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4 Ways Negativity Positively Impacts Your Life

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Reading this headline, you are probably thinking “Another smarty on the internet who is going to tell me the fact that my life sometimes sucks is actually a good thing.” Yep, that’s me so let me fill you in and share with you a concept which totally transformed the way I see negativity.

When I got into the personal development space and created my motivational blog almost 3 years ago, I thought that I should talk about happiness hacks and possibly some unicorns here and there. But I learned very quickly that this was not my journey and I wouldn’t get under your skin unless I deal with real stuff.

I am one of those people who likes to find the light in the dark, who wants to dig deep down into the dirt and come up with the benefit of it. I love taking my emotional pain and making a freaking rainbow out of it just so I can reap its benefits.

Although I love the motivation and powerful inspirational messages we see and hear on a daily basis, I am tired of this “free lunch” mentality. There is no such a thing as we all need to pay a price. If we truly want to make it all the way without major mental injuries, we first need to understand the benefits of pain, hurt, struggle or any negative emotions and see them as blessings.

Here are 4 ways negativity positively impacts your life:

1. Mental stretching

Mental stretching is complete opposite of “free lunch” mentality which I mentioned earlier. Your inner transformation or “mindset upgrade” won’t happen unless there is some pain or challenge involved. The problem is that we are presented this idea of a quick fix and getting everything in a short period of time. When that doesn’t happen, we get discouraged, quit and stop working on ourselves.  

Real, powerful and sustainable growth follows when you decide to face the pain and do something about it. The best way to deal with negative emotions is by asking yourself this simple question: “How can I use it in my favor?” At first, it will piss you off. Then, it will allow you to work with negativity in a powerful way.  

“Reality is created by the mind, we can change our reality by changing our mind.” Plato

2. It keeps your ego grounded

I remember when I sent out my first article to A2S. I was super nervous and totally scared of rejection. To my surprise, the response was positive. This encouraged me to write another one and again they liked it and decided to publish it. So, I didn’t hesitate and sent out the third article.

This time I wasn’t putting all my effort into writing it and it reflected on the outcome. Yep, as you guess, two approved articles made me feel like a superstar and raised my confidence way too high.

In their email, they kindly thanked me for my effort but politely explained that they are going to pass on it at this time. This email sent me right back to the ground and made me realize one of the most important things. In the words of Gary Vaynerchuk, we are never too big.

This rejection, which many of us consider to be a negative experience, gave me a lesson for life and made me understand that we are never too big to learn, to love, to forgive, to be kind and humble at all cost.

3. It makes you understand more

Negativity is probably the best teacher in life. I know, sounds brutal, but think about it this way. Why do some people who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth and given everything in the world  fail to “make it happen?” Why do many of them end up in drugs, living promiscuity lives surrounded by problems and toxic relationships?

On the other hand, you have another group who experiences poverty, a tough life, and unimaginable struggles. They thrive in life and produce one success after another. It seems only as a paradox if we don’t understand the power of negativity. Pain breaks ignorance and gives us a better understanding about life, about people’s feelings and the fact that we all go through it. It’s not just you and I, it’s everyone; we all fight.

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” Sun Tzu

4. Intolerance leads to breakthrough

I bet you’ve had one of those moments when you said, “enough is enough.” It usually happens when something was bothering you or hurting you for too long. It was something you tolerated in spite of a fact that it wasn’t causing you any good.

It happens all the time. We get into the wrong relationships, end up in jobs which drain us and we live it although the dissatisfaction is getting bigger and the pain is getting more intense. All this cultimates in one day simply breaking down.

Suddenly, all those excuses don’t matter anymore. Fear disappears and there is no way that we are going to tolerate this painful lifestyle for one more minute without actually doing something about it. That’s when those positive and giant breakthroughs happen since the current situation becomes intolerable.

Conclusion

Breaking this illusion of a “perfectly positive” life is the first step to own the happiness we seek every day. If we believe The idea of happiness meaning being problem-free brings more pain in the form of disappointment in regards to “how things should be.”

Here is the truth, negativity is the way to positivity. That’s how we get it, that’s how we live it and that’s how we experience it. Do me a favor and look back. Look at your breakthroughs, look at those most powerful moments of your life and your biggest victories. What was the reason that they became your reality?

Do you look for the positive in the most dire of situations? If so, does it help your moral? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!

Silvia committed her life to many things but one of them is helping people in turning their pain into power and teach them how to find benefits in the most difficult events of their lives. She is a motivational speaker and founder of CourageWithinYou platform.  She has written well over 200 articles oriented on personal development, success, and healthy mental growth. You can connect with her on Facebook or on her personal website www.silviaturon.com.

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The 3 Types of Confidence You Need to Know and Understand

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We’ve all heard it before, confidence is everything. Those that seem to have it, have it all. They, themselves, are not necessarily perfect human beings, but they seemingly have the charisma to attract whatever they want in life. (more…)

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3 Simple Tips to Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence for Better Relationships

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Relationships are challenging. They make you examine yourself from all angles, and that can be triggering. For example, have you ever had a friend or significant other say something that sparked an argument instantly—only to find out you misheard what they said in the first place? (more…)

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If You Want to Avoid Failure Once and for All, Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

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You just invested in yourself and in your business. You are taking massive action but the results are just not clicking yet. While everyone is making 10X, 20X, and even 100X ROI on their initial investment, you have made $0 return. Failure is starting to overcast your bright shining positive attitude and you are feeling the pain and shame of it. (more…)

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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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