Success Tip: How to stop resentment ruining your life

5/05/2015

How to let resentment go and lead a happy and successful life...

 

Madeleine Morgan of Growu writes:

Have you ever felt wronged? Maybe you’ve experienced:

  • A customer or employer trying to underpay you
  • Someone breaking a promise to you
  • Being overlooked for promotion
  • Your boss having a favourite among your colleagues
  • Your partner being unfaithful to you
  • Being the victim of a crime
  • Or…?

Some people feel that the pain of those experiences will scar them for life.

Often there is a double pain involved. Have you ever experienced the corrosive power of resentment? Holding onto resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die! It can blind you to your ability to be happy and successful. It can ruin your life.

But how do you let go of resentment when everything inside you is screaming for justice or even revenge and you feel you’ve been wronged in some way?

I was listening to a remarkable interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme last Friday that gave me the idea for this success tip.

Eva Kor, a Jewish woman who was experimented on when she was in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II, was asked why she had hugged a Nazi in court recently.

Her answer was strong, resourceful and inspiring. She said, "I am not a poor person, I am a victorious human being, who has been able to rise above the pain, forgive the Nazis, not because they deserve it but because I deserve it.”

She was determined not to be a victim, nor did she want to continue the cycle of pain through seeking revenge."I did want to tell him that I was there to testify and also thank him for having some human decency for accepting responsibility for what he has done,"replied Eva Kor.

So what was Eva’s secret to letting go of resentment and learning to forgive? I’d love to find out more. In the meantime, here are some top tips for dealing with some of the more common resentments in our personal, career and business lives.

  • To help you free your heart and mind from resentment, remember that when you forgive someone, it’s for your own well-being. If you must take revenge take it by living a happy and successful life that you can feel proud of and fulfilled by.
  • Remember that you can forgive the person while still criticising and abhorring the behaviour. Divert your energy away from feeling hurt, anger, depression and stress and into useful action. For instance, if it’s relevant, make it clear to them what they can do to make amends. Seek to resolve issues quickly.
  • Write down your thoughts and feelings about the incident. This can often help to calm your anger and help you see things more objectively.
  • Use your curiosity to seek understanding – in some cases there may be a positive intention behind what they did that would help you understand their motives and give you an opportunity to show them how to get their needs met in a wiser way. There is often deep insecurity and fear behind negative actions. For instance, if someone lies to you, you don’t have to put up with the lies but by understanding why they thought that was a good way to treat you, you can open up an opportunity to mentor them to get their needs met in honest ways. The peace you can find from doing this is well worth the effort.
  • Related to this is using your curiosity to discover if you have a part to play in becoming a victim.For instance, in the case of people telling you lies, do you make it hard for people to speak their truth with you? How could you make it easier for people to be more open with you?
  • Use your ingenuity to learn how to overcome adversity and succeed. Put your energy into achieving your positive goals. For, instance:
    • Learn to make wise choices about who you trust. There’s a saying, “If you wrong me once, shame on you. If you wrong me twice, shame on me.”
    • Learn conflict resolution and negotiation skills so that you can assertively find win-win outcomes – people will be less likely to feel they need to get their way in sneaky moves when they know you’re a reasonable person.
    • Learn to seek justice in healthy ways. For instance, seek a wise mediator to deal with issues at work or in personal relationships.
    • Learn what you need to know to succeed in your personal, business and career lives – sales, networking, presentation, and other communication skills for instance.
  • Practise – choose some smaller hurts to forgive first before tackling the big ones. Your confidence will build and your emotional freedom will follow.
  • If you find talking helps you, talk it through with someone who can wisely and objectively guide you to new perspectives, skills and confidence such as a life coach. This can help you lower your stressful fight or flight responses and help you get back in touch with your own wisdom. Avoid the temptation to repeat your story of hurt too frequently to all your friends, colleagues and family members to gain sympathy. It will give you temporary relief but in the long run it will only confirm you as a victim and disempower you.

What’s your next step to becoming more successful in your personal, business and career?

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