Don’t Let Negative Experiences Control Your Life

May 20, 2016

Our life is a constant series of experiences — both positive and negative. We must go through it all.

For some reason, negative experience are the ones that will leave the greatest mark on us. It seems that when everything is going well, when we’re “cruising right along,” we are barely aware of our own existence. Often, we start to value things only when everything turns against us.

Negative experiences are necessary in our lives. They can help us get our lives on track, learn to make better choices, know how to tell the difference between what we love and what we do not.

In short, all experiences, but especially negative ones, help us to become better people. But what happens when this is not the case? What happens when these experiences control my life?

Woman Standing in Sea

When my experiences control me

You may feel that the negative experiences you go through, rather than improving your life, end up subsequently making it worse.

Maybe you can relate to some of the following:

  • If someone publicly humiliates me for a comment that I made, I will avoid saying what I think so that it does not happen again.
  • If my partner blames me for our breakup, maybe I will act carefully and be submissive in my next relationship.
  • I always try to think like others so that people will not look weirdly at me and so they will accept me.

These and many other situations represent our natural inclination toward searching for pleasure and avoiding the pain that all negative experiences cause us.

But sometimes, this fear of finding ourselves defenseless in the face of an unexpected situation leads us to put on a mask that does nothing more than hide what we did not manage to fix.

Masks that make us show ourselves as something that we are not and which, instead of helping us stand up to our problem and keep on growing.

In my life, I call the shots

Although negative experiences may hurt us in a very intense way, we have to avoid letting them control and direct our lives.

We can only decide how we are going to lead our lives, how we want to act, how we want to move forward. Our experiences should make us move forward, improve, but never take steps back.

How, then, must we act with respect to our negative experiences?

  • Avoid self-pity. Don’t blame yourself for things you should not. What happened has already been left in the past; it is time to look at the present with certainty and positivity.
  • Do not let your feelings drag you along and drown you in a sadness that you can’t escape. Feel them, but do not let them come over you like a tsunami. Yell, “That’s enough!” and keep moving forward.
  • Do not let yourself be carried away by your thoughts, for they will spin you round and round and make you feel confused and paralyzed before the situation. Hit the brakes on your thoughts and start acting.
  • Actively make decisions in your life, let yourself be the one who chooses how to live it, and avoid all negative experiences that will force you to change your path.

It is true that negative experiences cause insecurity, doubts, discomfort, and sadness… But all of this can be overcome and only you have the power to do this.

Woman at Top of Stairs

If you want to get out of this situation, you have to start fighting against those feelings that try to take you over and drag you as if they were a strong current. Avoid the confusing thoughts that will do nothing but paralyze you. Instead, seriously focus on what it is that you want.

You are the one who decides; do not let negative experiences take control of your life. It’s OK to feel insecurity, but don’t let it take over.

Look at negative experiences as situations that you can learn from. Something positive can be taken from all negative situations, something that only you can find, something that only you will decide to experience.