We have all experienced days when the bad things outnumber the good and life just doesn’t seem fair. Late to a job interview because of a sudden traffic delay. Your flight cancels and there’s no alternate transportation available. The restaurant doesn’t have the reservation for your family event. Your haircut is a disaster. “Why me?”
It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you- Lesley Gore
Taken singly, these are not such atypical happenings in the course of a day. However, a series of disappointments may feel like an endless cavalcade of events and you are suddenly the hapless victim starring in a poorly scripted drama. Broken relationships, unexpected medical issues, serious financial drains. Yes, these are very stressful situations and reasonable people’s reactions may run the gamut from denial to anger and blame. “Why me?”
Events like these can test anyone’s gratitude and optimism. It’s not what happens to us, rather how we handle what’s happened. “Why me?” Or is it, “Why not me?”
How to remain positive even when you’re having a very bad day.
1. Time: Give yourself the gift of time to absorb what’s happening. Host a “Pity Party” for one or invite friends. Is it a quick fix/turnaround or a process to manage? Before you jump to resolution, grant yourself permission to feel the impact and not bypass the emotional discomfort.
2. Reflection: Assess what’s happened and where you stand in the aftermath. Are you responsible for anything or are you being affected by the simple randomness of life? What is the potential upside? Share your feelings with friends, a trusted advisor or a professional.
3. Do something: Action give us a sense of moving in the right direction towards closure, healing, resolution and even forgiveness. Shred old photos, block a contact or make an appointment to move forward. Call a friend, plan an outing, enlist allies to problem solve.
4. Keep a gratitude journal: Writing connects us to our emotions in a more concrete way than trying to recall days, weeks or even moments that have passed. The person on the highway who let you merge, the painless blood test tech, or the loved ones in your life are all part of the big picture that can bring a smile and a calming reminder.
Your “Pity Party” gets old very quickly and tends to attract more negative energy and reinforces a victim perspective. Throw your personal gala, invite guests, shed tears, get through it and move on to the empowering space that’s waiting for you. Remember, it could always be worse and you have the ability to make it even a little better!
However comfortable you assumed you were with choice and change, it may morph into overwhelming anxiety that was never anticipated. Retaking your power by assessing your situation moves you towards action. It’s the ideal time to engage the support of a career coach with experience in helping professionals achieve better, faster, results. At KICKSTART Your Transition we offer a broad range of services to fit your needs