If you play a competitive sport, you know what it’s like to experience a crushing defeat and still have to mentally prepare yourself for the next game. If you’re lucky, you also know what it’s like to trounce a stronger team and prepare for your next opponent — without letting success go to your head. Even a good day can feel like a roller coaster ride.
Face the facts. Over the course of your lifetime, you’ll be confronted with good times and bad. If you maintain a level head, it’ll work to your advantage. But if you overreact to situations — by getting overconfident or exceedingly gloomy — you’ll be making it harder on yourself.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to celebrate a win or mourn a loss. But there’s a difference between giving yourself a well-deserved pat on the back versus getting cocky. At the same time, failing one time, or even several times, doesn’t make you a failure any more than losing one game makes you a loser. So get over it.
If you say something to yourself often enough, you may start to believe it.
7 Ways to Ride Life’s Ups and Downs
The way that you respond to situations says a lot about you and will ultimately determine your success and happiness.
Be in control. Some things are beyond your control. Then again, you do have control over how you respond to each situation.
Manage your expectations. Every day won’t be bright and sunny. If life were a bed of roses, you’d still need to avoid the thorns.
Don’t overreact. Don’t believe everything you think. When things go well, don’t assume good times will last forever. When things go wrong, don’t think the world is coming to an end. Like most things, the truth lies somewhere in-between.
Keep things in perspective. Don’t take things to extremes. It’s never helpful to be overconfident or to punish yourself for disappointments. If you build a lifestyle based on the good old times lasting forever, you may be in for a rude awakening. What’s more, if you beat yourself up over one failed effort, you can turn one unfortunate situation into lasting damage to your self-confidence.
Cut yourself some slack. Don’t take losses personally. Separate the incident from your self-worth. Mistakes don’t make you a failure, but beating yourself up makes you feel like one.
Live and learn. Do you view failure as a slap in the face or as an opportunity to learn? The difference between a stepping-stone and a stumbling block is the way in which you approach it.
Be patient. Nothing lasts forever. When you’re in the throes of a bad patch, a minute can feel like a lifetime. It helps to remember that this too shall pass — it takes a rain shower to create a rainbow.
How Do You Handle Life’s Ups and Downs?
Life isn’t about the number of ups and downs that you experience, but how you deal with them. You can let success go to your head and become complacent. Or, you can remain grounded and check your ego at the door. You can get angry, feel sorry for yourself, and cast blame during tough times. Or, you can stay calm, remain true to your values, and look for a trace of blue in the dark skies ahead. Does your life feel like a roller coaster ride?
Life is filled with ups and downs, so make the most of the in-betweens.
You have a choice. You can let yourself be knocked around during the roller coaster ride we call life or you can accept the highs and lows in stride. The choice that you make will not only affect your mental health and success rate, but it’ll also determine your happiness. The difference between a winner and an also-ran isn’t always that the loser fell on hard times; it’s how the loser faced the adversity. Win or lose, it’s up to you. Enjoy the ride.
Does Your Life Feel Like a Roller Coaster Ride?
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