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Never Waste a Great Anti-Mentor

3 Ways That Your Negative Experience Can Lead to Great Success

top mindset life coach Meridith Alexander

Most of us will go to great lengths to avoid a negative experience. 

But did you know that those people, places and things that cause us such grief can actually help us hone our own super powers? 

The mentors in our lives can help to light up the path to potential success. And yet, how often have we not quite understood how those lessons apply to our own journey? Or maybe we simply failed to put those lessons into action? 

Even with the best mentors in the world, sometimes their lessons go unheeded because we still lack the biggest incentive toward change — clarity. 

Not so with our anti-mentors. 

Those moments spent with an anti-mentor or in a powerfully negative experience leave no doubt in our minds about how we feel about them. 

Yes, admittedly, we may not relish repeating those experiences but the anti-mentors definitely bring with them the gift of clarity. And clarity is your power. 

So the next time that you brush up against something that makes your stomach twist into a knot, look for these three ways that you can spin this moment powerfully in your favor. 

  1. What is it clarifying to you about your Big Why/ your mission?  Many of the most inspiring people from politics figures like Nelson Mandela to speakers at the world’s TEDx Talks found their purpose thanks to a brush with a negative experience. In my executive coaching, I find that virtually everyone expresses the desire to help others and to make some sort of an impact on the world. It is the power of our stories that typically resonates with other human beings. Surviving our challenges not only gives hope to others but it also gives us the momentum to set our sights on new heights.
  2. How can this inspire you to tap into the best version of yourself.  There is a saying in business to never waste a good crisis. Why? Because there is nothing like a time of crisis to create focus and intent. Imagine what it was like for the leadership of Corning back in the 70’s when they learned that at the current pace, they would not be able to cover payroll in 9 months. Rather than begin cutting jobs, they appealed to the creativity of their engineering team and fiber optics were born. Might your great discovery come out of this “negative experience”?
  3. What are you learning about lining up your passions with your “must haves”? So many clients come to me unsure about what to do next. Many of them feel stuck. Sometimes they are technically “successful” but because they are unclear on their mission and passion, they feel like they are missing something. In order to feel fulfilled in your work, you must be doing some things that align with your mission and your passions on a daily basis. And you must be aware that the things that you are doing are congruent with your mission and passion. Believe it or not, many people are so close to their mission and passion that those things land in their blind spot. They forget why they are doing what they are doing and then sometimes stray away from the things that originally excited them. Nothing like a “negative” experience to help you begin to ask better questions and to ultimately reconnect with the things that matter most deeply to you. 

Agreed. Dealing with someone who makes your skin crawl or fighting your way through the whitewaters of major crisis may not be something that makes your heart sing.

 And yet — it is the partnership between the paths that steer us clearly in another direction and the paths that reveal the great outcomes that allow us to become even bigger versions of ourselves. 

Without the input that clearly says NO, we might not have the clarity to create all of the many, many things in our lives that inspire that powerful YES! 

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