How Do You Respond to Bad Experiences?

How Do You Respond to Bad Experiences?Early in The Law of Pain, chapter 8 in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell says “Life is filled with ups and downs. The problem is that what most of us want is ups and ups.” How true that is!

As I read this chapter, it reminds me of several key points we’ve learned from studying The DISC Model of Human Behavior and the various curriculum from Personality Insights. Having a fairly high amount of the DRIVEN style in my own blend, I can think back to a number of painful experiences and see exactly what Dr. Robert Rohm means when he says telling a DRIVEN person they CAN’T do something is more of a challenge for them to overcome than it is a directive for them to adhere to… Unfortunately, I also know what he means when he says this style’s blind spot is being DEFIANT. (William Marston, when developing The DISC Model of Human Behavior nearly 100 years ago, said this group was quite susceptible to RAGE; and I can’t deny that one either.)

Opening The Law of Pain, John asks “How do YOU usually respond to bad experiences? Do you explode in anger? Do you shrink into yourself emotionally? Do you detach yourself from the experience as much as possible? Do you ignore it?” As I look back at almost any truly painful experience in my life or career, I can recall degrees of both defiance and rage. I’m not proud to admit that both used to be more than a little bit visible too. My dad has often told me that I would get more patient as I got older; so far only one of the two has happened… I certainly can still be a bit defiant. However, I think I have gotten a bit better at quelling the rage that Marston talked about. The part that I’m fairly excited about is how I’ve been able to, in many cases, begin using these bad experiences as a platform for growth and positive change! Quite honestly, had it not been for a few different painful experiences, Cindy and I would have never gotten connected with The John Maxwell Team.

You may not have quite as much of that DRIVEN style as I do, but I have no doubt that you experience painful situations as well. What I’ll leave you to consider this time is how you’re using these experiences as a spring board, rather than a plank (like on a pirate ship). John also says “What we do with that experience defines who we become!”