something everyone experiences at some point.
However, this can be a problem if we refuse to accept things as they are or try to deny something that’s true. If we get caught up in that feeling of “I have to change things” instead of taking events as they are, a mind-set of ‘who or what can I change’ can create more problems than it solves. I’m a great fan of self-improvement, and believe it is one of the best things we can all do, but we also have to accept that there are things outside of our control that we simply can’t change.
If you’ve been spending your time and energy trying to change someone else for example, it might be better to stop and realize that fighting like this is not the best thing to do. Does that sound familiar? If you’ve been battling with the uphill struggle to change other people, it may have meant a lot of wasted energy, whereas on the other hand…
Once you accept your world as it is (and everyone in it) and stop fighting external things you can’t control, you can then really start to improve your situation by focusing on the things that you can control.
Step 2 – Reflect
A question that I get asked a lot is – ‘how do I look at …………… in a more positive way? How should I look at these situations in a way that doesn’t feel that bad?’ Well, everyone has dark and sad things happen in their lives, whether it’s a breakup or a separation, a loss and so on. In my experience, the people who recover quickly are those who find something positive to take out of it. It might sound like an old cliché to say that everything can have a positive lesson – but as I help and talk to more and more people, the more I find this to be true!
Everything that happens can be looked at as a learning experience. When you’re next thinking about anything that has happened in your life that just didn’t go to plan – think about what you learnt from the experience as a whole. Understand that even though part of your experience may not be what you wanted, you can still learn from it so in the future you don’t make similar mistakes or get into the same counterproductive situations.
Always ask yourself – can I think of any mistake that I won’t repeat in the future, having gone through and learnt from this experience? Or have you discovered there is still something you need to learn about so you will keep improving as you move forward?
It’s a very useful skill to look at what you have learnt from a situation, and realize that more times than not, what you can take from it is worth the price you paid to get the lesson.
You can still take a great amount of relief and knowledge in thinking about how you have come through as a better, stronger person – because you will have learnt something from it.
In the future, make sure you remember these lessons so you don’t make the same mistakes down the road. Write these things down in a journal or notebook if you need to – this way you can review them to remind yourself of them later.
Step 3 – Reframe
This is another important step that a lot of people don’t know about, so it’s something I’m going to cover in much more detail in the Inner Circle soon. The idea of reframing is to completely change how you look at something – to put an event in a completely different light so it’s much easier to deal with.
I’ll tell you about one great re-framing technique just now that can help you. It’s based on the idea of future projection – to imagine your life in the future and how things would be if you don’t change something immediately. For example you could ask yourself – “if I keep thinking like this, what will my life be like in 5 years time?” – by really thinking about the long term consequences of your actions, this is often all it takes to spur you in a new, more positive direction.
Since a lot of the advice I’ve given to people recently has been to do with breakups and getting partners back, one example of how to use this technique would be to imagine you’re going to connect with your ex (or meet someone new and amazing!) in three months from today. If you think about that situation in the future, and you’re not trying to improve your own life right now – you’re doing a disservice to this future meeting by not keeping on working to being the best you can be! This type of thinking will often help give you motivation when you need it.
Step 4 – Take Action!
If you’ve found a way to do all of the above steps well, this is often the most exciting part, because you can now take action! Think about what you have figured out in step 2 and make the conscious decision to move forward with a plan. Some things you could start doing might be:
- Deciding to not wait around for others while you progress with your goals in life,
- Realizing that you are in control of your own thoughts, and to remember that at all times – you control your own world and can improve it whenever you decide to take action,
- Stating to yourself that you need to have the discipline to take control, or you won’t get things done as fast as you want them done, etc.
So there you go! 4 simple steps to learn from something that may have been difficult at the time, but can still give a great opportunity for you to learn. Moving on after rough times needs to happen, so do it knowing that you have grown and that in the future you won’t be falling for similar traps!
If you have any thoughts you’d like to add, feel free to leave a comment below 🙂