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Punch Unfairness In The Kneeballs

How to make unfairness work for you

Posted By: TeamTKN

The Scene

Imagine you are well into your behavior change program. You’ve passed the initial stages of grief and are deep into feeling good about yourself and your choices.

 

You come inside from a reflective evening walk and are greeted by the smell of your daughter’s double chocolate brownies. You can immediately taste them on your tongue.

 

And your first reaction is DELIGHT.

 

You LOVE her brownies. You even prefer them to the offerings of professional pastry chefs.

 

Then you remember: you don’t have room for warm brownies in your day. They weren’t a part of the plan.

 

And as you watch your children, and even your husband partake in the fudgy goodness, your reaction turns from delight to frustration.

 

THIS. SUCKS.

How come they get to have brownies?

Why am I the ONLY ONE who can’t have brownies?

Why didn’t she tell me she was going to make brownies?

 

Resentment builds. Towards the brownies. Towards my daughter. Towards my entire family. Towards the coach who I know I will be telling about this whole episode. 

 

It isn’t fair. It isn’t fair.

 

So you devour a brownie or two, you know, just to make things fair.

 

Fairness is a fickle beast

Fairness is a fickle beast. Our attraction to it feels so right. So just.

 

In my experience, our “fairness” metric is selective at best. This does not make our judgements wrong, only incomplete. We tend to think in terms of the psychological binary of fair or unfair.

Positive Response = "Fair"

Negative Response = "Unfair"

We like to think that we live in a world that is MOSTLY fair, and we are able to act reasonably. On occasions where we feel situations are unfair, we riot, throw tantrums, and act like a silly goose in order to restore balance to the world. It’s only natural!

 

Life is hard when it feels unfair.

 

But, here’s the secret Dr. Kashey has for you when you FEEL like things are unfair.

 

It’s probably not what you think: It IS unfair.

 

As a master of self-deception, I can promise you that trying to trick yourself into thinking otherwise will mess with your head. It serves no one. It is okay to name things what they are.

 

It is unfair to have something you love placed in front of you when you can’t have it. 

 

Do you know what else is unfair?

  • Being a slave to your impulses.
  • Destroying your mood.
  • Sabotaging for yourself.
  • Stealing the joy from all the progress you’ve made.
  • Going backwards
  • Reinforcing the behaviors that keep you down and hurt you

ALL of that is unfair. 

 

Push or Pull

Once again, the beautiful biological continuum is here to save the day. Whatever we choose to do in response to an unfair situation will strengthen our cognitive muscles. The choice we must make is not whether or not we will survive an unfair situation. 

 

We’re going to make it.

 

The choice we must make is: will our response to the unfair situation push us away from where we want to be or pull us closer.

But often, it doesn’t even feel like we are making a decision. We are the victim of unfair. And we immediately succumb.

 

Mind the Gap

But between stimulus and response, there is a gap. Widen that gap, and you move from being a victim of unfairness to the master. You get to CHOOSE if you will reinforce the push or the pull. 

 

By being self aware, you buy yourself time to inject logic into a situation where you would otherwise act on impulse. You position yourself to look into the future. This buys you time, and only a second or two is plenty.

 

Those two extra seconds are enough time to get to the important part of this internal conversation:

Self: Do I care about giving in to my impulses?

Self: No, I don’t care! (<–Stop here, and you can justify self-sabotage)

Self: Will I care about giving in a few minutes from now?

Self: Oh…. (<–And in this moment you can give yourself a fighting chance)

 

You can either outlast the impulse and move forward, or you can give in and act in a way that leads to a dark cycle.

 

I can eat the brownie, and I can  feel like I’ve found a work around for the “unfair.” I can make new temporary rules to get around feeling bad about breaking my own rules: cognitive reconstruction.

 

But if I do that…I hate myself.

 

And hating myself is more unfair.

 

Unfair

We have been raised to believe that life SHOULD be fair.

 

But has this ever matched your experience?

 

It’s unfair:

  • When some people can do what they want without consequences
  • When a child ‘s need for food is greater than the food available
  • When a promising gymnast  becomes wheelchair bound in a terrible accident

We can even go through positive situations:

  •  You worked hard, and it paid off with wild success.
    • How many other people worked hard and failed? Why is it fair that YOU succeeded?
  • You took a risk, and it paid off.
    • How many other people took the same risk and met with disaster? 

Are these instances fair?

 

Everything is unfair.

 

Why would permanently changing the way you think and act be any fairer?

 

Life is unfair and THAT is impossible to change

What you can change is how you act when you are confronted by an unpleasant, unfair situation.

 

Between stimulus and response, there is a choice:

You can choose to dwell on the negativity and “FOMO,” exhausting yourself until you give in.

You can stamp your feet and shout, “NO, this is unfair!”

Or you can say, “YES, it’s unfair. It’s the way she goes.”

 

Recognizing reality is superior to suppressing it.

 

Forgetting is impossible. Deleting is impossible. Fairness is impossible. 

 

So what will you do the next time you are struck by the unfairness of it all?

 

How will you set yourself up to win?

TKN Unfair

It is unfair to have something you love placed in front of you when you can’t have it.

It is unfair to have something you love placed in front of you when you can’t have it.

Do you know what else is unfair?

  • Being a slave to your impulses.
  • Destroying your mood.
  • Sabotaging for yourself.
  • Stealing the joy from all the progress you’ve made.
  • Going backwards
  • Reinforcing the behaviors that keep you down and hurt you
  •  

About Jacquelyn Laporte

Jacquelyn LaPorte has had the privilege of working with TKN since 2018. The journey has been a wild one, but it has ushered her into the driver’s seat of her own life. She learned how to ask questions, answer them honestly and act on the answers. She has used this process to become a better parent to her 3 kids, a better wife, a better boss, a better learner, a better human. She believes that no experience is wasted, (not even majoring in a dead language with no career plan😊 or starting a business with 0 entrepreneurial spirit). Each experience gives the gift of new eyes. Perfect choices are not required, and that makes her free to choose.

 

“There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, and every one of them sufficient.”

-Marilynne Robinson-

Trevor Kashey Nutrition

Team TKN

Team TKN cultivates, curates and shares Dr. Trevor Kasheys’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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