How to Cope when Sh*t Hits the Fan

We all have routines. We all get into the “groove” of things, and we develop a schedule. We get used to the various aspects of our life. We get up, go to work/go to school, do what we need to do, and go home.

But then, life throws a curveball at you. Life blindsides you with a left hook. Life gives you a nice solid kick in your…okay, you get the point.

You flunk a midterm, you get fired from your job, you get a flat tire, your car breaks down, your girlfriend dumps you… Like I said, a nice solid kick in your….

So, what do you do when sh*t hits the fan? Read on to find out.

Remain Calm

I know, you don’t need to tell me. The worst thing you can tell someone who is freaking out is to “calm down”. But I can’t stress how important it is to remain calm. I was recently let go, and remaining calm at first was the single most helpful thing I could have done for myself. Because I remained so calm, I was able to immediately refocus my energy and actually get a job interview set up within three hours of being let go.

I know it’s hard, but you have to stay calm.

To further iterate this point, I had a friend who studied her *** off for a tough exam and ended up failing it. She was devastated. She couldn’t think straight. She was looking at summer school classes because she no longer though she could pass the class during the school year. She was practically questioning her existence.

So, what did I say?

Yep, you guessed it. “you have to relax”.

And, guess what? She listened. She calmed down. She realized that things weren’t as bad as they seemed. She refocused and got back to work.

She just took her second exam and got an 80%.

That’s why staying calm is so important. If she would have freaked out and self-destructed herself with her thoughts, she couldn’t possibly have focused enough to do so well on her second exam.

Don’t Feel Sorry for Yourself

This one is a little tricky.

Some people when faced with difficult situations simply decide to mope around and feel sorry for themselves. They think that because things aren’t going their way, they are entitled to other people’s sympathy as if its other people’s fault that something is going wrong.

News flash: Noone feels bad for you but yourself.

It may seem cliche, but everyone has their own problems. Everyone deals with their own curveballs, so why should someone feel sorry for you when they have their own issues to deal with?

This mostly consists of making excuses. Don’t make excuses for why you failed your test. Don’t post a nasty thing about your manager that let you go.

Instead, channel your emotions into something positive.

How, you may ask, is one supposed to do that?

Waaaay ahead of you.

Channel your Negative Emotions

Mastering this skill can change horrible events into huge epitomes in your personal life. How so?

Well, last spring, my girlfriend and I broke up. After nearly four years of going strong, it all just fell apart overnight (obviously, nothing that lasts four years falls apart overnight, but you get the point). It was sudden. It was unexpected.

And I was devastated.

So, did I mope around and feel sorry for myself?

No!

I got to work. I started improving myself. I started taking my academics (even more) seriously. I started applying for internships. I started spending more time with my friends and family. I started to become a better person.

I had all of this negative energy that was trying to bring me down, and instead of letting that energy consume me, I chose to channel that into making a positive change in my life.

Can you guess what happened next?

I got the internship. I rebuilt my relationships with my friends who had been neglected for so long. I improved nearly every aspect of my life, and I even got back together with my girlfriend (long story, but we both are extremely happy now).

Oh, and these major changes all happened during a month.

That is how powerful your negative emotions can be when channeled effectively.

So, what can you do in your life?

Find something you love to do. Go for runs, listen to music, pick up a new instrument you’ve always wanted to play. Point is, it can be anything that you love to do, as long as you’re channeling your emotions into a useful, productive, and non-self-destructive activity.

Keep on Keepin’ On

When all else fails, just keep moving forward with your life. Keep putting for your best effort in everything you do. Keep striving for success. Keep your head up. Just keep going.

Even if you’re taking two steps forward and one step backwards, overtime you’ll still be going forward.

Isn’t that all that really matters?

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