Have you ever been through a tough time, where every time you fixed one thing, something else fell apart and eventually you felt like everything’s going wrong?

A situation like this can easily lead to a downward spiral if left unchecked!

Confidence takes a beating, pessimism creeps in, energy is depleted, frustration mounts and thinking straight and making good decisions becomes so much harder.

So how do you keep a cool head when it feels like everything’s falling apart?

Focusing on what’s going wrong has too often become the default orientation, which is why it’s so easy to get sucked into a distorted perception that “Everything’s going wrong”.

Step 1 – What’s going right?

This is the first hurdle to overcome, which we do by asking a simple question:

“Is everything falling apart, or going wrong? EVERYTHING? Really?”

When we use generalizations like ‘everything’ we’re lying to ourselves to justify our emotional state, but in the process, we create a skewed perception of the world. This limits our ability to see all the alternatives and make smart decisions.

We’ve got to snap out of this immobilizing state and start seeing things the way they actually are, which means acknowledging what’s going right. No matter how crappy you’re feeling in the moment, there’s ALWAYS something, somewhere in your life or business, that’s going right. EVERYTHING is NOT falling apart.

Step 2 – Just get it done

Once we see that Everything’s NOT falling apart, we’re ready to tackle the problem effectively.

Sometimes to speed up, we need to slow down.

Start by identifying the most important step you can take, to move things forward. Then get it done! Rejoice when it’s in the bag, then rinse and repeat.

Before you know it, the chaos is behind you and you’re styling again.

Step 3 – Mine for Opportunities

Now that you’re composed and picking up momentum, you can turn the situation around completely by mining for the opportunities.

Every struggle has purpose, which can be presented as an opportunity to learn, grow, or even seed a new idea.

To mine for the opportunities presented by challenges, all you need to do is ask some pointed questions:

  • What can I learn from this experience?
  • How can I prevent this from happening again?
  • How can I leverage this challenge to serve me in other areas? (E.g. build new relationships)

It’s not what happens that’s important, it’s how we respond to it!

Many years ago, I hit a phase where it felt like “everything was going wrong” and realized I needed to snap myself out of only seeing the problem, and get myself into a more resourceful state to rise above the chaos in my life at the time.

I knew I needed to interrupt my pattern of thinking and form a new habit that served me. This compelled me to start writing. Every time a negative thought crept up about the situation, I made a conscious effort to counter this thought, by asking myself what was going right, and writing this in my journal.

The impact of this exercise was so profound, it become one of the most powerful tools I use, to this day, to keep me grounded, focused on what’s most important, and find the opportunities right in front of me.

A poignant quote by Gary Wilde is, “Some of the greatest successes are born from the ashes of struggle.”

Whether we succeed or fail in the face of challenge, is determined by how we respond to it.

When you apply these simple, yet powerful thinking tools, you can keep a cool head even when the going gets tough.

Stay Cool. To Your Success!

Originally published at www.wildesuccess.com