Tomar, Portugal

When plans change.

personal growth

Life frequently takes twists and turns. At times you’ll face situations that are somewhat out of your control or perhaps the result of bad decisions. On hindsight, my life has been pretty much a rollercoaster ride, full of ups and downs which at times had me gripping my hair and screaming (figuratively). This time was no different. I won’t go into too much detail for privacy reasons but there’s one thing that I’ve always been certain about when life just takes a bat and bops you on the head – don’t cry over spilt milk.

My grandfather and my dad used to tell me this frequently. They probably knew I needed the constant reminders throughout my childhood and teenage years. As a result, I’ve never found mulling excessively over the “what-should-have-beens” particularly helpful. On the contrary, it always gave me more anxiety and stress. Here are three key questions I ask myself when stuff like this happens that I hope might be of some use to you when you face situations like these:


How do I genuinely feel about what happened?

The first thing we need to do is to come to terms with what’s happened and to acknowledge our honest feelings about the whole thing. There is no point in sweeping the issue under the carpet or pretending it doesn’t exist. The same thing goes for excessive self-berating (or berating others for that matter). We’ll never progress if we keep wallowing in the mud.


Is there anything I can do to make the situation better for all parties involved, myself included?

Let’s be honest here – the world doesn’t revolve around just us. Although personal welfare is important, one of the signs of maturity is our ability to think of others before ourselves. Of course, I don’t mean to discard ourselves completely in the process of making another party feel better but what is the best solution to salvage the situation that will result in a win for all that is manageable. Remember the final decision will probably be something that you have to live with and you have to be happy with that in some way.


Do I need help?

Sometimes we are full of stubborn pride as human beings. We refuse to acknowledge that we need the help of another from time to time. We are not capable of doing everything. Instead of shouldering the burden alone, are there willing people we can share it with? It might be in the form of a listening ear, or even tangible help that impacts the situation directly. Whatever the case may be, there is nothing weak about acknowledging our insufficiencies and depending on others. Ever heard of the phrase “it takes a community to raise a child”? The same principle applies. We are not made to be self-sufficient. Otherwise, we wouldn’t need the ability to communicate that we obviously have.

Needless to say, these questions will not solve every problem instantaneously, but they do give me some aid in focusing my thoughts healthily and to climb out of a sticky situation that I may find myself in. Coupled with a good walk in the park, some rest and recuperation (me-time, if you will), these difficult circumstances will end up just being yet another hurdle we’ve crossed. Another feather in our caps.

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