Stuck in a negative situation?
"Life is like a journey by sea: there are days of calm and stormy days, the most important thing is to be a good captain of our boat" - Jacinto Benavente
In life, we will always be faced with challenging situations, but what makes all the difference is the way in which we handle them. When we go through difficult situations, we have two options: we sink into the pain and despair or we learn to grow and emerge stronger from it. The secret is to focus on learning from these experiences. If we don’t, we miss a valuable opportunity to improve.
When plans go awry
We’ve all experienced a time when something hasn’t gone to plan. Maybe we were made redundant. Or perhaps we missed out on that big job promotion. Or the thought of going to work might have filled us with dread. Or we didn't secured that investment. Whatever the problem, it’s during times like these that we can begin to feel as though we have absolutely no control over our own life. And when you’re at this point, there’s only one thing that you can do: regain control of your life.
Tips to help you regain control of your professional - and personal - life
1. Accept yourself with all of your strengths and weaknesses. You have to become your best friend. Make a list of all your strengths and attributes. What are you good at? What experience do you have? What do you like to do? Put this list in a place where you can access it whenever you need it (the notes section on your phone, little notes in your office or on the refrigerator, etc.).
If you are constantly focusing on your weaknesses, ask yourself what you would do to overcome them. And then DO IT! No excuses!
2. Know that pain makes you more human. When we experience moments of pain we become more empathetic to the pain of others.
3. Take the opportunity to experience the process. Sometimes we want to push a button to skip the pain and discomfort. But you need to experience the pain; what we learn from the experience is what makes us grow.
4.'There are no mistakes; everything unfolds the way it’s supposed to', is what Elisabeth Kübler-Ross wrote in her book "Life Lessons". 'Life does not always give us what we want, but it always give us what we need. Many of us do not know how to live with things as they are. We feel that we need to change it; we don’t trust that things will be fine if left alone. We believe that there is a difference between something that does not happen soon enough and something that does not happen the way we think it should happen.'
5. And keep in mind the fact that if we cannot change the situation, we need to learn to accept it. "Sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck." ~ Dalai Lama.
6. Have patience. Sometimes we think that life tells us "no" when it simply is telling us "wait".
7. Control the immediate instinct of wanting to do something to change things. Give yourself time to think and analyse the situation from different perspectives. These will help you to acquire a more realistic picture of the situation in which you find yourself. Create an action plan. This is much better than reacting immediately as this can often make the situation even more difficult.
8. Surround yourself with friends to share moments of joy. It is precisely at times of challenge and pain when having this support is invaluable, perhaps you can discover new and valuable friendships.
9. Enjoy your life and what you have. We tend to focus too much on what we don’t have, what we miss, what we still need to accomplish. We fail to appreciate all of the great things that we already have. The greatest antidote for pain is to live in the NOW. When we experience pain usually we spend much time thinking about how we could have done things differently or worrying about the future. Every moment we have the opportunity to start again. Surround yourself with people that encourage you, fill your life with fun activities, dare to do unexpected things, put yourself some new challenges, leave your comfort zone. Live every day as if were the last one.
10. Don't forget that you control how you feel. Many times we give too much power to the circumstances and people in our lives. Take control of your emotions and decide how you want to feel.