Question for you.
When something really lousy happens, what if you were able to believe that life isn’t happening to you, but actually happening for you?
What if everything that happens in your life is perfectly orchestrated for your growth as a person?
If you went through your days knowing this, what would open up for you?
The topic I’m tackling this week is The Purpose of Life 101.
The simplest way to break it down is to say that life is a classroom and until you learn your lessons you are going to have to take the same tests over and over again.
Has that been your experience?
Do you have the same situations arise time and again?
Do you find yourself asking, “Why does this always happen to me?”
It could be the same fight with your spouse, the same battle with your children, constantly running up against “difficult people”, or a work situation that keeps reoccurring.
For some people it can be heavier, harsher things. Repeated divorce, loss of jobs, illness or losing loved ones.
Often people want to give up or give in. Depending on your personality, you could react in one of many ways.
It can come out as anger, stress, suppression, binge eating, self medication, self-flagellation or resignation.
But, instead of avoiding or beating yourself up, what if you could react in a way that would completely change how you feel and get you out of your repeat cycle?
What if you reacted with curiosity?
When you find yourself asking, “Why does this always happen to me?”
Instead of reacting emotionally, actually step back and look for an answer.
Try to figure out what the lesson is and what you need to do to learn from it.
What if the situation is not personal?
What if it doesn’t have anything to do with you being wrong or less than?
What if it is an opportunity for growth?
When you see it through this lens, you finally have a chance to handle the situation in a new way and “pass the test” that life school is giving you.
Then you can put it behind you once and for all.
Because, chances are, when this repeated pattern raises its ugly head, you do the same thing you have always done.
You repeat your same side of the heated argument with your husband.
You scream the same thing at your child.
You immediately get angry and aggressive with the customer service rep.
One of the lessons here is that what you are doing is not working.
Remember, doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity.
So, what can you change?
How can you speak to your husband so that you both don’t go down the same rabbit hole?
What concession can you give to your child so that you get what you want, but he or she feels heard and acknowledged?
How can your attitude before you get on the phone with a customer service rep change the outcome of the call?
When you do something different the situation is forced to change.
Let me repeat that: When you do something different the situation is forced to change.
It is inevitable.
You can’t drive a different route and have the scenery be the same.
Will you pass the test the first time?
But, you will see immediately that the pattern has changed.
Even though you may not get the desired outcome on the first try, you will be rewarded with the knowledge that you have changed the dynamic.
Life is full of challenging situations.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that defines your life.
How can you tweak your reactions so that your days are more enjoyable?
What lesson has been knocking on your door lately? What can you do differently to pass your life test?
Life isn’t happening to you.
It’s happening FOR you.
What do you need to do to learn your lesson and move on to the next one?
If you need some help figuring it out, please hit Contact in the upper right hand corner of this page to set up a Discovery Session with yours truly.
This is the fourth in a series of nine posts. In the first, I set forth the 8 underlying principals of my coaching philosophy. For the rest of the summer, I will be sussing out each point individually. You can read the previous installments here:
In order to change your life, you must first change your mind.