Master the Negative

What’s our knee jerk reaction when something that we perceive as bad happens to us? Fear? Panic? Anger? Creative use of slang we normally wouldn’t use? postive_negative

There can’t be positive without negative. We can’t claim anything to be good, if we haven’t experienced bad. One can’t exist without the other.

Negative is normal. Negative things will happen in our lives because it’s a normal part of living. Sometimes negative things will happen because we screwed up, but often negative things happen… because they just do. It’s that fallen world thing.

What do we do about the negative? Whine? Complain? Blame? Give up?

Many do. Most likely we all have done the above at some point. What we need to do is learn to master the negative. Not just put up with it when it happens, but master it.

One definition of being a master at something is to be a person eminently skilled in something.


Dang. Don’t you hate it when you look up a word only to have to look up more words? Eminently means to a high degree. So we should become skilled to a high degree in handling the negative in our lives. Neat idea. If we think about it a bit, we admire people who handle adversity well.

They have class.

They bounce back.

They thrive despite the negative.

Mastering something is a skill. Skills need to be learned and they’re improved with practice. It’s human nature to desire the path of least resistance, to want what’s easy, to avoid the bad. But the negative will come and we can’t ignore it.

We need to master the negative.



Check your perception. Can something positive come from the situation? Are you making more of it than it really is? Is this really something negative?

We’ve all come across people who make a mountain out of a mole hill. Some people always seem to have drama in their life. For them the sky is always falling. So check your perception–you may need a different vantage point.

Learn to accept what is. Let go of what we cannot change or control. We cannot change other people nor control what they do. We often cannot control a medical or health condition. We cannot control much of our external environment. We need to accept and deal with what is–not depleting our energy by wishing for what we’d like it to be.

Trust in God. Give the negatives over to him and ask him to give you the wisdom and strength to get through. Putting our lives in God’s hands doesn’t keep us from having to deal with hard issues, but it gives us confidence that we aren’t doing it alone.

Understand that there is opportunity for growth to take place during life’s crappy times. We’re stretched and challenged during those times. No one likes hardship, but the greatest potential for growth exists during those times.

If we lay around in the shade drinking lemonade all day we’ll never know how fast we can run. Life on easy street sounds nice, but most likely it won’t produce someone with much depth. Those who have mastered the negative know this and learn to appreciate their personal growth due to adversity.

Don’t let life’s negatives consume you and rob you of hope. Those who have learned to master life’s low points have faith in the future. They’re not stuck in the past and always looking back. They look forward and haven’t lost their hope.

By mastering the negative, your outlook on life will improve, you will become stronger and you begin to see that personal growth needs lessons from both the positive and the negative.

My 500 Words 31 Day Challenge

my 500

13 Responses to Master the Negative

  1. Cliff Turner says:

    Great thoughts! My son and I had a discussion the other day (in the context of a lost soccer game) about what turns a negative into a failure. We came to the conclusion that negative experiences can only be counted as failures if we refuse to learn something from them.

  2. Good post Yolanda. I like the notion of mastering the negative. That certainly represents a key difference between those who master it and those who are mastered by it!

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