I think everyone can relate to today’s topic. We’ve all been in the position where things that are outside of our control are going wrong.
Whether its a break-up, one of your best employees quits or there’s a big family fight, we all have moments in our life where it feels like everything is falling apart. I’ve been there. I know the feeling when your heart drops and you feel empty and scared, when your emotions are high and logic goes out the window.
It can be a hard time, especially if you haven’t trained your mindset to handle these situations. You can’t always avoid or control your circumstances, but you can control how you deal with it. It’s all about mindset and mental toughness. You need to prepare yourself so when unexpected things happen, you can deal with it with the least amount of emotion possible.
I called this post Shit Hits the Fan – Now What because although we’ve all been here before, a lot of us don’t know how to keep moving forward through it and how to prevent ourselves from being held back by it. Today, I’m going to go into depth about what I do when shit hits the fan in my life.
Training Your Mindset for Success When Shit Hits the Fan
Initial Response Phase
Recognize this will be a learning opportunity.When you approach a problem with the perspective of it being a learning opportunity, it helps you see that there is a solution to the problem — you just have to figure it out. The problem then becomes your chance to grow and become a better version of yourself because you will be reflecting and evaluating how you dealt with the situation.
This evaluation process gives you insight into how far you have come and shows you if you are growing and handling things better or if you are still handling things the same way you did five years ago. If you don’t evaluate yourself, you won’t know if you have grown. Without evaluation, you might find yourself handling the situation with the same habits and behaviors that are not serving you or helping you through these problems.
Tough stuff is not going to stop happening to you. But, if you don’t learn from it and evaluate how you handle the situation, you’re never going to learn or grow.
Double down on your habits.
When things go wrong the first thing to go are your habits. This is because when your emotions are high, your intelligence and habits are not in focus. When things go wrong, we often start eating differently, stop working out and stop using the habits that we have put in place to become a better version of ourselves. We even sometimes stop treating people the way that they should be treated.
To avoid losing sight of your goals and the habits you’ve established to reach those goals, I suggest you write down your habits and the things you have to do each day. This will help you focus on them through all the emotion surrounding you and the situation. When shit hits the fan, you need to double down on your habits so you don’t lose momentum. If you don’t do this, you will likely be starting over.
When you start crawling from problem to problem rather than solving them, you start to have a victim mentality. Rather than trying to learn from the situation and doubling down on their habits, people with this mindset question why they even do anything because life just keeps knocking them down.
During tough seasons of life you’re not thinking clearly, focusing on your habits is one way to ensure you don’t get knocked down. Your habits give you structure when shit hits the fan and you aren’t able to think clearly.
Keep things in perspective.You need to keep things in perspective, so you can separate yourself from the problem. Ask yourself: How serious is this? Is there collateral damage? What’s happening? Who is it actually affecting?
It’s so important for you to compartmentalize the emotion you feel and separate it from the situation. Then you can designate time to think about it and acknowledge and work through the emotions you feel. By separating your emotions from the situation you can focus and deal with the problem head on.
When life is tough, it’s even more difficult to handle when you’re still feeling emotional. When you address the problem right from the source and you’re still emotional you are going to say and do things that you will regret. When you react to tough circumstances with emotion instead of facts, you’ll probably find yourself in a worse situation afterward. You need to stay as calm as possible so you can avoid collateral damage and keep things in perspective.
I’m not saying that it’s okay for people to treat you a certain way or that the problems that you are dealing with are not serious. I am saying that you have a responsibility to yourself to stay as calm as you can.
Asking yourself a couple of questions will help you keep the situation in perspective. When you don’t ask yourself questions you react rather than reflect. Taking time to think and reflect when shit hits the fan helps bring logic back into the situation. Hold on to your vision.
Hold on to your vision.
When something happens, go to the person in your life that you consider a visionary for you in that area.
If there’s a crisis in your faith, the visionary will be your pastor or the people whose faith you look up to. If you’re having problems related to your business. Ask yourself: Who is my visionary? Who is my business mentor? Who is selling me the dream? Then, go follow them on Instagram, binge all of their videos, listen to all of their podcasts, call your mentor. Fill your mind with wisdom from people who inspire you. If you feel like you’ve gotten off track in your fitness and are lacking motivation and self-confidence, ask yourself: Who’s the visionary in my fitness journey? Who’s the person that sold me the dream to get fit? Whether it’s a podcast, your best friend or a trainer at the gym, surround yourself with those people.
When things go wrong, you need to surround yourself with visionaries. That is right from the bible.“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). If you don’t have vision, it’s easy to feel like giving up all together and that is a scary place to be.
Evaluate if you can anticipate this challenge again.When you are on the other side of the situation and things are getting better, tension and emotions are lower than they were initially. Now, you can begin to evaluate and anticipate if this challenge will happen again.
You may not be able to avoid all situations but you can definitely prepare yourself for most. For example, you might go through a bad breakup that takes you into a dark depression. You probably can’t prevent yourself from having a bad breakup again. But, if you mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for these situations, you can deal with it better if it does happen again. This applies to any situation. You may not be able to predict or prevent it but you can be mentally and emotionally prepared to handle it to the best of your ability.
You can also physically prepare yourself for the next challenge. For example, maybe you’ve had a health scare and should have been addressing your physical fitness years ago. Now it’s time to physically prepare yourself.
You can also prepare yourself financially for the next crisis. When things are going well, create a plan so that if you lose your job, get divorced or go into debt, you are prepared.
The next storm is coming — it could be in five years or five days. The question is, how big is your boat? Are you anticipating and preparing yourself for the next challenge? When shit hits the fan will you be mentally, emotionally and physically prepared for it?
Give yourself permission to hit the reset button.You have to find it in you to move on and figure out a way to let it go.
When shit hits the fan, take it as an opportunity to learn from the situation then release it from your mind. If you need to forgive, then forgive. If you need to have a conversation about it, have a conversation about it. If you can let it go, let it go. I say if you can because I know it’s easier said than done. No matter how hard it is, you need to find a way to get it done. It doesn’t need to be easy, it just needs to be possible.
Shit happens, people make mistakes, but if you don’t learn to let go, your health and well-being are on the line. By holding onto things and letting them affect you every day, you’re only punishing yourself. Stop putting yourself in this vicious cycle, where your vision, family, health and your life in general are negatively affected. Try and let it go. Give yourself permission to hit the reset button and try to move on.
These are some ideas around strategy and mindset that I practice when shit hits the fan in my life. Trust me, I have had a lot of brutal situations in my life. But, I’m way better at dealing with those situations today than I have ever been before. My wish and hope for you are that you continue to train yourself to be stronger and better prepared for the next time shit hits the fan.