I'm pretty sure all of us can recite first-hand accounts of being hit with an unexpected, unwelcome turn of events in life and business. The patent you put your life savings into was rejected, the new account that was going to save your business fell through, or your spouse hit you up for a divorce.
Life throws us curve balls and sometimes they hit us hard, but it doesn't mean the end is near. Sometimes, these events are simply a shot at a new beginning.
A happy life is not synonymous with a perfect, carefree life (is there such a thing?); it means you have the courage and optimism to make the best of just about anything. Here are a few of my tried and true techniques for making myself feel better and re-charting my path when life takes a nosedive. From huge losses to small setbacks, it is possible to survive and thrive once again.
Treat yourself with patience and kindness.
Each of us has our own methods and our own timeline for dealing with a crisis. There is no "proper and acceptable" time frame for processing a loss of any kind.
Be conscious of your needs and be patient with your feelings. Instead of pushing away painful feelings, acknowledge them--you have a right to them. This alone will make you feel better and get you closer to doing whatever it is that will make life better for you.
Look at how far you've come.
Entrepreneurs are naturally disappointed and upset when a business opportunity doesn't pan out, or a project takes a plunge. Sometimes, the disappointment and fear blinds you from seeing the amazing things you've achieved up to this point.
When one of my coaching clients suffers a disappointing--even devastating--setback, I do my best to help them assimilate their thoughts and feelings. When the time is appropriate, we then take inventory of the good stuff. The unwanted turn of events then falls into perspective and upward journey begins.
Find the upside.
Once you've processed your initial emotions, look for opportunity in this change of events. It doesn't mean the negative emotions will suddenly stop, but looking to the future certainly lends itself to a better outcome. Continue to be patient with your feelings; as you begin the search for the upside and opportunities, those feelings will transition to something far more positive.
Never underestimate the benefit of consulting with a professional to help you through the tougher transitions. Hang in there. Just about everything can be flipped around to reveal a promising gem or two.