It’s a fact of life that things don’t always go the way we want them to. Sometimes the outcome is better than what we planned for, but other times it’s definitely worse. Planning for the worst case scenario is negative thinking at its best, so it is much better to plan for the outcome you want, and learn to deal with it when things don’t exactly happen according to your plans.
The reality is, it’s not so much what happens in life, as how you react to it that determines whether you will become stuck in a negative thought pattern or find yourself able to put it all behind you and move forward.
Here are ten tips you can use when you find yourself in a situation is not going the way you planned.
1. Face up to the fact that things are not going your way.
This is the first step in getting beyond a bad situation. It’s much better to face the facts and deal with them, than it is to stick your head in the sand and hope things will get better. Most times they won’t, so by hiding out and wishing things were different you’re only delaying the inevitable.
2. Realize that you’re not the first person this has happened to.
It’s easy to get caught in a trap of “poor me” when things don’t go your way. Instead, accept that things happen for a reason, and that you’re not the first person to have a situation go bad on them. Not only are you probably not alone in this experience, there’s no doubt someone you know going through things a lot worse than you are right now. Find the positives you can take out of the situation, and start moving forward again.
3. Practice your positive self-talk.
You know you’ve gotten through tough times before. Draw on your past experiences, and practice your positive self-talk to get you through this tough time. You know you have what it takes to get through this, you just need to remind yourself. Do that, and you’ll also give your self-esteem and your self-confidence a boost at the same time.
4. Think about your own actions.
A lot of times when things don’t go our way, we don’t want to accept that we might have had something to do with it. If you stop to think about your role in the situation, the best thing to do is own up to any actions you took that might have contributed to the downfall. Ask yourself questions such as “Did I have any idea this could turn out this way?” or “Could I have stopped this if I’d acted differently?”
Knowing that you could or could not have influenced the outcome plays an important role in how you move forward from this event. If there is someone you need to apologize to, do so, and accept responsibility for your own actions. You’ll learn the intended lesson and make it much easier for both yourself and others to go forward.
5. Reflect on what went wrong.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should dwell on what went wrong to the point that you get stuck and can’t move on. But you should get clear on what happened so you are able to find the lessons, and then move forward. You can use tools such as journaling and meditation to help you gain clarity on the situation so that it doesn’t happen again.
6. Set a new goal for yourself.
After you have had time to reflect on what went wrong and the lessons you’ve learned from it, take time to set a new goal for yourself. If you feel the original goal is still achievable, then make a new plan based on what you now know, and go forward.
If the original goal is not achievable now, then don’t be afraid to set a new goal for yourself and make plans to achieve it. It’s possible that the original goal you set for yourself was only a stepping stone and because that plan is no longer valid, other doors have opened for you that might not have otherwise.
You know that old saying about how the Universe doesn’t close a door without opening a window somewhere else? Keep that in mind and keep your mind and your eyes open for new opportunities where none may have existed before.
7. Ask for help if you need it.
The hardest thing for humans to do, it seems, is ask for help when it’s needed. So often we are taught from a young age that we have to be able to do things on our own.
Guess what? We don’t.
Everyone needs a support network to turn to when the going gets rough. So don’t be afraid to use your family and friends and get the support you need. Sometimes they will have a clearer perspective on what just happened because they are not involved, and can give you suggestions that you wouldn’t have thought of without their help.
8. Learn to let go.
The worst thing you can do is hold on to something that needs to be let go. Use the seven tips above to help you deal with the situation, and then release it and go forward. I love the saying, “Don’t look behind you; You’re not going that way.” Learn to live that, and you will find that you become more empowered to keep moving on, and living life to the fullest.
You may surprise yourself, and find strength inside that you would never have known existed had everything gone your way the first time around.
How do you deal with the situation when things aren’t going your way? Share your answer in the comments…