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When you react negatively to someone or they react negatively to you, does that automatically mean there is something wrong with one of you?
When things do not work out for you in your life, do you find yourself questioning yourself? Do you find yourself questioning the situation in general? When relationships do not work out, do you ask, “What’s wrong with me?” When people take issue with you, do you ask, “Why don’t people like me?” Do you take it one step further and ask, “Why am I such a bad person?” or maybe even, “What did I do to deserve this?” If you find yourself asking those questions, I invite you to look at things differently.
A great way to think about this concept is in terms of foods. Take strawberries for example. Some people love to eat a nice ripe strawberry. There is just something about a nice, ripe, juicy strawberry that some people cannot get enough of. That person could take a bite out of a strawberry and love it. Then they give that same strawberry to someone else and the person they gave it to, could have an allergic reaction. By the same token, maybe the person with an allergic reaction to strawberries loves peanuts. They can eat peanuts all day, morning, noon, and night. As you probably know, some people have severe peanut allergies. Maybe the person who loves strawberries has a peanut allergy and cannot eat peanuts.
Is there anything wrong with someone who is allergic to strawberries? Is there anything wrong with a person who is allergic to peanuts? Is there anything wrong with the strawberries? Is there anything wrong with the peanuts? I invite you to think of it this way. There is nothing inherently wrong with the people eating the strawberries or the people eating the peanuts. There is nothing inherently wrong with strawberries or the peanuts themselves. It is the combination of the person and the strawberry or the person and the peanut that causes the adverse reaction.
It is the same when it comes to two people. When you have friction with someone, I invite you to look at it objectively. I invite you to see that in most cases there is nothing wrong with you and in most cases nothing wrong with the other person. Most of the time, it is the combination of the two of you together that is leading to a less-than-ideal outcome for one or both of you.
Always remember, there is a strawberry and a peanut out there for everyone.
How this applies to fear…
When it comes to fear and realizing that it is a combination of two people leading to the friction or negative feelings, when you first have friction with someone, you may be afraid that there is something wrong with you. This fear can manifest itself in anger or even ego. When you are afraid that you are not good enough or that there is something wrong with you, the tendency is to overcompensate. This overcompensation leads to an increased ego. This ego then leads people to think there is something wrong with you – the exact opposite reaction of what you were looking for. On the other hand, there is something to be said for using confidence to overcome a feeling of ‘lack’ or being less-than. Therefore, it is key to your success to understand that your ego is being driven by fear. Overcoming the fear will tone down your ego and leave you with confidence.
How this applies to authentic empathy…
When it comes to authentic empathy and realizing that it is a combination of two people leading to the friction or negative feelings, it shows a high level of authentic empathy to come to this realization. You are displaying the ability to look at another person and see them for the good person they are even if they do not resonate with you. You see them as a good person even if you do not agree with some of the things they say or do. You can look at another person and believe that, even if they are not the right one for you, there is someone out there for them. Once you can do this for others, others will be able to do this for you.
How this applies to WACASHWI…
When it comes to WACASHWI and realizing that it is a combination of two people leading to the friction or negative feelings, when you feel less than, when you feel you are not good enough, or you feel like there is something wrong with you, it will change the items you put on and move through your list. When you move things from Want to Can, your perception of what you can do will be skewed. The same thing happens when moving to the Should and the Will stages. That is why it is critical to recognize and overcome the negative feelings being caused by your interactions with others. It is critical to realize that there is nothing wrong with you. It is critical to realize that it is the combination of you and the other person leading to a less-than-desired feeling and result.
Your daily invitations…
- I invite you to think about someone in your life that you are having a challenge with.
- I invite you to consider where the negativity is coming from.
- I invite you to write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in your journal.
- I invite you to talk with the with the person you are thinking about above to see what can be done to resolve the challenge you are having and to see if they are indeed the strawberry or peanut for you.
Final step – how will you implement one thing you learned today in your life?
This all is but one step in your journey to living a more stress-free life, beating the demons of fear, and raising your level of authentic empathy towards yourself and others.
I appreciate you!