When Life Gives You Lemons

Xperience Growthblogposts

When life gives you lemons…

Don’t make lemonade. Lemons are sour and not palatable unless you use a whole bunch of sugar to cover it.

We use this phrase to mean making the best out of a bad situation. The problem, of course, is that by turning the lemons into lemonade, the sour is still there, it never goes away, it’s just muted.

When we believe we’re given a bad situation, that thought creates stress. When we’re in stress, we’re not likely to make the best decisions & actions that can affect our outcomes.

Taking the metaphor of lemons in another direction, we have cars. We want to avoid getting a lemon car. Most states in the US actually have laws for lemon cars that says cars are considered a “lemon” if it has a substantial defect that can’t get fixed.

Isn’t that how we also view lemons that come into our lives… as a defect? What’s interesting is that it’s actually our thinking that categorizes something as a “lemon.”

Here’s how it works… A situation happens. We filter that through our internal computer program, which is mostly in our unconscious mind. The code that makes up our unconscious mind is developed from our past experiences, values, beliefs and attitudes. When the situation runs through that filter or program, it comes out the other side with a label slapped on it. Therefore, “lemon” is a label that we created in our own minds.

Of course, when we are faced with a lemon of a situation – even though we actually labeled it that – we experience emotions related to stress: such as fear, anxiety, frustration, anger, self judgement.

This is exactly why simply adding “sugar” or making the best out of bad situation doesn’t really serve us that well. We don’t get rid of the negative emotions that get in the way of us achieving our best results. The “sugar” mutes it, yet it doesn’t release it.

Instead of making lemonade, simply turn the lemon into a better fruit.

Consider this… if our minds can create the label of a lemon, our minds can just as easily create a label of opportunity & learning.

You can accomplish creating a better label by viewing the situation as one that has opportunities. If you believed all experiences are opportunities for growth, then a situation can’t be a lemon because you can use it to grow.

Typically, when people have lemons in their life, it’s a situation that has happened “to them.” In a situation you have two main positions to take – the person who is at cause or the person that is at effect. If you’re at cause, you are in control of your power over the situation or how you respond to the situation. Those at effect believe the situation happens to you and you do not have any power over it or how you respond to it.
Your belief in your ability to respond to any situation will not allow it to become a lemon in your mind. That’s because even situations that are painful can be responded to with positivity when we are at cause.

So, the next time you find yourself thinking about what to do with life’s lemons, don’t make lemonade… turn the lemon into an avocado and make guacamole.