How to

Seeing the good in the bad and using negative energy as fuel

Both “Bad” and “Good” at the same time

It’s good to be self-aware. We can change ourselves and our behavior for the better if we’re aware of what needs changing.  But I don’t think it’s healthy to beat ourselves up dwelling on how crappy we feel our Personal Demons, and the wars we wage them.

Once we’re aware of a problem, it’s better to focus on fixing the problem then wallowing in it. But this is hard to do.

It seems its human nature to wallow in regret.  I’ve found that I wallow less, feel better, and move forward faster when I find the “Good” in the “Bad”.

A personal example of a “Bad”

So, I’ve been working on a project for about three years now.  I finally finished and now it’s time to launch and promote.  Here’s the “Bad”.  I find myself obnoxious over-bearing in its promotion.  I find myself going overboard to the floorboard.  Like I do with most things.  And this is my problem.  Obsessing is a Personal Demon.  I’m aware of it.  I’m working on improving my behavior.

Working on my behavior means I self-check myself by asking myself, “Why do you press so hard, Ken?”  And the answer, if I’m being honest with myself is this, “Because you’re needy Ken. Because other people’s opinion of you affects how you fell about yourself.”  Ugh!  This is another Personal Demon of sorts, craving approval from others (external), instead of being comfortable and confident in who and what I am. (internal).  This cartoon from Hugh MacLeod comes to mind.  I believe this about all of us, but believing it and living it are two different things.  Moving forward.

I feel bad about my obsessiveness and neediness.  I don’t want to be that “needy guy” who looks to others for self-worth.  The first step to correcting a behavior problem is being aware that there is a problem.  So, since I’m aware of it, I’m working on changing it.  But in the mean time, feeling “Bad” about this particular problem (and other Personal Demons I wrestle with), isn’t healthy or good for me.  It’s negative energy.

What I’ve learned to do is  take the negative energy from a “Bad”, and use it as fuel to move forward and improve.

I’m having success with this by seeing the “Good” in the “Bad”.  This doesn’t mean the “Bad”, is OK.  No sir.  Seeing the “Good” in the “Bad” helps me wallow less, and focus on change.

Here’s how I learned to see both sides.

The “Good” in the “Bad”

I was sharing this very story (about my overbearing promotion and the realization confirmation that I’m needy) with my wife Robyn.   She listened patiently.   Then told me that she thought that I should see the “Good” in the “Bad”.  This point of view didn’t make sense to me, and I said so.

She said, “You should be thankful!  Those Personal Demons fuel you to do what you’ve done.  Without it, you may have never started your project, or finished it.  There are lots of good things you’ve done that never would have been done without amped up motivation.  You need to see the “Good” in the “Bad”.  She went on to say that I should be thankful I’m a motivated person and beating myself up was a waste of time.  Negative energy is destructive, unless you use it as fuel to get where you want to go.

When she put it like that, I got it.  I believe it.  This perspective allows me be self-aware of an undesirable behavior, and strive to better myself, with out self-abusing myself by feeling “Bad” about the past, or the inevitable, and hopefully infrequent, realtime stumble .  This see the “Good” in the “Bad” approach is healthy and it works for me.

I wanted to share these thoughts with you because if on occasion, like I do, you’re aware of your Personal Demons, and your battle with them sometimes has you feeling “Bad”, if you can find the “Good” in your “Bad”, you can transform the negative energy into positive energy.  As a result, you’ll feel better about yourself, and the changes your working on will happen faster.

It’s working for me, I bet it works for you too.

Thanks for reading and all the best. Cheers.


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