Are you unlucky?

unlucky give yourself compassion

Mistake #4: Thinking you are unlucky

I had a client who told me that he was the most unlucky person in the world. Wow! Top that for a definitive statement!

But his girlfriend confirmed this for me so it must be true…

Intrigued, I asked for an example. I can only imagine what awful things could have possibly happened to this white, middle class, American male.

(*I’m teasing. I know bad things can, and do, happen to everyone.)

This is the story he told me.

One day my truck caught fire! Just sitting in my driveway.

I reflected back,

That’s horrible, what happened?

He said,

A neighbor walked by and came to my door to tell me. Then, we put it out.

This was equally interesting to me. How is it that he defines himself as unlucky with this kind of weak evidence?

What about how lucky it was that his neighbor was walking by at that exact moment to warn him before the fire got out of hand and burned down his house with him and his love in it?

There were more stories like this one, but all typical, yet annoying things that happen to all of us.

Imagine how it affects his whole day believing this idea that he is unlucky?

(Remember in math, “is” equals an “=” sign. He = unlucky. Equals. It is him and he is it.)

I’ll tell you, it doesn’t feel good.

Unlucky is unfair. Also, injustice swipes your worth out from under you.

Lucky and unlucky is a matter of perception.

There is an old Chinese story of an old farmer who owned a bony plow horse. One spring afternoon the horse ran away. The old man’s friends, trying to console him, said, “We’re so sorry about your horse, old man. What a misfortune you’ve had.” But the old farmer said, “Bad news, good news-who knows?”

A few days later the horse returned home leading a herd of wild horses. Again the friends came running. Filled with jubilation, they cried, “How wonderful!” But the old man whispered, “Good news, bad news-who knows?”

Then the next day, when the farmer’s son was trying to ride one of the new horses, the young man was thrown to the ground and broke both legs. The friends gasped. Again, the old man stood still and said, “Bad news, good news-who knows?”

And a short time later when the village went to war and all the young men were drafted to fight, the farmer’s son was excused because of two broken legs.

Good news. Bad news. Who knows?

Watch today’s video where I explain why we feel unlucky and tell you how to throw compassion at yourself. (I am in LOVE with using this trick and I think you will love it, too!)

Click here to tweet this video: Do you feel unlucky? @JodiAman #absentbutimplicit #selfcompassion

So what do you think? Ready to throw compassion at yourself? It takes practice but barely any effort. That is what is so great about it. It takes a moment, and then, the benefits can change your whole day!

Let’s try it right now. Find one thing that is bothering you. Just right now, think of what is frustrating your heart? Throw compassion and understanding at why you feel bad/sad/frustrated/hurt).

How does that feel? Please share!

Of course you’ll want to check out the beginning of this series:

1st Mistake: Not setting personal boundaries

2nd Mistake: Thinking that you are different

3rd Mistake: Making blanket statements

26 thoughts on “Are you unlucky?”

  1. I have never felt I was unlucky in my life. It has always been the opposite. I even remember saying that on one of your posts in 2010. One thing I might use a lot is telling others how lucky they are about this or that, but it never insinuates that I am not. It’s just a way of helping others be more apreciative of what they have. If I was to try and give an example about being unlucky? I honestly can’t. I just don’t. I smile when people say I was unlucky, that life was not fair to me, etc. I just smile because I’m maybe too lazy to explain that I find myself the luckiest person because, although I might complain about a problem or a fear, I complain to feel “seen” apreciated and to feel the efforts I will do to help me out of the problem are seen. If I feel unlucky, I would stop trying. It can seem like I stopped, but it’s only a “break” from fighting, a rest. When I tell someone “you’re so lucky” which I often do, I’m not envying the person and I’m not saying that I’m not lucky. I’m just apreciating the opportunities this person has. I don’t know why I felt the need to explain that. Maybe because I don’t like when I get a reply like “one day, you might have the same” ??? what?? why?? I never envied anyone in that way. If I walk in the street and see 2 people walking and holding hands, I can say: they’re so lucky, I can feel a lump in my throat and tell myself: it’s such a beautiful feeling and thing to watch. I hope the whole world can experience that.
    Nikky44 recently posted..I challenged the FearMy Profile

    1. Thanks Nikky! You are appreciative, that’s for sure! You love seeing people happy and succeeding! You never compare or feel envy, just happiness! And I know you keep trying, more than anyone! And you never feel bad for yourself!

      However, I’m afraid people in the West might not react well to you telling them they are “lucky”, (I guess, it is a language issue or cultural so I wanted to tell you). Of course it depends on the context, but the way you are saying it here can sound invalidating, and would quickly make someone feel alienated, shamed, and ultimately shut them up–which is, I know, the last thing you’d want. Maybe that’s why you are getting that reaction? Try compassion and empathy instead. This always feels better and you are good at this, too. And you’ll get your desired reaction! Watch

      Love your postive attitude!

      1. You’re right it depends on the context. What I meant here by telling someone you are lucky, I didn’t mean it as a reply to someone sharing his problems. I meant like telling someone who is going to your meditation classes: You’re so lucky, I wish I could do it. I was trying to make a difference between wishing something nice for myself and envying others who can do what I can’t do. Wishing I had the same chances doesn’t mean I’m jealous and can’t feel happy for them.
        About it being “invalidating” in a different context, you’re right and I learned that from you and am much more careful about that. I realized that communication is a skill I learn from others, and I focus most on those I think are “always right” so without thinking, I imitate them. It can be parents or teachers or therapists. I’m trying lately to trust what I believe is right to do or to say.

        1. I didn’t think you meant as a response to someone sharing problems, (even though you have done this to me). The problem is not what it is a response to, but that you assume they need modeling being grateful in the first place. People feel that on a energetic level and can balk at it.

  2. This brings up a great point about how we interpret our circumstances. I think if we have no control we’re more likely to feel unlucky. So, maybe taking a look at the situation and asking ourselves “what can I do to change this?” Very inspiring, Jodi!
    lisa thomson recently posted..The Peeping MeMy Profile

      1. Personally, I take “luck” ,”chance” and “coincidence” out of the equation. Believing that everything is part of a perfect, divine plan removes all of the doubt, angst and fear from my life (usually, of course) and provides comfort in otherwise uncomfortable situations.
        Not being the one in control is not necessarily a bad thing. But that’s just me.

        1. It’s interesting John, because words are dual, and what you say is so powerful! Sometimes it is in our surrender to the bigger picture that we are empowered. Like you have said in the past, employ whatever it is to work for you. Hope that is not too philosphical for so early in the morning!

    1. Thanks Balroop! You may not have heard of it, because I made it up when I needed something, but it works so well that I began to teach it as a practice. And it has helped so many people! Try it if you ever need it. It is such a gentle and loving way to be! It pairs perfectly with taking control of your life! Thank you so much! You are awesome, too!

  3. What is compassion? Is it a relationship between the giver and the receiver? How do “throw compassion at” something that is troubling you?

    1. I’m using it to suggest an intention. “Throw” as in “set” an intention instantly. Compassion is a loving understanding, as I am using it. It is an ACTION between people including between you and yourself. So you throw compassion at yourself because of what happened. You understand why you were hurt, you notice what is important to you that was lost or threatened by whatever is troubling you. Hope this helps clarify! Thanks so much for this opportunity to explain more!

  4. I don’t consider myself unlucky. I mean, we all have problems, tragedies that affect our lives. If we focus on a string of negative things that have happened in our lives, we could look at it and say how unlucky we are. But if we focus on the good things that happened in between the bad things, then we’d see that we are not lucky or unlucky. We are humans living our lives. That’s life!
    monicastangledweb recently posted..A Day for Remembering Our VeteransMy Profile

  5. I have had my share of bad things, but also my share of good. I don’t necessarily believe in “luck.” My best friend is 39 and had cancer twice… I think it has nothing to do with luck, I think that these are tests that get thrown our way, but I like the way you think of it too: that its more about perception. I never thought of it like that.
    Hope you are having a nice weekend.
    Totally Caroline recently posted..Gratitude (Yeah, it really does work)My Profile

  6. I don’t know if its luck so much as life challenges us to go beyond ourselves and sometimes we do well, and other times it takes a few attempts. There is the school of thought that we make our own luck but working hard for what we desire/want. Maybe it is a little of both,.
    Brenda Moguez recently posted..What Love Does to The BrainMy Profile

  7. Thanks Jodi. I have felt unlucky, but also lucky. Trying to see what I have that is good. However, now, things are not going well in my life. I give, I love, I am a good person, but what I get is zero. So, I am unlucky in love. They say that when you love, you get love back…..not always true.

    1. Hi Gabriela,
      I’m so sorry you feel this way. I know how painful it is to give it all and get nothing back. I don’t have a solution or an answer, but what I can say is that no matter how ignored, unloved and unapreciated you feel, keep going by being yourself and giving love to others regardless of what they give. At the end, love will win. I don’t know when, but I truly believe it will. I hate the standard answer that to get love from others you need first to love yourself because my belief is that you love yourself by loving others. It’s the same thing, but expressed in a better way for people like you and I who love with no expectation, except a kind thought, an apreciation or just to feel they belong.
      <3 <3 <3

      1. Thanks Jodi, it is true. What you give is a reflection of who you are ; luck or not luck. I have been unlucky in love. Giving and giving but I consider my self lucky in so many other ways, and loved by a lot of people.

    2. Life seems to be so unfair when we take it in little snippets, but I hear that when we cross over at the end, we get to see that over the full life of our soul everything balances out to justice. Find someone that can return your love! xoxo I posted this comment on fb and loads of people responded to you! See what they wrote on my personal page here:

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