Handling Bitterness

I have met some coachees who have recently mentioned how they were burned by partners in their business, or cheated by “friends”. 

(Don’t you love it when they use quotation marks with their fingers!)

Not surprisingly, they had a share of responsibility in that incident as well. It may not be their fault, but many things create an incident including being naive, not being planful, and also being overly idealistic. Much of this stems from the fact that you bring who you are to the business. But the business shows you who you are. It does not matter how others win, even if they are dirty. Instead, it matters that you focus on your destination. If that bitterness causes you to capsize, your ship is basically weak. That is why it is easy to ruin. 

Don’t let your business results only show you to be bitter, petty and overwhelmed… even if they were caused by other people. You can’t change what’s outside. 

Here are some tips to handle bitterness.

Tip #1 – Awareness is Key

Seething in bitterness is not the same as being aware of how you feel about being bitter. You see, we only improve on things we start to think about. Good players are not always good coaches. So being aware of your emotions will help you to manage yourself better. It’s easy to slip back into self-doubt, but this is where you open the doors to transformation.

Tip #2 – Hurt people hurt people

Have you ever said something that you didn’t mean to say? For instance, parents who get upset by something else outside family, bring it back home and lash out there if they are not mindful of their experience. One who is hurt often wants to hurt back. Like an injured wild animal, instincts take over, and anything around it becomes a threat. If you are feeling resentful and bitter, even the sweetest gift will look like a condescending blow of pity to you.

Tip #3 – Decision is your ultimate superpower

The single most important element in our human capacity is the ability to choose. I think we often forget this. We often don’t choose to make a new habit – we just let a habit “happen”. We often don’t choose to make a stronger business – we just let things “happen”. To a certain point as you let things go along on their way, it will come to a day where you don’t know what “happened”. Make plans. Make a choice. Do what you must.

Tip #4 – A New Habit Requires Consistency

I spoke at length about my theory of consistency which comprises willpower and habit. As I think about it, willpower is actually derived from the act of making a conscious decision. Many motivational forces are simply unconscious in nature. This is the reason why, if you are a parent, your children are motivated to play games but not to do homework. It’s not that they are unmotivated, it’s that they are motivated in different contexts. In other words, they have a motivation strategy that is not being activated effectively. I’ll probably write a little more about NLP and how it can support motivation in a separate article.


Bitterness. What value does it have other than to remind us of our limitations? If used as an enactor of a vision, it serves to be nothing more than vengeance. If used as a reflective partner, it opens up the doorway to the structural inadequacies we might have in the basement of our unconscious.

It probably doesn’t matter if it was bitterness from a bad business or a relationship, an unfair judgement by others or plain bad luck. Bitterness is simply a festing poison that you want to get rid of. Use that information to choose to rebuild a stronger ship, chart a better course, and build a better captaincy of your life.

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