Despite our positive attitudes and hard work, life isn't always going to hash out perfectly. These twists and turns are what make it interesting (and, yes, sometimes challenging). Every now and then, one of those setbacks ruins our day in a big way, and during those times we've got to remember a few things:
It Happens to Everyone
In our Facebook-happy world, we're used to seeing the best parts of everyone's lives, and we tend to forget that people are all going through unpublish-able setbacks of their own. You're not and never will be alone in this, whatever it is.
Failure Offers a Chance to Grow
Without setbacks, we'd have no way to learn and develop our skills. What incentive would there be to improve if we were already on the top of our game--especially if we got there with no failures whatsoever? It's helpful to figure out what doesn't work. Apply what you've learned to the next attempt and that little setback becomes a huge part of your next success.
We Can't Fully Appreciate Good Without Bad
Just like you wouldn't be able to understand hot without cold, just like there wouldn't even be a left if there weren't a right, you can't fully appreciate the joy and good times without the sadness and bad times. These difficult moments teach us to truly appreciate our friends, family, and success.
It's Not As Bad As It Looks
This isn't to diminish the feelings you have about what's happening, but it is to say that we often blow things out of proportion. Think back to high school (when we were all champions of the overreaction) and how many things upset you that mean absolutely nothing now. Bringing up high school certainly provides for an extreme example, but the principle is the same: ask yourself if the person or event is worth the response you're giving it. Ask yourself if it will matter in five years, in one year, in one week.
You're In Control of Your Thoughts
You can't always control the circumstances, nor can you control the way other people act. But you can control the thoughts that go through your head. Don't make things worse by replaying an event that makes you sad, anxious, or angry, or by worrying about something in the future over which you have no control and which might not even come to pass. Remind yourself that you're capable and strong, and focus on people and events in your life that are positive and uplifting.
There Is No Timeline for Success
Grandma Moses started painting at age 78. Ronald Reagan was elected president when he was 69. There's nothing saying you have to be The Best within the next two months. Our journeys are all different, and that's what gives us each such great stories to tell and insights to share. Embrace your own unique journey, however long it takes you to get where you're going.
What do you do to keep yourself on track when life gets rough?