You must all have heard these positive optimists saying that 'there is an opportunity in everything, even in the things that seem bad for us'. Or that 'there is always something to be learned, even in the darkest moments'.
And you, like me, would shrug your shoulders and answer with a sarcastic 'Yeah, Right!'
I decided to humour the optimists and try their theory as one of my 'get out of your comfort zone' actions. Recently I got stabbed in the back really badly by a bunch of people I trusted. Assumptions were made about me and taken for truth in combination with some personality clashes. It wasn't a particularly nice experience but I decided not to react and instead to look at what I could learn from the experience.
I found that by not reacting people who were on the periphery of the issue started to confide in me with what they heard and took my side. I thanked them for their trust and insisted I didn't need them to take sides.
I analysed the entire situation and discovered there were things I could have done better to avoid some of the fallout. I then checked for the root cause of my reactions and found that I had compromised on my values by changing direction with my company on others advice. Take note that though the issue had nothing to do as such with the company, it still found its roots in it.
I have now altered the direction of the company back to my value set and passion and will grow from there by taking several actions in the next few weeks (that's a bit scary but good scary!). I have also learned how I'm going to deal with the people who stabbed me in the back whilst keeping my eyes firmly on the outcomes I desire.
So whenever you find your self in a situation that is harmful to you, don't react! Check for the root cause and what YOU can do better. Alter YOUR direction as you have no control over others. Keep YOUR values and desired outcomes as your primary motivation. And finally figure out how best to deal with the root cause.
I think I might join some of the optimists after all this. Because you know what, there is an opportunity to learn in every situation.