If you are fortunate enough to be working towards making dreams come true in some area of life, no doubt you will hit some days that make you feel like garbage.
You may be headed towards that third divorce, been turned down pitch after pitch for new work, or perhaps despite everything you tried, you couldn't save the house you put all your savings into from foreclosure.
Those of us who live by optimism tell ourselves, no matter what, "I will be okay" and "It's going to work out." Sometimes though, we end up having no choice but to make it okay because we didn't get the outcome we wanted.
We could get angry, which is acceptable. We could get sad, which is equally tolerable. Then we can decide that there is still something else somewhere to look forward to once those things get boring. It isn't always easy but it is necessary.
The key is to feel negative emotions but not be stagnant in them. Try these tips to restart your engine and prevent misfortune from ruining your life:
Remember you are not the first or the last.
When it finally hit me that yes, I'm going to be a single mom despite all my efforts to avoid it, there were several older women around me providing encouragement.
They reminded me that many single moms have gone on to have wonderful careers, be phenomenal providers, and yes, even find stellar husbands who enjoy their children (for those who care to want one).
Whatever problem you may be having, usually someone has wriiten a book about it or made a video or has crossed your path. Even if the path to a solution is a tough one, it beats waddling in the stagnation of making no effort to find it.
Rather than resent myself, the circumstances, or worse, my child, I gained inspiration to push forward on education, enjoying life, and professional plans. There are roadmaps everywhere and when you can't find one, be someone else's.
Humiliation and shame rarely belong to you.
Someone somewhere will always have an opinion about how you or your life turns out. The problem most of us have is being concerned about judgement regarding how we compare to other people.
Over my years, I have come to realize that often the people who are intentionally doing bad things rarely feel any guilt about it. It's the rest of us that torture ourselves over our shortcomings or failure to rise to the occasion.
Why do we punish ourselves for having problems when, literally, everybody has problems and our entire lives will always be about solving problems?
We could get so much more accomplished if we spent less time being embarrassed about age, money, job titles, marriage status, and so forth. Those worries are distractions that do not solely define a person's greatness or value.
It's interesting how relieved and free you feel when you admit your struggles to the right people. You might just end up with some unexpected help or understanding.
Realize Your Problems Can Help You Out.
As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a lot smarter because of the inconveniences or disadvantages I have had in my life. Lots of people are.
Driving an old car has taught me how to use tools and get under my own hood. Not having answers to certain questions has helped me become a stronger researcher. People who have attempted to dominate me have forced me to refuse intimidation and be comfortable as myself.
When I'm feeling stuck or pissed off about the requirement of patience, I watch movies like Rocky and 42 or documentaries like The Men Who Built America and The Last Dance. It helps me to read books on the arts, financial literacy, and life stories of people worth admiring.
We have many of the things we have today because others didn't let their feelings or misfortunes stop them in their tracks. They were prompted to try something new, be something new, or create something new.
Protect Your Mental Space
Unfortunately these days, people often want to rush us for answers or action. Deadlines are very important but learning when that conversation can wait or when to not rush to judgement on critical decisions can sometimes mean life or death.
In my training for suicide prevention, the fact that stood out to me most is that usually people decide to take their own lives within five minutes to one hour of having the thought. The moment is not always planned in advance for a note to be left or the person to be talked down.
This means that any of us can be triggered by any high stress or heavy depressive episode. Doing your best to be aware of what you are unhappy with or afraid of can help to pull yourself out of self-pity when it hits.