One of the funny things about life, is that it continues to throw curveballs at us even when we think we have everything planned out. I tend to feel this way, A LOT! I think ever since I became a fan of planning for my long-term goals, I tend to become extremely panicked when things are simply beyond my control. I’m always shocked when either an individual or organization that I respect is lousy at giving me a solid answer and/or plan. Sometimes, I’m not even sure if I’m more frustrated or jealous that I’m more prepared than them. Lately, there have been multiple occasions where I’ve been faced with the rude awakening that sometimes you just have to have a leap of faith. The idea of this drives me just as nuts as the next person, but it’s true. Here’s what has helped me cope with this in past situations.
#1. Plan for Both the Best and Worst Possible Outcomes
As I just said, you can’t plan everything! Even in the situations that leave you completely unsure of everything, think about the potential outcomes. What I’m about to say is extremely hard to do without losing your sanity, but hear me out! I want you to prepare for the worst, without dwelling on it. For someone like me, dwelling on an issue can take over my entire psyche. I’ll have a Plan A, B, C, D, E, F and G before you can change the subject. It’s not worth your time to stress yourself out on scenarios that are extremely unlikely to happen, but it’s good to at least acknowledge that they could happen. Some of my closest friends have been faced with situations that were less than ideal lately, but they were able to react appropriately due to planning possible outcomes.
#2. Vent to Someone Sympathetic, Yet Realistic
What does every human being on this planet have in common? We all like to vent about our problems every once in a while. Even if you know what you need to do to fix a situation, sometimes you need someone else to hear you out. I truly believe in venting to people who are kind and try to understand what you’re going through, but talking to a complete “Yes Man” won’t solve anyone’s problems. You need someone who will be honest with you, yet know how to break the harsh reality of a situation to you in the kindest way possible. Venting to someone who is completely unsympathetic will only make you more frustrated towards the situation and jaded from confiding in the people closest to you. I’ve vented to multiple people in the past, and the ones who took a more kind and understanding approach affected me in a more positive way than those who didn’t.
#3. Distract Yourself with Positivity
Simply waiting around for something to happen is super unhealthy. Not only will your mind recreate every single possible scenario in a torturous cycle, but you’ll also fall into this deep pit of gloom and doom. I tend to get to this point when everyone else is busy and I’m by myself during a hard time. Even if you are alone, doing something as easy as going to the gym, the mall or the local coffee shop will help you distract yourself in a positive way. The more you worry, the more stress accumulates. As I’m sure you know, stress is no bueno. I recently had a medical situation where I wasn’t sure what my diagnosis was for a couple months. During that time, I was stressed out with other things as well, and I found myself not eating and waking up to vomit in the middle of the night. I honestly didn’t think that my stress and worry would take such a toll on me physically, but it did. It’s not worth killing yourself over something that hasn’t technically happened yet.
#4. Try to Remain Calm and Brave
This step is probably the hardest to accomplish, and I’m still learning how to do this everyday! Even if it takes all that you’ve got, try to remain calm and brave once you’ve processed the situation. If you remain calm and brave, others around you most likely will as well. Unfortunately, this also works the other way too. If you’re freaking out, everyone around you will start to freak out by default. Even though in these situations you’d think that you should be comforted by those closest to you, it ends up with you comforting them instead. The best way to look at this is by approaching your curveball of a situation with a , “Whatever happens, happens”, mentality. Of course I’m suggesting this after you’ve exhausted the three steps explained previously.
Realistically speaking, anything could happen to any of us at any point in time. I believe in being as prepared as you can be throughout life, but sometimes you just have to have faith that it will all be okay. There have been certain things in my life that make me wonder, “why me?”, or, “I didn’t deserve this!”. Ironically, some of those same outcomes turned out to be blessings in disguise. Life has a funny way of unfolding, and I believe that we’re not always meant to understand the process.
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
How do you deal with the unexpected?