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Acknowledge and Affirm Your Positive and Negative Sides

Listen to this episode of the Focus with Marlene Podcast:

Get caught up with all episodes in the Developing a New Focus series.

This is part 3 in my series, “Focus on Your Responses to Life.”
Part 1: Is Your First Response to Problems Reactive or Proactive?
Part 2: 5 Constructive Ways to Respond When Your Anger is Triggered


“If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering.

Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death.

Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.”  

—Victor Frankl

When adversity and hardship hit, questions and doubts rush to the foreground:

“What will I do? How can I deal with this?”

At such times, we might experience a range of emotions such as shock, anger, fear, anxiety, and even panic. As comprehension reveals the depth of the problems we face, we may have misgivings about how we can resolve them.

Adversity and hardship turn our world upside down and inside out. In this unfamiliar territory, our vulnerabilities are exposed and our capabilities are questioned.

If we have never examined and accepted the problematic and less pleasant parts of our personality, difficult times will amplify and exaggerate them. Instead of resolve and determination, our focus remains on defeat and failure or anger and blame.

We are not perfect.

While it is important to recognize and affirm our assets, qualities, and strengths, it is equally as important to acknowledge what is not easy. After we accept and affirm both, our weaknesses become less of an issue. Then, after the first shock of harsh reality, we can use our mind and energy to problem-solve.

Being aware of our weaknesses provides a harmonious and emotional balance between what we can do and what we can’t.

It stabilizes and grounds us and provides a balancing pole between two opposing forces. It reminds us we are not all-powerful, all-capable, or all-encompassing. We need others and we need God. Just as we need to know our strengths, we also need to know our vulnerabilities.

Pride can also be a problem because it leads to arrogance.

Arrogance has an aura of superiority, which leads to overconfidence, haughtiness, and egotism. Adversity will reveal this in unpleasant ways.

Humility is a quantifying scale against pride and arrogance.

In the grand scheme of things there will be areas where we excel and areas where we do poorly. One does not outweigh the other. When we recognize both, we are able to ask for help and take on the responsibility of finding solutions as well as stepping out with confidence.

Humility brings us back to what is important in life and what we believe in. Humility says, “It is not about me – it is about what I have been given to work with and a God who leads, guides, and directs.”

We don’t always have to be right; we need to be willing to learn.

Tough times can be either debilitating events or opportunities to become more than we were. If we play the “blame game” or continue to beat ourselves up, we will spend an enormous amount of energy and time going nowhere. If we ask God for guidance, assurance, strength, faith, and hope, we will find we have the tools to handle the worst adversity.

What is difficult for you?

What are you denying that needs to be addressed?

  • Perhaps you are afraid of making mistakes or of appearing incapable or stupid.
  • Perhaps you fear rejection and isolation.

When we accept that we will make mistakes, that we will appear stupid at times, and that we won’t always be capable, these won’t become such huge obstacles. We can’t learn unless we are willing to take risks.

To make good choices, we need to acknowledge both our positive side and our negative side.

We need to review our past, put it behind us, and focus on the here and now. As we take away valuable lessons learned from our past, we can let go of our need to always be right.

Become honest with yourself.

You can laugh and cry and feel pain. You can ask for help. It’s okay.

Spend time discovering the real you.

Then focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t do.

When you believe you can, you can soar like an eagle, and make the choices that are right for you.               

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