When suffering through loss or facing challenges, we can find it difficult to control our thoughts and actions. We may struggle to realise a perspective that can drive us to grow. I believe that this perspective comes from shifting our pain into something more positive – extending ourselves to help others in our most difficult situations.
Opportunities rise where we need to support others through their journey of growth and it can be quite challenging for us to make sacrifices for the needs of others, especially when we have our own set of worries. We must realise though, that growth comes not only from achieving our own goals, but from supporting others to achieve theirs. If we can for one second put aside our own worries and frustrations with life and continue to serve others, we learn something major about ourselves. What is this you may ask?
The way we act in the present can never be defined by the feelings we have of the past, unless we allow it to.
The way we act in the present can never be defined by the feelings we have of the past, unless we allow it to. Regardless of the struggles we’ve been through, we still do possess the will to make free decisions. We realise that the only hope we have of moving positively into the future is to refuse to cling onto our fears that the past can control us. As often is the commonplace, an example is the best way to illustrate this:
A young man has just had his heart broken. He immediately feels sad, frustrated and confused. He arrives home to hear the news that his best mate’s father has passed away. A lot of emotions are going through his mind. He needs support himself right now, but so does his mate. There is a couple of responses he may have to this situation:
Response 1: He may dust himself off, take ownership of his feelings and be there for his mate regardless of his own loss.
Response 2: He may allow his heartbreak to overrule his actions and consequently let his friend down by not being there for him.
In response 2, the young man is obviously upset at his lost love. He is being caught up in the idea that his feelings towards his past relationship have the ability to affect his decision-making. In reality he is in full control, but struggles to see this because of his ‘limiting perspective’. Let’s view how response 1, handles this situation differently.
In response 1 the young man chooses to be empowered by his ability to set aside his own feelings for the betterment of his mate. He realises that it is only by continuing to make positive actions in this most difficult situation that he can grow to learn that he is in full control of himself and his actions. No person, experience or situation can change the way he acts. In fact, by supporting his mate despite his own feelings he is actually supporting himself too. He will find it easier to move passed the break-up and will also strengthen his friendship with his mate.
He will move positively into the future because he has already realised that his ex-partner’s disapproval, has no bearing on who he chooses to be in the future.
We can apply this ‘growth mindset’ to many situations in our lives. It is important to note that our character is defined by how we respond in situations of struggle. We should learn not to take our struggles out on others, but to extend ourselves with loving arms and use positive growth as our tool for overcoming challenges.
~ The Mind Connectory, 2018