We’ve all been told at some point that life is tough. As much as we know and understand that, it still catches us by surprise when something bad happens. Just when you think things couldn’t be better, you’re knocked back by the unexpected.
For some, it’s the loss of a big client or a key staff member. For others, it might be an unwanted divorce or an unexpected illness. Maybe it’s the realization that things just are not working in your business.
We’d all like to think we are in full control of our situation, but sometimes life just throws us a curveball… a painful setback. When it happens, it can really knock the wind out of you. It can leave you feeling betrayed, angry, even depressed.
So how do you fight off that curveball? How do you keep your head in the game and position yourself for a legendary comeback win?
Ironically, you do it much like you would a real-life curveball:
See and recognize the pitch.
Accept your situation for what it is. Identify it as a temporary setback. Take a little time to mourn the loss, but then prepare to move on. The comfort of blame and anger can be addictive and debilitating. Let it go, and get ready to swing.
Stay back and let the ball come to you.
Stay in the moment. Slow down and breathe. Fight the urge to swing wildly, and put yourself in a more reflective and strategic state of mind. A more thoughtful and deliberate approach will help you see additional opportunities and develop creative solutions. Let the situation develop in front of you, and navigate through it in a more resourceful state of mind.
Don’t change your swing.
These are the situations when your integrity and character are really put to the test. It’s incredibly tempting to over swing and do things you normally wouldn’t. Don’t get caught in that trap. If adjustments to your approach are in order, do so, but stay true to your beliefs and core values.
Prepare yourself mentally.
Visualize what life will be like after you get through this challenge. Imagine yourself hitting the ball squarely and driving it right up the middle of the field for a base hit. Let go of ego, and don’t take things personally. More often than not, the problem isn’t you anyway. Shift your thinking away from trying to understand the problem, and start thinking about how you will solve it.
You are not alone. You have people that care about you. Lean on them to help you sort through things and develop your action plan. It’s tempting to try to tackle things yourself, but it’s remarkable how those who care about you will rally around you to help in any way they can. If your challenge is something friends or family can’t help with, find someone else that can help, even if you have to pay for it.
It takes time and practice.
Like most things, the more curveballs thrown at you, the better you become at hitting them. Nobody wants to deal with more bad stuff than they have to, but you can take steps to better prepare yourself. Take batting practice on the little things. If you learn how to overcome little, irritating setbacks, you’ll be better positioned to handle the big ones. Focus on what you can control. Learn a new skill. Meet new people. Set new goals. Take action.
Curveballs can be tough to deal with, but they don’t have to define you or determine your ultimate success. It may feel like the end of the world, but it’s not. You have the skills to deal with anything life throws at you. You’re genetically programmed for survival. That curveball may be just the catalyst you need to take action and move forward to the next step on your journey to success.
Your next swing could be your best swing. Knock it outta the park.