Tip #3: Quit Expecting Life to Be Fair
By Motivational Speaker Connie Podesta
How unfair is it to even talk about this subject? Let’s face it—the deep desire for fairness and what it stands for should not have to be disputed, explained or justified. Unlike many things we value in life, a sense of fairness does not have to be taught or modeled in order for us to know when it happens and when it doesn’t. Even young children intuitively know whether something is “fair” or not. It is almost as thought we were genetically hardwired to recognize when something is fair…and most definitely when something is not. And there is nothing to compare with the sense of injustice, outrage, and frustration when people and or life don’t play by the rules.
There are three basic arenas in the world of playing fair: what people do to us, what we do to ourselves and what life throws at us.
Fairness from others: We have the absolute right to expect people to be fair—even though, unfortunately, that’s not the way it always works. People can bring a lot of baggage, hidden agendas, and downright self-centeredness into relationships that cause them to make decisions and take actions that are anything but fair. (The nerve!) Which is why we must be very selective when it comes to CHOOSING who we allow into our lives. Toxic people use unfairness as a tool to manipulate, get their way and put us down. For these people getting what they want no matter what is simply part of the game they play. But they need a willing partner. So be on guard! Watch how people handle stress, behave at work, discuss difficult topics, listen, compromise, and make decisions. Be alert for red flags that scream “WATCH OUT! Dangerous person ahead!” This road will be bumpy and treacherous. Take a detour NOW!
Bottom line: Choose to be with people who play fair, work fair, argue fair, and live with fairness as a value by which they make healthy choices.
Being fair to yourself: Self-doubt, negative self-talk, constant criticism and guilt are examples of people choosing to be unfair to themselves. If that sounds like you – QUIT IT! Being successful, healthy and happy requires walking a fine line between open, healthy self-evaluation and destructive self-incrimination that destroys the very essence of who you are. Give yourself a break. Push yourself to do your best. Stay focused and determined to do the right thing. Stand up for what you believe and live life with respect and love. But…don’t be your own worst enemy when it comes to constantly feeling you aren’t good enough, skinny enough, smart enough, wealthy enough or successful enough. Be fair to yourself. Life throws enough your way without you stepping in and giving yourself constant grief.
When life isn’t fair: Aw, here’s the one that’s the real killer. We definitely have some control over how we handle people who are being unfair. We can watch for the signs, learn from the past and choose carefully. But what about when life throws you a curveball? What then?
Even when we’re chugging along, doing our best and making good choices, sometimes something comes straight out of left field – a health crisis, a financial emergency, a car breaks down, the company folds. And you’re left asking, “Can I just get a break?”
So what do you do when life hands you the proverbial lemons? Well, our first reaction to unfairness is usually extreme anger or tremendous sorrow. Legitimate emotions? You bet! Helpful emotions? Not at all. When life throws you something that is so far from what you expected—you’re going to need your wits about you to get you through it. Our brain is pretty amazing. It takes what it’s given and keeps our body running. The problem is when we are angry, bitter, mad, railing against life, sad, depressed and indignant—those emotions take all the resources our brain has and leaves little room for creative thought, productive energy, coping skills, and a positive determination to win. Just when we need those things the most to handle the trauma, disappointment, loss, or fear—we have overwhelmed our brain with such overriding emotions that there isn’t any room left for our brain to move into “let’s figure this out” gear.
That’s when it’s time to take a deep breath. Clear your mind and set those overwhelming emotions on the shelf for a little while. Give that phenomenal computer in your skull a chance to find the solutions, correct the problems and clear a path back to peace of mind. Is that easy? Nope. Absolutely not. But it’s the best thing to do if you want to put the tough stuff behind you in the fastest time with the least amount of stress.
So fair or unfair – you’ve got this. First — steer clear of those who don’t play fair or nice. You don’t need all that in your life. Secondly, remember to be KIND to yourself. Ditch the negative self-talk and have the courage to become your own best advocate and cheerleader. And lastly – when life tosses you curveballs – throw them back by giving your brain the time and energy it needs to solve the problem and get you through the rough patches.
Two Take-Aways to Share With YOUR Social Circle Today:
FAIRNESS isn’t a given. Watch out for the warning signs and CHOOSE to surround yourself with people who play fair, work fair and live life with integrity. #ChooseWisely
Unfairness isn’t ALWAYS about life throwing you curveballs. Sometimes the fairness you need the MOST – is from the person right there in your own mirror. #BeYourOwnBestAdvocate
Stay with us on this journey right here at www.conniepodesta.com/blog! I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave a comment or two and please share with your friends! (We’re all in this together right?) Be sure to follow me on Facebook & Twitter too – we share fun stuff and think BIG there every day! I’d love to have you join in the conversation!
Other articles in this series include: