When Things Go Wrong: 5 Things To Always Do

By Rachel Lustbader

Updated December 06, 2018

Reviewer Debra Halseth, LCSW

5 Things to Always Do When Things Go Wrong

Things are inevitably going to go wrong in everyone's lives. Things going according to plan is a rarity. Armed with this knowledge, you can now focus on the five things you should do when things do, at some point, not follow the plan you created.

These five things are: learn what happened, focus on what you have, ask for advice, summon the courage to go on, and try again.

Learn What Happened

You can't begin to make improvements until you know what the problem is. In fact, once you begin to learn more about what went wrong, the less anxious and nervous you will feel because you will be armed with information. The more information you have, the better off your future will be. Once you know what happened, there is a much higher chance that the same scenario won't occur. This is because you're learning the lesson of why something went wrong - and you won't need to learn it again.

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Focus on What You Have

What you have at your disposal are your tools for the future. The resources that you have may be tangible like your home or your car. You may also have emotional resources like the support of family and friends. It may be intellectual or physical resources like intelligence and health. The past and future are out of your control, but it brings a sense of peace and empowerment to focus on the here and now. Making a list of what you have is a great visual to help you focus on the present. Like learning what happened, focusing on what you have arms you with information that you can use to build a better future.

Ask for Advice

You are not alone. Seek counsel if you feel stuck. Human beings need others to become their best. Find someone you trust (such as a family member, friend, or professional) whose opinion you value and respect. An objective point of view can help you to see the situation more clearly.

Summon the Courage to Go On

This is perhaps the most daunting step. When things go wrong, it's natural to want to feel frustrated and want to give up. However, this is not a feasible long-term plan. Armed with the information that you gathered in the other steps, you are now more prepared for the future. Summoning the courage to go on can take some time. You may need time to regain a feeling of motivation to try again.

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Try Again

Everything has been preparing you to try again. At this point you are knowledgeable, surrounded by counsel, and full of courage. The natural next thing to do is try again. Every attempt is an opportunity to learn and make progress.

Getting the Help You Need

If you find yourself in need of professional mental health help, there are many resources available for you. Know that you are not alone when you find things going wrong in your life. BetterHelp is a company that offers online counseling and therapy. You can receive counseling from licensed mental health professional anywhere and anytime. The service offers confidential help with the convenience of access from your phone or any device that you use to connect to the internet.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

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