Using Negativity in a Good Way: The Lab Rats Explore How Much Their Lives Suck

Keeni! on flickr.comThe Lab Rats kicked things off by diving right into the major suckiness of their lives. By starting at the lowest point, they then have a list of things against which they can compare their actions and see progress.

Overall, the Lab Rats don’t feel passion in their current work situations and don’t see a path out of the suckiness. The resulting negativity discourages them to take care of themselves and leaves them feeling cut off even from the people who normally support them. The negative feelings extend all the way into the home life where they all feel dissatisfied with their living situations in some way or another.

In other words, there’s a general sense of failure and no idea how to break free from patterns and habits that keep them on the same path they are on now.

Lab Rat Suckiness

In each case, a lot of the trouble comes from a sense of invested time (and money). Horatio for example has already spent a good chunk of his life pursuing a career with little chance for advancement. He’s taken on work that he doesn’t like because it at least uses some of the skills he spent so much time learning.

Wendee would go back to school to fulfill her dreams of teaching but the jobs aren’t guaranteed and she worries about risking going further into debt.

Alessio’s suckiness comes down to a feeling that he’s not where he wants to be at in any part of his work or home life. He too hates his job and hates that he lives at home. This makes him irritable which then colors everything with a negative paintbrush.

Since Lizzie is a stay-at-home mom at the moment, her suckiness focuses around her homelife. It’s not as satisfying as she would like it to be, but it unsure of how to change it. Plus she feels that she’s losing her career opportunities bit by bit and so like everyone else in the group feels insecure about her abilities.

Lab Rat Awesomeness

Life isn’t all bad, however. Lizzie’s partner and in-laws offer her all the love and acceptance she could ask for – and more! – plus even though she’s living away from her beloved downtown life, she has to-die-for views from her country home and is beginning to develop a strong circle of friends.

Alessio’s girlfriend and friends support and love him, and he’s taking and doing well in courses that improve his confidence and will give them the skills he needs to move beyond his current suckiness.

Wendee also has an amazing man in her life plus a a lot of support from friends and colleauges. Even her ex-husband is pleasant! She’s socially active and very self-aware, plus prefers to look on the positive side of life and look for solutions instead of for problems.

And Horatio also has a stable relationship, decent finances and has traveled a good deal throughout his life. Plus although he social circle is small he has a few good friends with whom he does things regularly.

Measuring Progress

So, what does all this mean for the Lab Rats and their progress through the maze?

Well, let’s take a look back at their goals:

Alessio: Looking for tools to break his waiting habit.
Having pinpointed what bothers him the most – work and living situations – we can focus on finding him the tools to change the two of them.

Horatio: Hoping to find a way to put passion back into his life.
For Horatio, everything focuses around his stalled career. Knowing this he can put all his energies into making it better and let the trickle-down effect improve the rest of his life.

Lizzie: Wanting to focus her energy instead of splashing it about.
Since Lizzie’s suckiness centres on not accomplishing anything, by turning her attention to small victories in a variety of tasks, she can rebuild her confidence and narrow her interests so that she’s effectively moving forward on a number of fronts.

Wendee: Yearning for a career that satisfies and provides the income she desires.
In her list of complaints, aside from money worries, Wendee pointed out that most of her negativity deals with a sense of not having the impact on the world that she wanted and the envy that comes from seeing others succeed. By using the positivity that she shows in other areas of her life, Wendee will be able to identify ways to make the changes that will bring her the success she craves.

All four also noted that by going through these first few exercises they’ve become more aware of their lives and more aware of the day-to-day actions and choices they make. And by being more self-aware, they can make more informed choices and take more focused actions and figure out exactly what they want to do with the their lives instead of just moaning about what’s not working for them.

Next week we’ll look at the way society likes to focus on the negative and what it does to make the Lab Rats stay where they are instead of moving forward.

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5 thoughts on “Using Negativity in a Good Way: The Lab Rats Explore How Much Their Lives Suck

  1. Great post! It’s so interesting how we can use negativity in a good way. I love the Lab Rats thing you have going on!
    .-= Positively Present´s last blog ..7 ways to celebrate summer =-.

  2. Horatio says:

    I thought Alex made a very concise and on-target summary of my “situation”.

    Having said that, there’s a lot in everyone’s diagnosis to identify with. Not having an impact on the world (check), splashing energy all about (check), not being where one wants to be at (check), one major area of suckitude / stuckitude coloring everything else (check, check check …)

    There’s some quip about “derangement rarely confines itself to a single compartment of a person’s life”. Hopefully the reverse is true and getting “unstuck” in a critical place can have ripple-on effects in others.

  3. Alessio says:

    I must admit, even though I’ve become more aware since doing the exercises in Alex’s book, I still have a long way to go.

    I feel more confident and can easily identify where I’m getting stuck, but it’s like an invisible barrier that I’m struggling to get through, and the majority of that barrier consists of fear.

    Looking forward to getting unstuck and breaking through the fear barrier that really only exists in my/our minds.

  4. Eliza says:

    Lab Rat Suckiness – I love that. I had a visual of these humans sitting in corners of a maze pouting. Help them to find the cheese, Alex!
    .-= Eliza´s last blog ..Book review: The Hormone Survival Guide for Perimenopause by Nisha Jackson =-.

  5. Alex Fayle says:

    @Positively Present
    Thanks! I love having different ways of getting people involved in the blog. Makes the whole place feel like a local hangout joint. 😉

    Yes, think of it like a traffic jam in the middle of the city blocked by one car stuck on the on-ramp to the highway out of town. Once that car gets moving again (or towed away) the rest of traffic will start flowing again.

    Continuing with the above analogy, you’ve determined which car is causing the block but you have no idea how to get it moving again. Hopefully the exercises you do will act like the tow truck or emergency repair service.

    Hahaha! I’ve chosen a really stinky cheese, so hopefully the smell will draw them. 😉

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