The feeling of winning or losing doesn’t only happen in sports or games. It also happens in everyday life, as success and failures come and go quickly.
“Yeah! I got 100% on a test today!”
“I couldn’t keep my child at the table for the whole dinner.”
“Oh no, I didn’t get the promotion.”
“I didn’t win the lottery for the 502nd time.”
“Great, I got a huge bonus this year.”
Many things that happen every day can make a person feel happy or sad. Sometimes, one gets into a losing streak. This can be for one type of task, but can also be a compound of many different events making one feel losing in life. Usually, when this happens, it is very easy to for things to further spiral out of control. So, how can you get out of this situation?
Recognize the fact that you are in a hole
You feel the agony of losing. That doesn’t mean that you recognize that you are in a hole and the state of mind is causing you to continue falling deeper. There is a reason one is continuously losing. A few failures here and there seem to be normal, but a few more can cause one to change emotionally. Of course, nobody likes the feeling of failure. But as the failures pile up, doubt creeps in, and then proper thoughts and analyses go out the window.
“For the fifth week in a row, my English assignment got rejected by the teacher. This has to stop.”
Relearn to embrace the idea of “one game at a time”
I’m sure you have heard about this before, “one game at a time”. But, what does it truly mean?
Take the English assignment example, and let’s expand it a little. It’s a third into the term and the English assignment failures have been piling up. You know that if you don’t turn it around soon enough, you are going to fail the course. The idea of looking ahead to the end is obvious, and very often, one is no longer focusing on the assignment that is coming up. It is easy to say, “Let’s do this next one well.” But too often, most people will no longer be able to focus on the task at hand.
The most important thing to do here is to expect that you need a lot of time to go in and out of focus because it will happen. Also, create reminders for yourself to help snap out of the hole of thinking too far ahead.
Relearn to ignore the negative thoughts
When one is at a loss of how to get out of a hole, they often think about comparing to others.
“Other people are getting the part.”
“The neighbour’s child is so much more obedient than mine.”
This generally doesn’t help you solve the problem. What’s worse is to believe that you can never get out of it.
“I’ll never get the promotion no matter what I do.”
“I can never beat this guy in chess.”
Believing that you can turn it around is a key to actually turn it around. Keep telling yourself that you can. Even if you cannot see the solution, believe that the solution exists and that you will be able to find it eventually.
Watch out for falling back into the hole emotionally
As you continue to fight back up and work your way forward, it is easy to feel too pressured and too worried about the success and failure, and then get back to the poor emotionally state of doubt and despair.
Allow yourself to step out of the situation periodically and regroup. If you are thinking right, then no harm was done and go back to work. But sometimes, signs such as “I must keep doing this part and can’t spend time looking at the rest,” and “This won’t work. That won’t work. But I don’t know what works,” are indicators that you are not focusing on how to solve the problem and turn around the failing results.
Break down the problems and solve each part
You know this when you were winning! Think back to when things were going well for you. The solutions came easy. There was always a way out. But why? You were looking at the problems and then finding the solution to each part. They came naturally when you were doing well, to a point not even thinking about it.
In sports, it was as simple as “see the target, hit the target”. In life, it is exactly the same. Write down what you want to achieve on a piece of paper. Breakdown the task to manageable pieces and then solve each piece.
Last but not least, even if you are following these guidelines, it is still normal to take a certain transition period in order to turn things around, even just emotionally. I also experience this type of spiralling from time to time myself, and it is always a battle to return things to “normal”. Always remember: Keep your faith alive, stay determined and keep pushing.
Always Remember W.H.Y.
Be Well, Be Happy, Be You