It’s ok. You can cry it out.
I’m a positive guy. I like to see the glass half-full. I always look for the silver lining. I try to find the moral of the story. And every other cliché in the book.
I think success has a lot to do with mindset. I think everything that happens is all about the perspective you’ve got. So, naturally, I try to keep a great outlook on life.
But I’m not going to sugarcoat it: Sometimes things just suck.
No matter how well you spin it or what kind of lens you put on, bad things happen in the world. That’s just life. Relationships end, people get hurt, loved ones pass, disappointments occur. And we’ve got to figure out if we’re going to keep on smiling, or if we’re going to get real about what we’re feeling.
We have this myth that happy people are always happy. That loving couples always glow with love. That successful people are always cultivating success. But, as a guy who considers himself decently happy, loving, and successful, I’ve got to tell ya — that’s a load of crap.
I’ve seen too many colleagues and friends in the self-help space put off this image that you’ve got to be upbeat 100% of the time to be a positive person. Sure, we talk about positive things on this blog a lot because—well, why not? But, if you didn’t feel the darkness, you’d never be able to recognize your light. If you didn’t feel the bitterness, you’d never know life can be so sweet.
Some days are bad. Some days, I’m angry. Some days, I’m downright pissed off. The world doesn’t always make sense. Life happens. Things can be unfair. Things can be unjust. And letting yourself feel that doesn’t mean you’re about to win the Negative Nancy award. It just means you’re human.
The truth is that we’re equipped with this really nifty tool called feelings. We’re meant to feel a whole range of them. That’s how we know if we’re moving in the right direction or the wrong one. That’s how we differentiate one feeling from another. We feel. We allow ourselves to feel.
We wouldn’t feel grief if we never felt love. We wouldn’t feel loss if we never felt connection. We wouldn’t feel rage if we never felt calm. And we wouldn’t feel misery if we never felt ecstasy.
We’re made up of feelings — a whole bunch of icky, gushy, emotional feelings. And they’re a huge part of who we are. A part that we need to learn to accept.
Being real about them doesn’t make you weak. Admitting that you’re having a bad day doesn’t make you less than. Soaking in the sadness doesn’t take away your success.
The most successful thing you can do in any situation is the thing that feels most authentic to you. Sometimes that’s sharing your story with the world. Sometimes that’s working your butt off the improve lives. Sometimes that’s holding your arms open for a loved one. And sometimes that’s feeling totally and completely furious.
So give yourself a break. Cut yourself some slack. Don’t try to force yourself to feel what isn’t quite natural.
If shit’s going down, it’s okay to be angry, mad, sad, confused, frustrated, or anything else that might be coming up. The point isn’t to wallow in the misery, but it’s to just honor where you’re at and know where you want to be.
You might not be there today. But tomorrow’s another day. And just sitting with your feelings is the most successful thing you can do now. When you’re ready, you’ll figure out the next successful thing you can do.
We’ve got enough people out there judging us. Don’t add yourself to the list. Don’t tell yourself you “shouldn’t be mad, but…” Because mad might be exactly what you need to feel. You always deserve to feel your feelings. Quite frankly, because you feel them. And that’s good enough reason for me.
So, yeah, shit happens. Feelings come up. And we’re all striving to be those positive, happy, law-of-attraction-style people. But today’s just a shitty, shitty day. And we’re allowed to feel down.
Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow will be different. But it’s time to check in and be honest about where we’re at.
That’s called self-awareness. That’s called self-acceptance.
That’s called success, to me.
This article originally appeared Boston Wellness Coach.
Photo credit: Kalyan Chakravarthy/flickr
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