Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it can feel like everything is going wrong. Life just feels bad, maybe even to the point where you want to crawl into bed for the rest of eternity. A much better option, however, is to look for ways to fix your life, start fresh, and maybe even try something new.
Of course that’s easier said than done, especially when things are particularly horrible. Getting yourself out of a minor creative slump, for example, is way easier than picking yourself up after a bad breakup. And yet it can be done. Whether you just want to feel inspired, or you’d like to totally restart your life, it pretty much all starts in the same place.
But how do you know when things need to change? Well, apart from obvious signs (like getting dumped, or fired) you might simply experience a vague sense that something is off. Some signs to look out for include, “A general unhappiness or restlessness in many areas of your life, [and] an impulse to change things вЂ” even if nothing is seriously wrong вЂ” hoping that will make things feel better,” says psychologist Nicole Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC, in an email to Bustle.
Whatever your reason or issue may be, it might help to follow some of the tips below. Hopefully you’ll be able to sort things out, and get on the way to fixing your life.
1. Try Something New
If things aren’t working out the way they are now, then the first logical step is to go try something new. Not only will it help you discover other options in life, but it can actually feel really good. “When we try something new, we activate new parts of the brain we do not normally use,” Martinez says. “These can trigger dopamine and serotonin reactions, which can help improve mood and motivate you to move forward and try new things.”
2. Set Intentions Every Morning
Many of us find ourselves in a morning rut вЂ” the alarm goes off, we immediately feel miserable, and then we trudge off to work. (Not the best routine, if you ask me.) It can really help to try something new, and start the morning in a different way. “Every morning, set intentions, go over what you are grateful for, meditate, workout and set goals for the day,” says Kim Chronister, PsyD, Clinical Director of Summit Malibu, in an email to Bustle. It may help send your day in a different direction.
3. Get To Cleanin’
Sometimes the easiest place to start is with the dishes. Scrub away, and then straight up the rest of your apartment. Not only will an organized home feel better, but it can help you get some forward momentum towards change. “Cleaning your physical environment isnвЂ™t a fix-all; however, tackling some housekeeping is a good exercise in conquering tasks and gets a productive energy flowing,” said life coach Diane Passage on HuffingtonPost.com.
4. Do The Thing That Scares You
Now’s the perfect time to scare yourself, and get outside your comfort zone. The best place to start? By doing that nerve-racking thing you’ve always wanted to do. I’m talking about the life-alteringly scary things you never thought you’d try, like standup comedy, dance lessons, or submitting your novel. It may be just what you need to jolt back to life.
5. Build Up From Small Changes
If the above tip is too much, then start by adding in little changes on a daily basis. Think about going to a new place for lunch, or listening to a different kind of music. “Start small, and add them in a little at a time,” Martinez says. “You will feel like you have a new and rewarding life in no time.”
6. Force Yourself To Have Fun
Sometimes it helps to get out there and get involved with what used to make you happy вЂ” even if you don’t feel like it. “You will find that after a brief amount of time of doing them again, you will actually start to enjoy yourself,” Martinez says. Hey, it might just be worth a try.
7. Go Hang Out With Cool People
Like I said, you may have that intense desire to crawl into bed forever, but staying home by yourself isn’t the best way to feel better. “Isolating is one of the most obvious signs that your life is stagnating,” says Chronister. “Socializing has a powerfully positive affect on our physical and physiological health.” So go hang out with some cool people, and maybe a little inspiration will rub off.
8. Fake A Better Attitude
Yes, life may suck right now. But sitting around in a gloomy state won’t do anything to fix things, or make you feel better. So start faking a sunnier outlook. “Attitude is contagious, and thinking positive will boost your ambition and support a more constructive perspective,” said Passage.
9. Take Some Time To Assess
Don’t be afraid to take time off from that crappy job, or to spend a weekend away from your SO. Whatever the problem may be, giving yourself some distance can help sort things out.
10. Have Yourself A Good Cry
When sh*t’s hitting the fan, it can be tempting to hold in all your emotions, and bravely continue on. And yet there’s something so refreshing about having a good cry. “Your body essentially purges toxins when you weep,” said Therese J. Borchard on PsychCentral.com. “ItвЂ™s as if all your emotions are bubbling to the surface, and when you cry, you release them, which is why it is so cathartic.”
11. Be All About The Lists
Get out a pen and paper, and start thinking about what makes you happy. “Think about all of the things you did as a child, a teenager, and a young adult . that brought you happiness,” suggested certified coach Barrie Davenport on her blog LiveBoldandBloom.com. “Now think about some things youвЂ™ve done in recent years . where you have felt really happy or content.” Write them all down, and there you’ll find a list of things worth striving for.
12. Make A Plan To Reach Your Goals
You can have all the inspiring lists in the world, but they mean nothing unless you act on them. So start thinking of ways to meet your goals. Do you need to go back to school? Revamp your resume? Hang out with different people? These things are all totally attainable, if you are willing to try.
13. Remember You Aren’t Alone
When life isn’t going as planned, it’s normal to feel like you’re the only one who has bad luck. But keep in mind that nothing could be further from the truth. “The average person has eight career changes (not job changes, career changes) in their lifetime,” Martinez says. “They have countless relationships before they find [the right partner], and they had to be trained for every job they ever had.” All of those people have gotten through, and you will, too.
Again, it’s never easy to start over, or to fix your life once it’s gone astray. But it is possible. So stick to that positive attitude, try new things, and soon your life will be back on track.
It’s inevitable. After enough time at any job, you have a day that really sucks. Then, eventually, maybe another. And another. Suddenly the job you loved starts to feel like, well, work. And bad work at that. It doesn’t have to be that way.
We’ve all dealt with bad bosses or smaller paycheck than we’d like, but that doesn’t mean the cure for your ills involves quitting your job and finding another. Every job is still a job, and every job comes with downsides. They call it “work” for a reason, and even if you’re lucky and do what you love, you’ll have bad days, and it can still suck sometimes. You’ll still have to deal with bossy managers, know-it-all coworkers, and, on occasion, frustrating busywork. Even so, many of us jump between jobs with only a matter of time after our first day until we inevitably conclude “this job sucks!” and start looking for the next one.
Your Boss Is Bad For You: Why Bad Bosses Infect Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
Those of us who have had to deal with annoying or aggravating bosses know how it’s tough to shake…
So how do you beat back that creeping feeling that your job is going to eventually wind up sucking? Sure, many circumstances warrant quitting your job. If it really is time to walk, you should do that. This post is for the rest of us. Here, we’ll walk you through some tips to stay focused, upbeat, and happy with your work—especially if it’s the work that attracted you to a job in the first place.
Step One: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
The first and most powerful thing you can do right away is to change your mindset. There are plenty of ways to go about this, but it starts with understanding that you have the final say over how you feel. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” and the premise applies here: You may not be able to stop inevitable workplace annoyances from happening, but you can stop them from ruining your day. Here’s how.
Avoid gossip and water cooler talk. We’ve discussed how the hive mind influences you before, but it’s especially true in office environments. If everyone in your department thinks everything sucks, you’re likely to feel the same way, even if you have nothing to gripe about. Try to stay objective when talking to coworkers about workplace issues and office politics, and don’t let the gossip get to you. Focus on your work, and doing the best work you can.
- Resist negativity. Avoiding gossip is a good first step, but you can also choose to be part of the solution . Look for the positive and talk it up to coworkers. Make a list of those positive aspects of your job and keep it front and center every day. Perhaps you get to work on something you love, or your job offers you free training, or all the coffee you can drink. Whatever makes you smile about your job, make sure you see and take advantage of it every single day.
- Look for more perks. How many of your job’s perks do you make active use of? look hard for them , and take advantage of them as often as possible. Whether it’s flexible hours or a casual work environment, turn your job from a place you go every day to an active part of your life that contributes to your wellness beyond your paycheck.
- Learn to cope. Stress will always find you—I’ve never heard of a job without it. The important thing is to learn how stress affects you and what you can do about it. Take up a hobby, meditate, mentor someone at work—whatever it takes. As you develop those coping mechanisms, you’ll be less inclined to pass judgment on your job as a whole. Aggressively seek them out, too: when something bothers you, immediately think about how you can address the stress, even if you can’t address the issue.
Step Two: Get Some Perspective: Some Things Suck, but are Those Things Your Job?
When your job gets you down, it helps to put things in perspective. Sure, there are things about your job that make you miserable, but every job will have some elements that aren’t ideal. The important thing to do is separate those things out from the things that make you happy. Every job you go to will have some busywork you’d rather not do, coworkers who send snarky emails, and people microwaving fish in the breakroom.
The important thing to ask yourself: Are these irritating things my actual job, related to my actual job, or just surrounding my job?
If they’re part of your actual job, let your boss know what’s bothering you. If you’re stuck working on an aging platform that makes you miserable because it goes down every week, your boss may agree that it’s time to replace it—especially since it’s your job to support that system. If those irritants are surrounding factors, you should search for solutions to those things too, but keep in mind that they’re not representative of the job itself. If you enjoy what you do, don’t let the small stuff bother you. Focus on the work and deal with the small stuff on the side.
Step Three: Work to Live, Don’t Live to Work
Many of us are driven to hate jobs we once loved because we never actually put our work down. It can be difficult, but remember: You work to live, you don’t live to work. Defend and enjoy your personal time, vacations, time with family and friends, even your sick leave. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Take your vacations. We’ve warned you against leaving vacation leave on the table, but most of us do it anyway. Taking vacations is one of the best ways to recharge, and besides, you worked for those hours. You deserve them.
- When you’re sick, focus on getting better. In a world where we can work from home and stay connected by smartphone, it’s important to resist the urge to “work from home” when you’re actually ill. When you’re sick, your new job is to get better , not do half-assed, bleary-eyed, fever-induced work.
- When you work, be productive. This one is important, because too often we overwork ourselves because we feel like we’re not as productive as we should be. Find a productivity method that works for you and stick to it. Take time to review your work so you’re never surprised and always in touch with what you’re doing and why. Be proactive, don’t just let your job be this thing that happens to you five days a week.
- Recognize when you need a break. If that creeping feeling starts to catch up with you, you may be suffering from burnout or otherwise overworked . Identify it, acknowledge it, and take a break before you crash and burn.
- Make small changes. Small changes in your office environment can make a big difference, sometimes more than large ones . A fast new computer, a few plants, a lunch buddy to chat with every day, as better cubicle—go get those things if you can. They may not address your annoyances, but they go a long way towards boosting your mood, and that can help you relax, de-stress, and focus on the positive.
“It is the way we react to circumstances that determines our feelings.”
We’ve all felt like we’re drowning in mud.
You feel stuck, worthless, and confused.
You want to move. You should. You have to. But you can’t.
And then it evolves into anxiety, fear, and overwhelm.
But what if—just what if—being stuck isn’t the problem, but how we perceive it?
The Truth About Being Stuck
Every year, I have periods where I feel “stuck.”
Yet when I look closer, I see that “being stuck” is a label I give to a natural part of life.
It’s a time when not much happens. The anxiety comes when I think it should be otherwise. I start to force myself to work, to come up with ideas, and to make things happen.
And when I don’t get anywhere, I call it being stuck.
So, what is being stuck except the way I perceive life?
As I write this, I’ve been in a stuck period for the last few months. The difference is that I struggle less, because I’m beginning to let it be.
Why We Get Stuck
You get stuck when you think you should be something you’re not. When you think life should be different than it is.
I know I’m trying to force myself to do something when words like ”should,” ”have to,” and ”must” enter my mind.
When I relax and surrender to this quiet period in my life, things seem okay. I see that I can’t control life. I can only notice what life brings to me.
The Secret to Being Stuck Completely
Being stuck is like quicksand. The more you try to get out, the deeper you sink.
My mind wants to push, control, and manipulate. It stems from insecurity. I want to be secure, be loved, and be remarkable.
I think that if I could just control life, all would be well.
It’s not until I face reality that things begin to lift. Here are three things I do:
1. Give up.
When you’re stuck, surrender to being stuck.
I notice the thoughts and feelings within me that say that I’m stuck, and that something is wrong.
If I stay completely in this moment, there is no being stuck. There is only the label of a situation—a label that I’ve invented based on what I think my life should look like.
When I notice all this going on, I breathe a deep sigh of relief.
But that doesn’t mean that the feelings go away. I might still feel the anxiety, but it doesn’t have a death grip on me anymore.
I can see the play of thoughts. I can surrender to what comes.
And I still fall into resisting, but I’m getting better at letting it be what it is. I’m getting better at enjoying being stuck.
The funny thing is that when we enjoy being stuck, we’re not stuck anymore, because being stuck was all in our head.
2. Enjoy yourself.
There’s always something you feel drawn to do during these periods. You’re not completely stuck, not in every area of your life.
Right now, I’m reading books. I’m playing with my son. I’m watching movies and TV shows (the British version of Sherlock is amazing).
And on occasion, I’m writing articles like this, expressing what I feel.
I do the work I need to do. But then I let myself have fun.
It’s easy for me to feel guilty during this period because I feel like I’m not doing enough. But I’ve learned to see that I’m doing the best I can.
It’s another example of getting stuck in the story that I tell myself.
I am who I am. I’m doing what I can do. That’s enough.
And right now, that means doing less. The tide will shift soon enough.
The same is true for you. Do what you can, but go easy on yourself.
At times when I feel truly stuck, I write.
I don’t have a system or structure. I get a piece of paper and I write. I like to write by hand, the old fashioned way. It seems to clear my head more than writing on my computer.
What I do is write down everything going on in my head. No censoring. No looking back.
I let everything come out, especially the nasty bits.
The more I do this, the more I notice repeating patterns. I see how I want to change what is, and how futile it is.
The more aware I become, the more these things fall away.
When you truly become aware of what goes on inside of your head, you start to let go because you see how you create your own suffering.
My Biggest Mistake
When we resist what is, we suffer. That’s true for anything in life.
When I try to change what is, I poison myself from the inside out.
But with time, I’ve learned to see my resistance as a sign to relax. To see that I can only do my best with what I have, then it’s out of my hands.
There’s no pushing needed. Life lives itself through me, because I am life.
I am not separate from anything or anyone. I am this planet. I am the stars. I am you.
I sometimes wonder why we think we are not supported in life. We come into this world through a womb, where we’re supported.
The trees in the forest are supported. Yet we believe we’re the exception. Are we? I don’t think we are.
We just think that life should look different than it does. But the fact that life isn’t what you think it is shows that you’re wrong.
Let Things Be
Whether you feel stuck for a week or for a year doesn’t really matter.
You do the best you can with what you have.
But something I’ve noticed is that the longer I’m stuck, and the more I surrender to it, the more I learn when I come out of it.
It is the darkest periods of my life that have taught me the most about myself.
I’ve learned that life isn’t all about accomplishing things. Sometimes it’s about resting and letting things be.
These periods are no different than the seasons. There’s sun. There’s snow. There’s light, and there’s darkness.
Once you let it be what it is, things change because your perception changes.
But beware of making this another thing you have to do. Be kind to yourself. Let yourself be completely stuck.
And let yourself fight it, because you will.
“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.”
You know that foreboding fear we all have—that something will go terribly wrong and life will never be the same again?
Mine is that something will happen to our daughter. She is our only child. We battled infertility for years before conceiving her. I keep telling myself that it’s just an irrational fear and that every parent probably has it to some extent, but it’s a constant companion that stealthily follows me around everywhere I go.
So, on a Saturday evening, when we returned back from an evening out to pick her up from the playcare and were greeted by the sight of blood on her face and the sound of inconsolable weeping, my heart just stopped.
She had fallen off a playscape headfirst. It had happened minutes before we arrived. All the caretakers could tell us was that a tooth was knocked off. We rushed her to the emergency room.
After what seemed like hours, they gave the all clear—no head trauma or fractures—and sent us home with a prescription of painkillers and instructions to rest.
She spent the next twenty-four hours in pain and throwing up. She couldn’t even hold water down.
I tortured myself with fears that it must be a devastating head injury that the emergency room staff had failed to catch. She felt better the next day, so I brushed my fears away
The next week was a whirlwind of visits to the dentist to extract fragmented and loose teeth. During one of the visits, the dentist noticed that her jaw was misaligned. We rushed to an oral surgeon.
The emergency room staff had failed to catch it—her jaw had broken. And now it was too late. The bone had already started to set in a crooked manner.
She’d need major surgery to reverse it. She was too young to do the surgery yet, but by the time she turns eighteen the misaligned jaw will likely bother her so much that surgery will be unavoidable.
A couple of weeks later, as the dust started to settle, I took her to the park to let some steam off. As luck would have it, she had another fall, and this time she broke her arm.
We hadn’t had any major trauma in her entire life. And now we had two sets of broken bones in as many weeks.
Waiting for the orthopedic to put the cast on, I couldn’t help but think, “Right now, our life sucks.”
And this wasn’t the first time I’d thought that.
A few years back, I’d felt much worse when my husband was in the emergency room, I waited outside with her, and the doctors had no answers for us.
And before that at work when a colleague was bent on making my life a living hell.
And when my best friend was lost to depression and wouldn’t take my calls.
And when I broke up with my first boyfriend.
And a million other times.
Every single one of us has these moments. It’s just the way life is. It’s what we do in those moments that matters.
For the better part of my life, I’ve felt flustered and incapable of handling these moments. Over time, I feel like I’ve figured out a few things that I can start doing to bounce back.
I’m sharing these with the hopes that some of you will find them as useful as I do.
1. Replace “Why me?” with “What next?”
It’s natural; when things go wrong, one of the first thoughts is likely to be “Why me?”
Here’s the thing though—“Why me?” is a weakening phrase. It only serves to increase our feeling of victimhood and makes us feel incapable of dealing with the situation.
By intentionally catching ourselves thinking “Why me?” and replacing it with “What next?” we not only gain back a feeling of control, but also figure out what we can actually do.
Anytime my daughter had a mini-accident after that, she would panic. I’d put on my calmest voice, even when I felt like screaming “Why us? Can we please catch a break?” and say, “Aww, poor baby. Are you hurt? Accidents happen. Do you think a boo-boo pad might help?” And yes, a boo-boo pad always helped.
Ever so slowly, we were back to being resilient in the face of mini-accidents again.
2. Force yourself to practice gratitude.
It is hard to feel grateful when you are dealt a blow, no matter how big or small it is.
I was devastated by my daughter’s jaw fracture verdict. I had to practically force myself to practice gratitude.
Every time I talked to someone, I’d say, “Well, we’re lucky it wasn’t a head injury.” After repeating it a few times, I actually started to believe it and started to feel the gratitude. And that eventually helped deal with the news of the misaligned jaw.
No matter what you are dealing with, there is always, always something to be grateful for. Force yourself to say it out loud a few times. Your heart and your mind will soon catch up.
3. Quit blaming.
When you’re hurt, it is equally natural to look for someone to blame.
In my case, I was tempted to blame myself, the caregivers at the playcare, the doctors at the emergency room, and so on.
But blame only serves to prolong the hurt. It makes it harder to let things go. It makes us angry and corrodes us from the inside. It brings negativity into our life.
If something is meant to be, it will happen. That’s it. Deal with it and move on.
4. Don’t give in to fear and despair.
This is a tough one. It’s so much easier to just give in and surrender to the fear and grief. But we need to stand tall, even when we feel two feet too short.
It was very hard for me to mask my worries from my daughter and project confidence. But I’m so glad I did.
Back then, for a while, I’d actually started to wonder if something was wrong. The foreboding fear that was my constant companion kept telling me that something bad was going on.
But slowly, she gained from my projected confidence and grew more confident herself. And got back to her monkey business. And didn’t having any more accidents.
And my worries started to fizzle.
When it comes to fear and despair, you have to fake it till you make it. And, sooner or later, you will make it.
5. Never give up.
We didn’t like the jaw surgery verdict. We sought out another opinion even though it seemed pointless.
The new oral surgeon was old school. She suggested physical therapy. We set alarms on the phone and my daughter diligently did her exercises (bless her soul, she’s just a wee little kid, but such a sport).
After a month, the jaw was starting to get aligned again. Things are beginning to look good. Maybe we won’t need that surgery after all. We can only hope for the best.
No matter where you’re at or what you’re going through, don’t give up. Try just one more thing; maybe it’s just the thing that will resolve it for you.
It ain’t over, until it’s over.
As I type this article, I hear my daughter biking around the house.
And then I hear a loud thud. I catch my breath and wait. And there it comes: “I’m okay,” she calls out.
Women all around the world often feel like they are totally alone. We all have the same thoughts, we all feel like no one understands us, and that our world may possibly end if our day doesn’t start to get better soon. Even though no female is the exact same, and many of us have different issues, there are some problems that most women face daily. Starting with the menstrual cycle, to feeling like every man in the world will never understand you, here are the top ten reasons being a female can totally suck, and maybe this will make you feel less alone.
- The little red devil. If you’re a female, or a male who has a woman in their life, it is very obvious that the menstrual cycle is the number one reason why being a female sucks. From cramps and bloating, to migraines, nausea, acne, and so forth, this little gift to each woman is one we all wish we could return. Not only do we have to deal with this devil tormenting us day after day for up to a week, but the rest of the world has to deal with us. From cravings and mood swings, to making our significant others buy our tampons at the store, this is a week from hell for everybody around us.
- Holy hormones. Now, many would think hormones would fall under periods. But if you are a woman, you know that hormones never stop. Period or no period, we all have days where all we want to do is watch “The Notebook,” and cry. Some women are pretty balanced in this department, while others strap in for a daily emotional roller coaster as soon as they wake up. For all those men out there who think we’re crazy, our hormones will also do the apologizing for us. However, screaming at you on the phone at two in the morning about something you said to us two days ago may seem unreasonable to you, but it is perfectly rational to us.
- Wax on, wax all the way off. Summer months mean no school, freedom, and the beach. It also means a large amount of bikini waxing, shaving, plucking, and trimming for women all over the world. Of course, it doesn’t stop there; women are expected to stay smooth all year round! You have never felt pain until you experience the tiny hairs all over your body being stripped off of you with hot wax. Ask any woman what they love most about winter, and they all secretly want to say, “I don’t have to shave my legs as much!”
- Bad Hair Days. It is ten minutes before you have to leave, you’re running late, and your hair is sticking up in all the wrong places. You try water, hair spray, gel, wearing it down, wearing it up. Nothing works. This is what all females call the bad hair day. Whether your curls make you look like a poodle, or your hair is too flat, every girl has suffered from one of these days. Every girl understands why Britney Spears really shaved her head that day. We’ve been there, girl. Stay strong, ladies.
- Societal pressures. At some point in every female’s life, they are faced with an unbelievable pressure from outside sources. This can be at any age. It begins when we are young, what toys we play with, who we hang out with. Then we get older and it becomes acceptable to call each other names. We are labeled as “sluts,” or “prudes,” based on just how far we are willing to go to make a boy happy. As we reach college, we have to decide what we want more, a career or a family. Are you a feminist? What do you stand for? Do you demand respect? Every day females struggle for equality, and respect, something that society makes us work hard for, starting from a very young age.
- The fat/skinny dilemma. Every female body is different. Yet, the media likes to portray women as tall and skinny, (basically any Victoria Secret model), or sexy and voluptuous, (hello, Kim Kardashian). This causes every female to look in the mirror and judge their bodies. Women all around the world are left thinking they’re too fat, too skinny, flat chested, or they just don’t have enough junk in their trunk. This dilemma makes it nearly impossible for women to truly accept themselves for the way they are. Every female usually has at least one problem with their body that they wish they could change, when really we are all beautiful in our own way.
- Drama, drama, drama. Do you ever walk into a room and have a sixth sense that someone was just talking about you? Welcome to the daily struggle of girl life. Although gossip can break relationships, many of us ladies secretly thrive on the rush we get when sharing stories. We just can’t stop. By the way that reminds me, did you hear about what Lisa did last weekend?
- Mammograms and the gyno. Preventing breast cancer is important, and screenings are the key to catching it early. But no female in the world will wake up and think, “I really want to get my boobs flattened like a pancake today.” Additionally, screenings for cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases are also very crucial to female health. But you haven’t experienced an awkward situation until your doctor is seeing all your parts for the first time. Let alone swabbing your insides for cells. It really is the best ice breaker, after that; there is no health question too weird to ask your doctor.
- Giving birth. Yes, women rock because we basically create humans. But pushing those humans out, well, that’s another story. Most females understand the inevitable fact that one day they will push out a human at least the weight of bowling ball. We literally get torn up. Torn. Up. Just think about that guys, and be thankful that your job is all fun and no pain.
- Thelanguage barrierbetween males and females. The most common miscommunication that can happen between a man and a woman comes in two words, “I’m fine.” To males we are an interesting yet dangerous species, we speak in a language they simply do not understand. Our culture is one they don’t wish to be a part of, and we think in ways that are completely strange and irrational. The on-going battle on learning to communicate with one another is one that will probably never end. They never know how to answer the question, “Does this make me look fat?,” and they will never completely understand all of your little quirks.
Many women have different opinions about why being a female is the worst thing in the world, but we’re all in this together. Empathize with one another and realize, maybe Tiffany isn’t a bitch, maybe it’s just her hormones. Maybe Jessica’s hair looks horrible because she’s having a bad hair day, and you know you’ve been there too. Smile and love one another, and gentlemen, hopefully, these reasons will help you understand us all a little bit better.
Everyone can have a bad day now and then, but there’s a difference between being grumpy from a slump and having a bad attitude. A bad day entails things completely out of your control. Maybe you realized you were out of coffee when you woke up extra groggy, and then missed your bus. Maybe you found a hole in your favorite sweater and then got chewed out by your boss at work. Maybe you got stood up for a date or got into a spat with a friend and couldn’t but help scowling all the way back to your apartment. bad days happen, and it’s completely okay to run away with out feelings now and again and have a good pout.
But a bad attitude? That one’s completely in your control. Maybe you find everything to be stressful and terrible at work, or maybe you find a certain relationship grating on your nerves? These are things you can change by just changing your own outlook on. Your bad attitude only escalates the terrible-ness of certain situations and experiences, and that bad feeling can be easily fixed into a good one. Below are seven ways to fix a bad attitude вЂ” because the way a situation comes out is completely in your control.
1. Figure Out What Exactly Needs To Be Changed
Before you can change anything, you first need to figure out what’s the problem. Did you snap at your friend because you’re unhappy at work? Are you feeling in a dark mood because you feel lonely? Are you frazzled at work because you feel unfulfilled? Find the real culprit of your bad attitude.
According to self-development blogger Niro Thambipillay, “There have been many times when I know IвЂ™m not quite feeling right but I canвЂ™t put a finger on exactly whatвЂ™s bothering me and until I can figure it out, my attitude remains bad. However, once I figure out exactly what is bothering me, I can then do something about it and my attitude immediately changes.” So sit down and iron it out.
2. Find Role Models
It’s easier when you’re not self-improving alone, so for inspiration and encouragement find role models you want to emulate. And these don’t have to be in real life вЂ” follow go-getter entrepreneurs on Twitter, follow happiness-seekers on Instagram, or read the encouraging posts of a self-development blogger. Surround yourself with positive role models and their vibes will start rubbing off on (and teaching!) you.
Self-improvement writer Kara Heisman at Life Hack suggested, “Find someone who has the kind of attitude that you want to have, and let his or her life give you inspiration and encouragement to move beyond your temporary failures in your journey towards becoming a better person.” You don’t have to do it alone.
3. Change The Way You Look At The Situation
If you have a nagging issue that won’t go away, instead of caving into your bad attitude, try to find a different way to think of the situation. After all, reality is what we construct, so the way we respond to an experience is the way we end up feeling.
Thambipillay pointed out, “For example, if you feel like you have too much to do at work, rather than complaining and wishing it will go away, take on your extra work as a challenge. Imagine how good it would feel to get through all this work and have your head above water again. Then, with your new positive attitude attack your workload with a new enthusiastic gusto.” Find different ways to approach negative experiences and you can come out with a more positive attitude.
4. Think Of How Your Life Will Change If Your Attitude Changes
If you’re having a hard time finding a reason to shake off your bad attitude, think ahead how a change in attitude will change and better your life. There’s your motivation right there.
Heisman asked, “Will changing your attitude mean a happier family or social life? Will a change in your attitude mean a more successful career or business? Fix your mind on the things that would come as a result of your attitude change and you will have a greater chance of reaching your goal.” When you realize how much better your situation could be if only you tweak your outlook on things, you’ll see the value of working through your bad attitude.
5. Take Stock Of What’s Amazing In Your Life
When we’re stuck in a bad attitude, it can be hard to see the way out. If work sucks, then everything else does. Your boss makes you feel like you don’t bring value, your cash flow makes you think you don’t have enough to enjoy a Saturday night, and your mindless tasks make you feel like you’re wasting your life. Yes, these are all terrible things. But they’re not the only things in your life, are they?
Thambipillay suggested, “Every day, look for things to be grateful for. I donвЂ™t care how tough things get, there is always something to be grateful for.” When you’re feeling particularly dark, be corny and make a list of everything you truly feel #blessed over. It’ll put things into perspective and make you realize this isn’t all there is to your life.
6. Start Using More Positive Speech
If you want to change your bad attitude, change your negative speech. Instead of thinking that you can’t finish something in time, change it to “I can finish this portion of the project on time.” Or if you’re feeling particularly lonely and unwanted, change “No one wants to hang out with me,” to “I have so much time to work on passion projects.” And it’s true вЂ” these are just different ways of looking at the situation and will have your brain going in a more positive direction.
Health coach David Zulberg at self-development site Mind Body Green says, “Use statements like, ‘I am hopeful,’ or, ‘We will find a resolution,’ throughout the day. The words you use when you talk have a major impact on your attitude and emotional outlook.” Words construct our reality, so choose to make them positive.
7. Steer Clear Of The Victim Mentality
Don’t turn yourself into a victim: If you constantly think that things are happening to you, you’re taking responsibility out of your hands and folding. This only stunts your ability to change something negative into positive. Remember, nothing is ever out of your hands; you are responsible for your own thoughts and how you handle a situation.
According to self-improvement writer Chris Talambas at Life Hack, “We have unlimited potential within to create our own reality, change our life, and change our thoughts. When we begin to really internalize this, we discover that no one can make us feel or do anything. We choose our emotional and behavioral response to people and circumstances.”
If you want to improve your bad attitude, realize that nothing is happening to you. You have the power to change it around.
“Why do you suck so much? Stop sucking so much!”
S omeone actually made this remark to me during a grappling class. I clearly wasn’t doing too well that day. They knew that I could handle it. They also knew that I wasn’t living up to my potential. I’m pretty open to feedback. I don’t call someone a hater if they share an honest thought with me. I did feel awful about how poorly I was doing though. If you’re a competitive person, there’s nothing worse than sucking at something.
There are days where I feel on top of the world and I’m ready to take on everyone. On the flip side, there are days where I don’t feel like getting out of bed because I feel like a fraud. I feel like I don’t even deserve to share my ideas with the world. I feel like hiding and avoiding everyone. I feel ashamed for putting myself out there like I do. I start thinking about how I should just give up and be “normal.”
This will happen to you at some point in your life. You’re going to feel like a complete failure. You’re going to feel like you suck at everything.
Guess what? You might be right. You might not be living up to your potential at all. I want to explain to you why you might be doing poorly at everything.
Why do you suck at everything?
You don’t have a game plan.
You hope for the best. You think that things are just going to magically work out for you. You go through your days without any plan. You’re always reacting to whatever happens. You don’t plan in advance at all. You don’t think about your next move.
Nobody’s coming to save you. You won’t become the best at something by accident. You need to have a game plan. You can’t just be so vague about everything. It helps to have a clear idea of where you want to go and how you plan on getting there.
What do you exactly want?
- Do you want to get out of debt?
- Do you want to start a business?
- Do you want to save $20k?
- Do you want to start a YouTube channel?
For any of this to happen you have to make a plan and go after it. Stop wandering aimlessly through life without any plan.
You don’t commit fully.
“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” — Christopher Columbus
I’m guilty of this. As useless as motivational quotes are when it comes to committing, the reality is that too many of us don’t fully give it are all. We try for a bit. We put in a little effort. Then we give up when we don’t instantly become superstars.
You want to know why? We’re afraid of failure (next point).
You don’t commit to anything all the way. You dabble a bit in everything. You test out the waters instead of jumping in. You beat around the bush. You give it a little bit of effort because you don’t want to risk giving it your all and coming out on the losing end.
- You try going back to college but you give up after a semester.
- You want to start a business but when you don’t get a client after a week you close up shop.
- You want to start saving more money, but you give into temptation and you never save a penny.
- You want to make money online, but you’re looking for passive income to save you because you don’t want to put the work in.
You need to fully commit to something. You can’t be dabbling in things. You have to either jump into the pool or enter another pool. You’re not going to benefit from testing out everything and never committing to one thing.
You don’t want to fail.
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” – Confucious
There are so many things that I don’t want to fail at. So what do I do? I make up excuses to justify why I’m not successful. I blame time or age or something or someone.
I do this with wrestling all of the time. I rationalize why I’ll never make it. I create excuses for myself in advance. I leave the back door open.
You’ve been guilty of this. You know that the pretty girl at the coffee shop won’t like you so you don’t bother asking her out. But how do you know? How do you know that she won’t like you? You don’t. You’re just afraid of failure.
You don’t want to start a business because you don’t want to fail. You don’t try that new diet because you assume that you can’t do it.
Stop being so afraid of failure. Get out there and fail daily. Have fun with it. Failure will suck be it beats not even trying. The one time that you don’t fail will make it all worth it.
You don’t stick to one thing.
I admit that I always have multiple projects on the run. However, I try my best to focus on one thing at a time. You’re likely not doing too well at anything because you don’t have one main goal.
When I help readers get out of debt, I let them know that they have to commit everything to this. Getting out of debt will be their main project until they reach freedom. Nothing else matters. You have to focus on paying off that debt. You have to stick to one thing until you see results.
We’re all guilty of not sticking to one thing.
You don’t really want it.
You can really do anything that you want. It’s just going to take everything that you have.
You already know this. You just don’t want it bad enough. You claim that you do, but deep down you’re not willing to do what it takes. You’re not willing to do whatever it takes.
You don’t actually want it. Why do you think gyms offer all kinds of crazy deals to get people to sign up? They know that you’re going to sign up and never come after a month because you’re going to see how much you have to work. Let’s be honest here. Work scares away most people.
What can you do?
- Accept that you’re guilty of one or all of these excuses.
- Do something about it. Now that you know why things aren’t working out, it’s time to take action. Grabbing our Success Planner is a great first step!
The biggest barrier often revolves around coming clean to yourself about your faults. From there, you have to make a plan and take action so that you’re not in the same boat one year from now.
Every runner has bad days, but do you know why?
It’s 6:23 a.m. The alarm’s already gone off, you’re out of the confines of your bed, and you’re ready to hit the pavement running, chasing the sunrise. Despite looking forward to striding along streaking light beams, you feel off. Tired. No more than 400 meters in, you realize that this just isn’t your day. A crappy run. A run that makes you angry you schlepped out of bed and laced up in the first place. You want to be home. You want it to be over. You want to pretend it never happened.
Sound familiar? Hey, you’re not alone. While you may think that a bad run is just in your mind, turns out there are loads of reasons for feeling subpar. We caught up with S10 Training and Nike+ Run Club Coach Joe Holder to help us shed some light on the situation. According to Holder, there are three major reasons why that run feels like the pits:
You’re not recovered: Exercise, no matter if you’re lifting weights or tackling a six-miler, can make your muscles sore. That soreness is a result of the hard work you’re putting in, generally a byproduct of the small tears in the muscle surrounding connective tissue. Not to worry: They’re normal, but they also require rest.
“A lot of the adaptations and improvement come in recovery, which a lot of people don’t take seriously enough,” says Holder. “They think the workout as just a vignette and they try to close it off, not realizing how the other hours of the day impact the recovery process.”
Do yourself a favor and think bigger picture. The best-case scenario? Studies suggest giving your muscles an average of 48 hours in between workouts of the same muscle group to prevent injury. During that time, think of alternative ways to aid in recovery. Fuel properly with these better protein sources, and don’t be afraid to make friends with a foam roller (trust us, it won’t bite).
You’re not warmed up: “A lot of people don’t take into consideration the need to warm up,” says Holder. “You need a lot of, especially for running, proper nervous system activation, get your body and brain ready to run. If you just go out and run—you’ll get into a bit of a funk.”
So, what’s a proper warmup include? Aim to use a string of movements that wake up the posterior chain, including knee hugs, quad pulls, leg scoops, glute kickback, and table tops.
You’re only running: Sure, running may be your second love (behind cookies, we’re sure), but that doesn’t mean your body doesn’t crave an alternative form of fitness.
“If you just constantly work the same thing, not only will your improvements diminish, but you won’t get recovery as well,” says Holder. “If you just constantly do base aerobic runs, your body has adapted officially. It’s time to incorporate that speed, whether you realize it or not, you’ll be working a different energy system. You’ll see a better improvement, including your aerobic efficiency improve too as you incorporate speed into your workouts.”
So what’s a runner to do?
Do not force it. It’s super critical for you to understand that some days aren’t going to be your best days, and that’s just fine. (Get this: running just five minutes a day can better your life expectancy.)
“Realize it for what it is and shift your perspective,” says Holder. “Say you’re out there already and you’re in a funk, treat it as a recovery run, treat it as a form run, treat it as something where you’re getting some work out of it. Often times if you push through when you’re not really feeling it, it can be detrimental. [Remember] you’re getting some activity done, that’s better than none. Let it happen, treat it for what it is.”
Real Hope ✣ From God ✣ Through Christ ✣ For Us
The early 90’s were a rough time for me. I had moved my family from a difficult financial situation in Minnesota, to a worse situation in Georgia. Our long-term plans died on the vine. I was under-employed working two part-time jobs. Debt and bills were always a problem. We lived paycheck to paycheck. We had two small kids, one inconsistent income, and zero health insurance.
To make matters worse, it seemed like everyone around me was prospering. I remember taking my son to T-ball games and discovering that, apparently, normal Dads of 5-year-olds drive a new Lexus, BMW, or Mercedes. Now, I didn’t envy their cars per sé. But, being around such prosperity was like salt in a wound when, for me, just trying to make ends meet was so…
❯ WHAT WILL GOD DO?
Then, we received a glimmer of hope. Our pastor told us that an anonymous someone in the congregation wanted to help us financially. They knew we were in transition and struggling financially. That someone asked the pastor to meet with us and assess our needs. We didn’t know what to say. We had numbers in our heads (involving 4 digits) that we thought could solve all our problems, but we didn’t want to say as much. Our instinct was to just wait and see what God would do. You can imagine how high our hopes were.
Then our pastor dropped by to see us again. This time, he had an envelope. He left it with us. We opened it.
It held one, single, hundred dollar bill.
❯ NOT WHAT I EXPECTED
I should have been grateful for this person’s generosity. I should have been humbled. I should have been encouraged that God knew our need and cared about my family.
It felt like a $100 slap in the face. I felt like God was making fun of me, playing a cruel game. I was so, so mad at God. Instead of being encouraged by this gift, my frustration and depression only deepened.
That was 20+ years ago, and there was a lot wrong with my thinking back then: self-centered, ungrateful young man. But, it’s hard not to be self-centered and ungrateful when times are tough. It’s easy to be absorbed with the frustration you feel every moment of every day.
❯ CAN YOU BE SATISFIED?
You know what it’s like: It’s that bill collector, that task you can’t get right, that car that broke down again, that medical condition, that bad temper, that same old stupid mistake, that unreasonable boss, that manipulative parent, that same argument with your spouse, that sin you worry about first thing each morning. Like the so-called Chinese water torture, frustration can be a constant, gnawing, absorbing, dripping ache on your brain.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be rid of it?
Of course, you can’t. Life’s problems are here to stay. They only change; they don’t go away.
But you can learn to respond to them better and enjoy life more. You can learn be less frustrated by your problems and more satisfied with your life.
Here’s a few things that have really helped me live a more satisfied life.
1. EMBRACE A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE ON FRUSTRATION
A wise person will admit: frustration is simply part of the human condition. It’s part of the curse of our eviction from Eden. We are in exiles in a difficult world. You can read about it in Genesis 3. The first man and woman trusted themselves instead of God, so God drove them from his protecting presence. The Apostle Paul, reflecting on this, taught that God subjected all of creation to frustration (Romans 8:20). That includes me and you. The Westminster Shorter Catechism aptly calls this our fall into sin and misery. (Click the WSC link and check out questions 17-20.)
Why would God do this?—So we would realize our lives are meaningless and broken without Him at the center of it. The few people who experience only comfort and ease rarely perceive their true need for God. Frustration should cause us to look outside ourselves for rescue from this broken world. It should teach us this simple bit of wisdom: Life isn’t supposed to be this way, and only a return to God will fix it.
2. BE SURE YOUR FRUSTRATION ISN’T DESERVED
Make sure your desires and motives don’t deserve to be frustrated.
- Trying to control or manipulate someone?
- Pursuing a goal that God forbids?
- Making an idol of something or someone to the point you feel empty without it?
- Pursuing the constant win, win, win, as if that’s the ultimate goal in life.
No one gets this 100% right 100% of the time. So, we should frequently re-evaluate our plans, behaviors, and motives. Unrighteousness can creep into our hearts unnoticed, like mold in a damp basement.
And frustration will follow. God will see to it.
3. LEARN THE SECRET OF CONTENTMENT
What’s the secret contentment?
It is, to see your life in God’s hands and to trust Him absolutely with every detail. Whatever He gives. Whatever he withholds. Whether you consider it blessing or curse. You have what you have in life as God wills, no more, no less. That is your lot. Trust Him. Thank Him.
It’s hard, I know. But it must be done.
Contentment with God’s will is the foundation of happiness and godliness in this average life. Paul spoke of contentment as a tremendous gain to the quality of one’s life (1 Timothy 6:6).
The alternative is resentment and deepening frustration.
4. LEARN THE BENEFIT OF GRATITUDE
Along with contentment, learn gratitude. Learn that everything good is gift. Everything. Even many hard things are gifts.
Gratitude has the great benefit of attracting friends. Friends are eager encouragers, supporters and helpers in time of need.
Only don’t adopt the fake, just for show, hash-tag-blessed sort of gratitude. Real gratitude generates real humility about oneself, real joy in one’s circumstances, and real compassion for others’ difficulties.
5. LEARN WHAT MONEY CAN’T DO
Money can alleviate a struggle. Money can make life more pleasant. Money can buy relaxation, comfort, and pleasure. Money can even buy health.
But money can not buy joy in life. That’s pretty common knowledge but we all seem to ignore it. Only humility, contentment and gratitude generate joy.
6. PUT YOUR HOPE IN THE RIGHT PLACE
If your hope is for, as Joel Osteen famously wrote, your best life now; you are doomed to frustration.
God’s promise is for your best life then.
Imagine that God was your genie in the bottle and you had all you could wish for in this life: comfort, pleasures, power, and immortality. You would essentially be the Adam and Eve they dreamed of before that first bite. You would never care about righteousness, holiness, or communion with God. You would look inward for your highest good and believe there was no good other than yours. Your immortal comforts would become ashes and dust to you. They would lose their charms. For you were made to experience ultimate joy and satisfaction by praising the goodness of another: your Maker.
This frustrating life is meant to teach us that. This is why the gospel is so inviting.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you [eternal] rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find [sabbath] rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”—Matthew 11:28–30, emphasis mine