We have all been there. That time when something, however big or however small, did not go the way we had envisioned. We think, “Why is this happening to me?” as if the world is out to get us. It is not. I say that in the most loving and understanding way possible, of course, having totally been there; pity-parties and all. But I have since come to the realization that that approach does not serve me. In fact, it is counterproductive to what I am trying to accomplish.
So when life does not go according to plan, remember YOU choose how you respond. Here are my Top 6 Tips on how to deal when life throws you a curveball.
1. You cannot control people or outcomes, only you. And to try to do so is a waste of finite energy stores. When we find ourselves in sticky situations, we have one of two options. Option 1.0, the easy option, is to take the victim stance. With this mindset, we are quick to blame others, deflect internal struggle(s) onto external circumstance and defend our actions more readily. Option 2.0, then, would be to take 100% responsibility. At times, easier said than practiced. I get it, I really do. But when we take responsibility, for our attitude, our effort, our choices, the situations we find ourselves in and our perception, it puts us in CONTROL. Owning my shit empowers me to take action, make moves and is the only way to move forward. As I have learned from my mentor Jill Coleman of JillFit Physiques, “You literally *get to* create your reality in every second and with every thought, feeling and action.” #BestOfYou <– highly reco
2. Things are not nearly as stressful as you might have thought in your head. There is nothing wrong with being prepared, but we can worry ourselves sick with worst-case scenarios that may never happen. That said, I often go ‘there’ to lessen the fear should it come to being. But when I do, I choose to see those obstacles as an opportunity to find a new approach to an old way of doing things. We get so caught up in all the ‘bad’ that could happen that we neglect to see the potential good that is also equally as likely happen. Be open to possibilities.
3. Even if your worst-case scenario were to happen, you will be okay. So even if that worst-case scenario I said not to worry about in #2 were to happen, you will figure it out. Easier said than realized, but a little bit of SELF-TRUST goes a long way. Remember, you are never stuck; there is always another way. The path to success is rarely linear. Figuring out you is a process. It is about the journey, NOT the final destination. It takes time. It tests your patience, but also builds RESILIENCE. If Option 1.0 leads you astray, try again. If that does not work either, back to the drawing board for Option 1.5. And so on and so forth. If from these challenges you learn even just one thing that you did not know before, there was value in that struggle. No? 😉
4. Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your everyday. Chronically high stress can lead to catecholamine resistance, which can impede fat loss efforts. No bueno. Not only that, but stress is immobilizing. And in a position of inaction we get… nowhere. Relaxing is not one of my fortes, but a few of my favorite ways to relieve stress include leisure walks, cooking/healthy baking, coffee/talking with a friend, sprints, pedicures (but not before sprints :p), reading and writing this little blog (thank you for reading 🙂 ).
5. No matter how much ‘it’ sucks, it could always be worse. One of my best practices when I find myself falling into the victim trap (<– this is a CHOICE) is to find ONE thing I am grateful for and write it down. We can do this anywhere. If I am at my desk, I write it on a post-it or my white board. If I am driving, I will add it to a note in my phone. I actually keep a gratitude journal on my nightstand and write in it every night right before bed. It is a good reminder that, though life may not go according to our plan, we have so much to be grateful for; life is good. This gratitude practice gives me perspective and serves as a reminder that if I am complaining I am not getting better. Try it!
6. Lean into the struggle and find the turnaround. Tal Ben-Shahar, author of Being Happy (highly reco) and lecturer in positive psychology at Harvard University, tells his students: “learn to fail, or fail to learn.” THIS. To fear failure is only human, but paralyzing. We want easy. We want effortless. Of which the struggles are not. And sometimes, so uncomfortable. Riiiiight? Though never fun, these struggles are stepping stones to the next level. We learn, we grow. We get better. In fact, since having adopted a possibility mindset, I welcome these challenges because I [choose to] see them as an opportunity to learn an unexpected lesson.
I asked readers over on my Facebook page how they respond when life does not go according to plan. My friend Melisa of Tell Me Mel said this: “It always ‘goes according to plan,’ maybe just not in the direction WE had planned or anticipated. I’ve always learned some sort of lesson in the ‘downs’ of life; gives me more experience, empathy and makes me a stronger person.” Stronger through struggle? I agree 100%.
So the next time you find yourself taking the stance of, “This sucks. Why is this happening to me?” when you encounter a new challenge or struggle, I encourage you to practice shifting your mindset from one of a victim to one of possibility. Seek to create options, not barriers. And remember this from Dr. Jade Teta at Metabolic Effect: “Don’t wish for easy. Easy is earned.”
Are you a solution-seeker, or playing the victim? Let me know on my Facebook page!