By Mia Lyndon
Bad things don’t happen just once.
When we are burnt by negativity and left scarred after our last misfortune, often, it happens again. And again.
Failure seems to come in waves and bouts- once we trip and fall, we often find ourselves pushed into the midst of prolonged suffering. We cruise through life until one negative event catalyses a new chain of continuous misfortune and failure.
In an industry that revolves around ‘lucky breaks’ and ‘being in the right place at the right time’, the performing arts scene almost seems to breed this idea. As creatives, we find ourselves working without cease towards one particular aim, only for it to fall flat upon its face.
We pin our hopes onto our goals and dedicate our every hour into making them happen, only for nothing to not take off. Getting stung by this rejection is an occurrence that just never gets easier to handle, even when we convince ourselves that everything will be okay. We tell ourselves that failure is normal, and that it’s part of the growing process, hoping that our next failure will be years away. Yet often, one defeat will unseal a collection of follow-up failures, leading us to leap from rejection to rejection. Negativity seems to all arrive at the same time.
Think back to a time where everything went wrong. A time when you stumbled your way from one heartbreak to the next, believing that things would never improve. Often, it seems that hardship is something that is encountered en masse and rock-bottom is a place that we inhabit for more than just one single day. Once our lives are interrupted by a shot of failure, it usually lingers for quite some time.
This attacks our self-esteem, forcing us to brand our lives as problematic and corrupt. We allow failure to define us, which poisons our stash of self-worth. All previous experiences of success and contentment are deleted from our memories, as we find ourselves crashing through a new path of consecutive negativity.
But why is this the case?
In reality, there is a psychological phenomena which can be held accountable for these continuous waves of negativity that we so often encounter. You see, bad occurrences don’t all happen at once- your mind just thinks that they do.
According to psychologist and psychotherapist Jeanette Raymond, “When one bad thing happens unexpectedly, it’s a shock…we can’t let it happen again and catch us off guard, so…we turn on the lens of suspicion and cynicism, while turning down the volume of good stuff, so it feels like the bad stuff comes in spades.”
We allow negative events to re-write the positivity of our futures, leading us to believe that misfortunes lie in the weeks and months ahead. As humans and as creatives, we constantly look for patterns, in the pursuit of joining the dots to understand our own lives, hence convincing ourselves that we are experiencing prolonged, constant failures. But we’re not.
It’s all just a mindset.
The solution lies within optimism. Success, positivity and contentment are not destinations- they do not arrive on a particular day, or even after a certain event. They cannot be won or gifted or received, and they never just show-up for free. They must be worked towards, continuously- without allowing our minds to slip back into addictive melancholy.
After we experiences misfortune, we have two options, and there are two sources in which we can channel our energy. Either, we accelerate ourselves forward, determined to arrive at due success, or, we can catapult ourselves into the realms of believing that we’ve just stepped into a queue of negativity. We have the unparalleled ability to carve happiness or despair into our days that follow a negative event, depending on how we process our broken hearts.
Failure breeds impassioned emotion- use it how you will.
Why Do Bad Things Tend to Happen All at Once?
(Quotation from Jeanette Raymond is cited from above article)