Life is a conversation. Things happen, and we have interpretations about them. That’s the way it works.
For example, two people going through the same challenging circumstance or event can have completely different takes on the situation. One might be very upset and have the following reaction to a particular “failure”:
- That was horrible.
- I told you so.
- We shouldn’t have done that.
However, another person, when faced with the same situation, might just smile and say:
- That could have been worse!
- That was tough, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
- We stayed in this together and became closer because of it.
Both reactions – negative and positive – are valid, but they have different outcomes and consequences. One is empowering; the other is disempowering.
As part of my business, I coach, guide and support people. Some people never seem to be happy or satisfied, even when good things happen to them. They always see the “half empty” part of the glass. They just won’t count their blessings. Others are always oriented around the “half full” part. They look for the good, the blessings, and the lessons and opportunities in every situation, no matter how bad it may be.
We don’t believe what we see. We see what we believe. People always find evidence and validation for their points of view. If they predict that an upcoming event will be “hard or un-enjoyable,” guess what? It probably will be. And if they view a future challenge as an “opportunity,” they’ll prove that right as well. Whatever our points of view, we will always prove them right. So why not choose to focus on empowering perspectives?
Winston Churchill said, “Success is going from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm.” I find that inspiring. There is great power in realizing that we always have a say about our mindset, point of view and attitude – no matter what circumstances we are facing.
The more we learn to think like that, the more empowered we will be. We can always justify why we will play smaller. Or we can create exciting justifications for why we’ll play even bigger than before.
Ultimately, we either live in empowering conversations or disempowering ones. The beauty is that it’s our choice to make.