When people are in a great hurry, they try to discover the shortest alternative routes to their destinations. Often times, they choose side streets and alleys seldom driven through. Sure, there are no traffics but usually, these un-travelled roads are peppered with ruts and potholes (reasons why they are avoided by many).
Similar thing can happen in life. In the hope of reaching your goal faster, you try unconventional ways to get there. Unfortunately, it is too late to learn why these are seldom resorted to. They present too many problems and setbacks and when you fall into one of these ruts, panic can set in and you feel helpless.
Instead of frantically trying all solutions (or so you think) and get deeper into the rut, calm down. Objectively assess the damage. Chances are, the actual adverse effect is not that serious. Your panic button just blows it out of proportion. Once you have settled down, work on your mind-set and push your positivity button and let its calming thoughts seep in to your head. The following tips can save your day:
1. You are not alone. Do not flatter yourself that you are a special person who alone has this problem. Many had surely wrestled with similar a setback and have successfully overcome it. Do not keep your problem inside you. Perhaps you may feel overwhelmed at the start. That is a natural reaction. However, dwelling on that feeling too long is dangerous. Discuss it with people who underwent the same or similar problem. Ask for their advice and learn from their experience. There is strength in number and knowing you are not alone can boost your morale and confidence significantly. Believe that you can overcome, and you will.
2. See the problem for what it really is. It is only a break of your thought, just a single episode in your life—not a breakdown of your complete existence. Your mind is so powerful that it can dictate your thoughts, control who you are, and shape your destiny. Therefore, clear your mind of all negativity and ideas of defeat. Instead, fill it with positive and empowering thoughts. As James Allen quotes in his book As a Man Thinketh, “As a he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains”.
3. Take the first step and see Time fly. Newton’s Law of Inertia states “a body remains at rest … unless acted upon by a force”. Therefore, unless you start doing something to work on your problem, it will remain static and keep on bothering you; but as soon as you take the first step towards its resolution, you will be amazed how fast it can be resolved. Things seem to unravel themselves as you work away at your problem. When everything seems hopeless, that is the best time to do something. Having tried and failed is a much better than not having tried anything at all. You will be forever haunted by the guilt of the sin of omission, of “what if it worked?”
4. Déjà vu. This French phrase refers to a phenomenon when you have the strong sensation that the event you are currently experiencing is something that you have felt in the past, whether it has actually happened or not. If you have learned a lesson for your past setback, this is a great opportunity to apply it in overcoming the same problem again. You must realize that every experience, whether good or bad, must be considered as an effective learning tool for your future success.
5. Redirect your focus away from you. Comparing yourself to others is usually not a good move but when you are in a deep rut, doing so can help. Instead of panicking and wallowing in self-pity, comparing yourself to those in worse situation may help boost your morale. Re-directing your attention from you, you will learn to appreciate how lucky you are compared to others. Gratefulness can work magic to your mindset.
Take a step further and think how you could help others in worse predicaments. This noble move can help you recover from your own problem quicker. The solution you suggest for their problem could be the very same solution that can apply to yours. You help yourself by helping others. Wouldn’t that be hitting 2 birds with one stone?
When you are in deep trouble, these tips will help you recover and pull yourself from the rut you are in much faster — your success guaranteed!