We are repeatedly told that we should forget about unpleasant experiences (failures) and focus on pleasant ones (successes).
I agree totally with the last part of this proposition but only partly with the bit on forgetting about your unpleasant experiences.
Rather, I think unpleasant experiences must be confronted and "neutralized", otherwise they will always be lurking in your subconscious, ever ready to pounce upon you.
Don't delude yourself into thinking that they can simply and safely be swept under the carpet. Pull them right out and cut them down to size.
Clip their wings before they come back out to haunt you and poison your life.
These are ferocious little beasts that create pernicious feelings of guilt, anger, powerlessness leading straight to anxiety, depression and lowered self-esteem.
These are creatures of Darkness and nothing terrifies them as much as Light.
Pull them out and examine them in broad daylight and then you'll realize they are not as terrible as they seem.
In broad daylight, they melt away and become not just innocuous but even useful: they teach you lessons in what NOT to do.
And that is how you can learn from failure and turn negative experiences into positive, highly empowering lessons.
And "all's well that ends well"!
In the words of Dr. Jill Ammon-Wexler: "Every successful person throughout history has also faced and dealt with their own personal collection of fears and negative internal messages".
Anybody can do it!
Reserve some time to be by yourself or, better still, at night, before you fall off to sleep
1. Make a list of all your unpleasant experiences, all that you can remember, as far back as you can remember. Don't force yourself. Just take it easy
2. Carefully examine each one of those experiences and answer the following questions, as accurately as possible :
What happened exactly? Why? Where was it? When was it? How did it end? Why do you consider it as a negative experience? What might have been the consequences if it had ended otherwise (Envisage as many possible consequences as possible)? Don't you think things might have been worse if it had ended otherwise (Are you sure it wasn't a blessing in disguise, after all)?
3. After asking and answering all those questions, you'll find yourself relieved, as if a terrible weight had been lifted off your shoulders.
Your "negative experience" has now been reduced to its rightful size and rendered innocuous by being examined in the Light of Day. It will no longer come to haunt you.
4. From now on, you will do the same with even your most recent negative experiences and you'll soon feel that these will happen more and more rarely.
When you sit and examine your life, you'll see more and more success, less and less failure. You will carry out this exercise from time to time, maybe once a week.
5. Now get up and stand upright, Shake the dust of negative experiences off your clothes and move forward, fully aware that: You are the Maker and Owner of your Destiny.
So, why allow yourself to be ruled by your own creature and property?
Why keep worshipping a God you make with your own hands?
Focus on positive thoughts but also make sure you "neutralize" all negative thoughts!
A.M.Sall - author, coach, success mindset strategist