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10 Things to Remember When Your Whole Day (or Month) Seems to Go Wrong

141119_goeswrong2“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe

“If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.”
E. Joseph Cossman

Some days everything seems to just go wrong.

And sometimes it is not just days we’re talking about. But a week or months when things feel tough and rough and you just want go home and give up.

I’ve had many such days and periods but over the years I have also become a lot better at handling them. So they don’t drag me down and become a whole lot worse than they are already are.

Today I would like to share 10 things to remember when your whole day, week or month(s) seems to go wrong. All of them have been very valuable to me.

1. There is a brand new day tomorrow.

Just because this day or the last week didn’t go well doesn’t mean that there is not a brand new day tomorrow.

A day when you can start anew. With taking action to move towards what you want, likely having a bit more luck and when it will be easier to see that this difficult time is only temporary and not permanent (even if it might feel that way right now).

2. People don’t care that much about what I do.

When things go wrong then you may not only be troubled by that situation itself. But also by what the people around you may think or say about what happened.

Don’t worry too much about that though. Because even though you may be the main character in your own life you are not it in everybody else’s lives.

They have their kids, pets, jobs and own challenges that they are fully focused on.

3. What is going well in my life though?

It is very easy to get stuck in focusing on the negative things and so they drag you further and further down into self-criticism and negativity.

But don’t forget that there are still things that are going well in your life. It may be small things. Or things you often take for granted like a roof over your head, clean water or three steady meals every day.

I find that zooming out in this way helps me a lot to snap out of destructive thought patterns and to feel more level-headed again.

4. Criticism or destructive attacks may not be about me at all.

Sometimes criticism is certainly valid and should be listened to if you want to improve in life.

But don’t make the common mistake of always thinking that the criticism or verbal attacks you receive are about you or something you did.

Because you do not know what is going on in the other person’s life right now. How he might be having a bad day or week himself. How she is miserable about her job, boss or marriage.

Sometimes you might simply be in the wrong place as this person needs to lash out to release the pent up inner pressure.

5. I can ask for help.

When things go wrong and you feel alone with the challenge then you feel even worse.

But you don’t have to. You can ask for help and may be surprised at how the people in your life will come to give a hand or some sound advice.

Or you can find a group of people online that are going through the same challenge as you – like for example reducing debt or getting into better shape – and get support when you are going through a tough patch.

Or you can go and talk to a counselor, therapist or doctor in your local area.

There is usually good help and support to be found. Even though it may not always feel like it before you ask.

6. Will this matter 5 months – or even 5 weeks – from now?

When you have setback, make mistake or fail then it might feel like the sky is falling.

I have found the question above to be really helpful in these situations to not fall into the trap of feeling like a powerless victim.

It helps me to relax, to zoom out and to see this setback in a larger perspective and to see that even though it is a big thing right now it will most likely now have that much of a negative impact in the long run.

7. I have handled tough situations in the past.

When you are standing in the middle of things going wrong then it is easy to get a bit panicky. To lose faith in yourself and your abilities.

Then look to the past for a bit of strength and confidence in what you can do.

Doing this helps me to feel like I am standing on firmer ground again. And sometimes I can even find a solution I used for another challenge in the past that I can reuse or readjust to get me out of this situation too.

8. Setbacks can be very valuable if I let them.

A common way of looking at failures, mistakes and obstacles on your journey is as something negative and things that should be avoided.

But trying to actively avoid them at any price usually leads to analysis paralysis and a lack of taking any significant action at all.

And the setbacks and mistakes in life can actually be very helpful if you let them. Before you start moving on from one of them ask yourself:

What is one thing I can learn from this situation?

That question has helped me to improve a lot about how I do things in life and to avoid repeating making the same mistakes over and over again.

9. Focus more on the small how-tos and less on the whys.

Processing what happened is certainly important. But instead of taking the common route of dwelling on the whys of the negative situation 80% or the time and looking for solutions 20% of the time switch those numbers around.

Spend more of your time on finding the small and practical steps you can take to make things better.

By doing so you’ll start to feel more confident and less suffocated and paralyzed as you are moving forward once again (even if it is just by taking one very small step at first).

10. It is always darkest before the dawn.

This thought helped me to hold on when things looked bleak for many months and to keep going when my social skills and dating life was just plain bad.

It helped me to keep going when things looked like they would never pick up for my own small online business.

Why? Because I have found it to be true.

When things seemed to be at the lowest point something always happened. Often because being at that low point forced me to change something in how I did things.

But maybe also because life seems to have some kind of balance if I just keep going. If I keep taking action instead of giving up and doing nothing then something good always happens.

Seeing this repeat itself year after year strengthened my belief in taking action and to keep going even on rough days or weeks.

And it brings some comfort even when things look pretty dark.

Image by János Csongor Kerekes (license).

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Simon

    After getting to know your blog I began to take life as a challenge instead of problem.

  • saiful

    Hey sir, thank you so much for your wise words, they are very helpful. I’m a pessimistic guy who gets depressed easily over small issues, but after I have read what you wrote, I’m inspired to change my life positively from now on … Of course it will be hard initially, but I will not give up until I could live happily and be grateful of my life. I think what you wrote make sense, and everyone should follow your advice and guidance, in order for them to live their lives to the fullest! 🙂

  • shambel

    It is really a very constructive post.
    Please keep in touch.

  • Thank you everyone for your kind and supportive comments! They are all greatly appreciated! 🙂

  • Aya

    today is a brand new day ! my failures is now from the past .
    thank you Henrik you are the best 🙂

  • I love the quote about trying to remember what I was worried about one years ago. I can imagine it was about my general worry themes but who really cares because in the interim I’ve taken action, put one foot in front of the other, and made progress.

  • Hi Henrik, I just came across your blog and I love your entries! This post has been extremely uplifting as well. Point number 8 hit home for me; it is extremely easy to get caught up in the mind set that “I failed”, but it is important to force your mind to find positivity in the set back. I personally found the best way to change this habit was by becoming self aware of the cues right before the negativity kicked in. Once I knew that one of these cues was about to set of a long road of negativity, I immediately forced my self to focus on positive aspects of the failure and to write down ways that the failure helped me to grow. Overtime your mind will start to automatically think this way subconsciously 🙂 Hopefully this tip can help others out, and again thank you for an amazing post!

  • Having had a very hard month myself, this post came at a crucial time! I find that having a ‘hobby’, something that makes you ‘lose time’ (for me gardening or writing) makes you realise that no matter what, there are, as you say in point 3, still things that you are good at and that make you happy! 🙂

  • Henrik this was such a beautiful article and it truly resonated with me and I’ll tell you why…
    Last month life got really dark for me and I almost died because of it. Nothing seemed to be going right and I struggled to see anything but darkness. Long story short but just a month later and I am living my dream more content than I have been for years!

    If you’re going through Hell, keep walking!

  • yashvi

    All ur emails HV been of gr8 help…..changed my way of lukng at lyf…Thnk u so much….
    Kindly also write sumthng abt HOW TO GET RID OF TEMPTATIONS DURING EXAMS

  • Lubna

    Great tips… though sometimes it’s just impossible to pull yourself out of the bad mood that accompanies a bad rut. I have written a post with a few extra tips some of your readers may like to check out: thedigitalreview.co.uk

    – Lubna

  • Taimoor

    Hey Mate i really appreciate you for helping me in solving my problem and thanks again for a wonderful piece of advise that helped me a lot..
    May God Bless you as you blessed me with a very good tip 😉

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