The truth is sometimes life falls apart.
Unfortunately prior to 2015, I did not always know the fundamentals of handling a crisis intelligently and gracefully. Back then, crisis management consisted of a whole heap of confusion, crying and then worrying to death. All resulting in issues which remained unsolved.
During my adulthood, I’ve learned and come to accept that the beauty of life is that it’s unpredictable. Nothing is permanent and everything changes, but every tough situation we face ultimately propels us into a new phase of life.
Whether it’s in your personal life, your job, or in business, things can and will go wrong at some point in time. So what do you do when crisis strikes?
Below I’ve listed my top four golden rules on how not to implode when life defecates on you. 🙂
Tell yourself that things will get better, even if you have to pretend or brainwash yourself
Even when the going gets tough, tougher, and eventually pretty grim: keep telling yourself that things will get better. Do not dwell on the circumstances, except to figure out solutions. If you have to-lie to yourself. I promise, the situation will eventually manifest itself into one where you come out on top. In late 2015, when I was told by my employer that they would no longer require my position, even with a mortgage and major bills piling up, I chose to view the situation as just another phase, perhaps a fresh opportunity to try something new. Even though some days were scary, I tried my best to remain positive and calm. Slowly but surely things began to change right before my eyes and eventually guess what happened? I was offered a new position within the same company. Things ended up working out, just as I told myself they would.
Ask for help
This has always been a difficult one for me due in part to my upbringing. I am the child of a Trinidadian mother who immigrated to the US way before I even dreamed of moving out of my childhood bedroom. She left her entire family and support system behind to chase the American dream. Because of her own hardships and struggles, she raised me to be extremely independent. This resulted in me facing tough situations on my own, even when I desperately needed help and support. Over the past year however, my experiences with job loss, a break up and the struggles that come with building a business, have caused me to ask for help. I’m proud to say though that asking for help is a tool that I now use frequently and without shame. Calling on your support system really makes a huge difference. Never ever be too scared, too ashamed, too worried, or too proud to ask for help. If you keep suffering in silence, so will your life, job, or business. Communication is a huge key to solving a crisis.
Do not hang with people who make you feel sorry for yourself
Yes empathy and genuine concern are appreciated from friends and family. But from my personal experience, many times during a crisis I’ve found that I’ve encountered more people who simply wanted to let me know how “sorry” they felt for me. Interpretation; “I’m glad its you and not me”. These “supporters” offered no helpful advice or encouraging words to keep me going. Instead I found myself spirally to deeper and deeper depths of self pity. My advice is to limit your interactions with these types of people, because the truth is you can feel sorry for yourself all by your lonesome. Instead, surround yourself with people who you can strategize with, brainstorm with and hopefully assist in finding solutions to your problem.
Accept what you cannot change
The harsh truth is that you must accept those things and those situations that you cannot change. I’ve learned that like happiness, acceptance is a choice—a hard one most definitely, but a choice nonetheless. Acceptance in my opinion, is the key to convert momentary happiness to enduring happiness. Practicing acceptance has prepared me to live in a world that’s constantly changing.
Good luck my fellow warriors! And remember when things seem disastrous, remind yourself that “all things are working for my good.”