Sometimes we face a bad time. It seems like everything is going wrong. Don’t worry it just a bad phase. People often try to move on. But you cannot run from some of the incidences in your life. Some memories we cannot erase, instead we need to focus on living with them rather than erasing them. Here are four important things to keep in mind when you want to turn things around in your life.
1) Embrace bad times as learning opportunities.
Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Edison had a growth, as opposed to a fixed, mindset. He did not see failure as the end of a process but rather the beginning of a new one. Likewise, we need to view so-called defeats through a lens of opportunity.
What happened that we can do better next time? What did we learn that will help us in the future? Anyone who has ever been successful has gone through rough patches when they experienced failure, some of them multiple times. But the things that separate successful people from those who bump along the bottom is the attitude, the belief that a setback will lead to an opportunity for success. If we can convince ourselves of this and believe it, things will turn around.
2) Shift your perspective.
One phrase that I use when things aren’t going well for me and I am close to feeling sorry for myself is “Compared to what?” I’m having a terrible day….compared to what? Everything in my life is going wrong….compared to what? The Such and such task is really hard. compared to what? Compared to not knowing where your next meal is coming from? Compared to being in combat fighting a war? We often get so wrapped up in our own insular worlds that we forget to step back and put things in perspective. And that “compared to what” helps me do that. Maybe things aren’t going well at work….compared to not having a job that isn’t so bad.
3) Identify things that energize you and pursue them.
When you encounter bad time it gives you pain and your energy drops significantly. When you have the feeling that things are going wrong or you are experiencing setbacks it is important to find activities/tasks/people that provide you uplifting energy. Maybe it is a phone conversation with a close friend (I mostly do that), maybe it is getting a good workout in, perhaps it is reading a book for an hour….whatever it is, do it. The feeling you get from that energy-giving activity will sustain you when other things around you aren’t perfect and give you the motivation to keep going.
4) Start finding small successes.
A bad time can put shadow on your success. If things are going wrong one way you can start making them go right is by finding small successes in your life every day. And you have control over this! You alone set the things you want to achieve and you alone have control over being successful at those things. For instance….maybe you just want to start your day feeling better. OK. Make a list of three things you are going to do every morning that will have you feeling good as your start your day – make the bed, have coffee, read the newspaper for 30 minutes. Those are 3 little things you can do every day then that will get you feeling good right off the bat. As you master those small tasks, move to larger items and keep building.
Finally, I would like to add a quote by Nancy Greene, “I think what it takes to succeed remains the same. You have to have a real love of your sport to carry you through all the bad times, you still want to go ski even when things aren’t working. You must have a commitment to work hard and to never give up.”